I need a POOFER

I need a POOFER. But first I need someone to invent it. My friend and coworker, Denise developed the concept. That’s where her job ends. Now we just need someone to design the prototype.

The concept of the POOFER came about on lunch break when Lori was describing yet another frustrating grocery store experience. It seems at least weekly, this is a topic of conversation. Certain people just don’t get it. They have no grocery store etiquette. I know. I’ve experienced my fair share of these types.

Last Friday morning, for instance, I was navigating the aisles of my local grocery store. I was killing precious vacation time with a day of grocery shopping and other domestic duties. Believe me, I was none too pleased to be spending my vacation hours this way, but it had to be done. Mid-store, I took a left turn into the soup aisle. I needed some Cream of Potato. Just a ways ahead of me, a woman stood intensely studying some soups. Maybe there was going to be a soup test later on. I’m not sure. But her cart was abandoned haphazardly in the middle of the aisle. Diagonally. No one was getting past from either direction, but she seemed oblivious to the fact that, by golly, she was not the only person buying groceries that day. Did she not think other people might visit the soup aisle that morning? Was she really so self-centered that she couldn’t concern herself with other shoppers?

She had to have noticed me coming. I’m kinda tall. Had a big cart full of groceries that was heading her direction. I was doing that not-so-subtle throat clearing thing to try to avoid an awkward moment. She didn’t notice me. I stood for a moment, still unnoticed. Clearly her peripheral vision was impaired.

“SCUSE me,” I announced brightly.

“OH! Sorry,” she said, grabbing her cart with one hand and dragging it out of the way so I could pass. I thanked her.

But really! What is wrong with people? Personally, I believe you have to treat the grocery store like driving on public roads. Vehicles are coming and going in both directions. Stay to the right. You might have to yield sometimes. And for god’s sake, don’t park your vehicle diagonally across the entire thoroughfare! If you wanted to stop and get out of your car in the street, would you just coast to a stop wherever you happened to be and park without regard to the fact that other vehicles might need to get by???

I think not! The DMV tries to make sure people know the basics before issuing drivers licenses. Maybe the grocery store should require that people pass a test and receive a grocery shopping license before being allowed to shop.

This is where a POOFER would come in handy. When I encountered that woman in the grocery store, if I had a POOFER, I could reach into my purse for my handy remote control device. I could point it at anyone who is grocery store etiquette impaired. I push the big red button AND… POOF!

You. Are. Welcome. That person is no longer a grocery store annoyance.

Oh, I wouldn’t disintegrate people or anything. The POOFER would just send offenders to etiquette class and keep them there until they can pass the etiquette test.

This could have all kinds of uses. Coworkers who talk to much. Husbands who annoy you. Phone solicitors from the home exteriors company who call every damn day for months on end trying to get you to agree to a consultation! 

I was walking from the office to my parking ramp this afternoon. The sidewalk was busy with people parking and plugging money into meters. Some were heading to the building from which I’d just come. Others were walking away, like me. I got behind a woman who was doing what I can only describe as meandering. She veered from side to side, increasing and decreasing her speed without warning. Each time I made a move to go around her, she seemed to lunge in the direction I was trying to pass. It got so I was actually laughing at how ridiculous the situation had become. After multiple attempts to get around her, I finally made it.

And I sure wished I’d had a POOFER! 

21 thoughts on “I need a POOFER

  1. Wow. Sounds like you need some extra attention from Lucy. You could do lots of good with a poofer, but I am sure there would be rules & regulations about using it in public places. There are morons everywhere, especially at the store. Don’t you love it when they park themselves right in front of the section you need to get one stinking can from and look it over like they are making a life altering decision. I tend to leave my cart at the end of the aisle just so I can navigate through the gauntlet of carts/kids/gawkers who clog up the aisle. And typically, those are the people you wind up BEHIND in the check out line with a whole bag of coupons and wanting to pay by check. Makes me want to bean them with a can of green beans.

    Funny how everything seems to pile up on you at one time (coworkers, spouse, sales people). I’ve got a few tactics I use on sales calls just to level the playing field.


  2. Well one nice thing about being self employed is that i can time my trips to grocery stores and the like when there are minimal other humans which decreases the need. But if you ever develop poofer technology count me in as and investor!


  3. What? I thought I was the only one who encountered these POOFEES on a regular basis at the grocery store. I find strange comfort in knowing that they haunt you too.


  4. Count me in too! Had several “poofing” desires today with drivers who seemed to be seriously impaired. Unbelievable. People are often idiots.


  5. If I had a “Poofer”, I sure wouldn’t limit it to the grocery store, LOL. I’m taking it out on the highway with me!!

    -Don’t pull out in the intersection when turning left, proceeding quickly on yellow so that me and another car can also get through the light!? POOF, you’re outta here!

    -Day dream for 15 seconds after the left turn light has turned green making me miss the light?! POOF you’re outta here!

    -Pass me just slow enough to pin me up against the back of the 18 wheeler I’m approaching before you finally get by!? POOF you’re outta here!

    -Go 55 in a 70 while you talk on the phone, then pass me at 80 before slowing back down to 55 to make your next call!? POOF you’re outta here!!

    -Blow past a line of 50 cars waiting to make a right off the interstate and then force yourself into the head of the line instead of waiting your turn!? POOF, you’re outta here!!


  6. A fantastic idea! It will be a long time before they are available in the shops, but until then how about: one of those electric zappers? Being left twitching in the soup aisle is something that they would never forget!


  7. I can handle the lane navigation but it is the drama at the check out line that infuriates me and you know what I am talking about. How can it all be so complicated? By the way did you get your son the car ?


  8. I thought it was only me who had such impatience with people. I see it a lot while driving – how can someone sit in the fast lane and not go around the person in the slow lane? Come on! And the super centers are the worst. Every time I go in there I tell myself I’m never coming back, but the prices and variety keep luring me there. So I walk through the store with audible groans at the inconsideration of people and then I stand in line and fume that they have ALL these check out lanes and yet the ENTIRE store is standing in line of the only cashier. (Maybe a slight exaggeration there- but you get the picture). The poofer is a great idea, but I’m afraid I would eliminate most of the population…. :/


  9. Ha! I love it, Terri. I definitely want one. The people who block isles, walkways, whatever drive me crazy. When I’m going somewhere or doing something, I want to do it–get it done. Grocery shopping is not a Sunday drive. Maybe we should call these folks the “Sunday-Shopper-Blockers.”

    Excellent post, my friend!



  10. I loathe going to the store, for all of the reasons you described. My impatience goes even further, though. I think it’s the result of working in one for several years. I hate the gigantic fat women in the little motorized carts they have. I know that some people are legitimately disabled, but a good chunk of them are just lazy. If they’d get up, walk around the store, and get some exercise, they wouldn’t weigh 400 pounds. Also, there are the people in the check-out lines who have to separate their order because they are paying for their $100 worth of beer and cigarettes with cash, and the rest with their food stamp card. It infuriates me. Finally, I also hate the people that just leave their shopping cart in a random location when they’re done shopping. Some people just push it to the front of the door and leave it for someone to walk into. If you take something (a cart) put it back where you got it!

    I’m finished. :) Count my vote for the development of a poofer.


  11. You are such a polite person. I guess I am not so polite. I move the cart out of the way and continue with my shopping acting as oblivious of the other person and they were acting about me. Works for me!


  12. Maybe she was getting bad news on the other end of the telephone. It really isn’t hard to move a shopping cart and go around.

    Zen out…. this is crazy anger and time wasting. I can’t believe you let it get to you so much so that you have written an entire angry post!


    peach and love


  13. Well, Tia – the woman in the picture is just a picture. The woman I wrote about was not on a telephone. And no, it isn’t hard to move a shopping cart and go around, but then I wouldn’t have a story to tell, would I?

    And please tell me where you find the crazy anger in my words and I’ll help you find your sense of humor! :-)


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  15. Oh, and you talk about my Inner Curmudgeon. You actually describe a situation in which I’m fairly calm. When I go into a store, especially a grocery store, I expect oblivious people. But I’m sure Muri would be interested on a POOFER. By the way, you should check out the definitions for Poofer in the Urban dictionary. Then change the name of your gadget.


  16. I think the Poofer is a genius invention! I’ll pay a tidy sum for one of those when they come out!

    I agree with you 100% about Grocery store etiquette! I often wonder, how these people managed to (theoretically) drive safely and legally TO the grocery store, just to not understand how bi-directional traffic works, once they get inside. It’s such a simple concept. “Drive on the right side of the road”.

    My other big grocery store annoyance is when I’m standing (on the right side of the aisle) and looking at the shelf on the left, trying to decide what item to purchase and then someone comes along and just stops right in front of me to look at the same shelves I’m looking at. How could they possibly not have seen me?

    The world, as a whole, is just full of self-involved, inconsiderate people…

    I think maybe a global Poofer is in order!


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