A simple run to the Co-op for some feta cheese. The chunky brown girl at the cash register, sporting an indecipherable, straightened hair style which can only be described as anvil-shaped, has not finished with the customer in front of me. Even so, she picks up my feta cheese and proceeds to inspect it. Carefully she squints and reads all the print on all six sides of the package. She turns it over and over again, rereading from each new angle, as though she might have missed the good part the first time through. I get nervous, shuffle my feet, stare at her in helpless fascination. Finally I can’t stand the suspense. “What do you think of the cheese?” I ask innocently. “It’s sheeps’ milk.” She looks at me accusingly. “Well…yeah.” I’m wondering where this is going. “I’m not a fan” she says flatly.

Have I missed something? Is reviewing customers’ purchases an important feature of the employee manual? And must she fondle so? Because at this point I want to take my cheese to the back of the store for a fresh unhandled piece. Should I speak to the manager? Maybe I should lurk around a bit now, to hear her weigh in on the food choices of the unsuspecting schnook behind me.

No. Too weird. My violated cheese and I leave the store, our collective tails between our legs.

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