Last week, as the woman behind the cash register at Duane Reade was ringing up my battery purchase, I said what I always say at the drugstore, which is, “Don’t worry, I don’t need a receipt.” What I generally mean by this is, “If you hand me a piece of paper I will crumple it up and put it in my pocket and forget about it utterly until three months from now, at which point I will notice it and wonder whether I need it for my taxes but I won’t be able to tell because the ink will have faded to illegibility by then and I’ll spend days worrying that I’ll be thrown in jail for tax evasion and so really I’d prefer that you just recycle the receipt or throw it away yourself.” The instance in the Duane Reade was no exception.
The woman behind the counter appeared not to have heard me, however, because when she handed me my batteries the receipt was right there in her hand.
“Oh, that’s okay,” I said, with slightly more volume. “I don’t need the receipt.”
She looked at me blankly for a moment. “Well, I don’t really need it either,” she said.
I grabbed the batteries and receipt and stalked out of the store.
At the time her insolence enraged me but thinking about it now I find it pretty funny.
Now I just need to figure out what this crumpled-up piece of paper in my pocket is.