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Angering one cashier at a time
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I have a big problem with the truth. No, it's not what you think. I'm too honest. If you ask me if you "look like a whale" in that new dress, you'd better get back in the tank and swim to the other side. Because, if you do look plump in pink, I'll hem and haw, and I'll comment on your hair, shoes, or nail polish, but if you push me, I'm going to say something about your excess weight. So, it's best to stop as soon as I mention your lovely new shoes, even if they aren't so new or all that lovely. It's a curse, but I just don't like to lie. Usually, I'm able to go through the day without being forced into a corner, but if I go out to eat, all bets are off.

Whenever I dine out, I experience the same ritual as I walk to the cashier stand to pay my bill. Someone always asks, "Was everything OK?" Why do you people ask me that question? Don't you know the risks you're taking? If everything was indeed "OK," I can honestly say, "Sure! It was lovely!" and the day remains pleasant for everyone. But, if the meal was a disaster, what am I supposed to do? I just can't lie and say, "Sure! It was lovely!" So I say something like, "Well, it wasn't exactly the best dining experience I've had here, but I'm sure you were going to fire that waiter, anyway." It's an honest answer that doesn't even go into detail about the food he spilled on my head.

Sadly, I've learned that no one appreciates honesty at the cashier stand. When you say that the experience was less than ideal, most cashiers don't care.

Most - especially the younger ones - just glare and give you the silent treatment. Listen cashiers, I raised four teenagers, and I spent most of my youth fending off blue-eyeliner-enhanced female anger. I'm 51 now, and I don't need to see "the look" ever again. Please don't ask me if everything was "OK," if you can't take the truth. Just comment on my lovely new shoes while you swipe my credit card.

I won't have to tell you the truth, and we'll all be happier, even if I do have half a gallon of vegetable soup soaking through the back of my shirt.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers and can be reached at