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Consumer Alert: Watch Out For Falling Watermelon!

Security devices at Safeway stop thieves in their tracks, especially watermelon thieves.

It’s true. I once upset a watermelon so much he rolled right off the weight machine at Safeway and bounced off the floor, committing messy watermelon suicide.

I shop around San Ramon more often than my husband would like to know, especially Target, Safeway, Luckys, Costco, Petco etc. Each of these fine shopping establishments that receive portions of our salary weekly, all have different check out machines and security measures so you won’t leave the store without paying the bill, or try and steal, say, a watermelon.

The day of the infamous watermelon murder, I walked the aisles of Safeway, picking up things for dinner, like fresh bread and pasta for dinner. Last on my list was a green salad, so I headed to the produce aisle and noted the price of the seedless watermelons were really low.

I thumped and tapped and made a good show of picking out the perfect, juiciest watermelon. I gently set him in the child seat in the front of the cart and proceeded to the check out.

I love the self check scanners so I scanned and placed those yummy looking dinner ingredients in my reusable bags. Then I picked up the watermelon and turned to place him on the scale and this is where the story goes horribly wrong and does not end well for the poor melon.

This watermelon was NOT leaving the store; he slipped, end over end and to my horror, splattered and smashed his red innards all over me, the machine, and the shoes of the customer behind me.

Can you say, "Clean up on aisle . . ." What aisle is that? Clean up at the register, some fool just murdered a melon?

The very nice clerk was right there with a mop and the poor, dead, suicidal watermelon was carefully cleansed from the surfaces and the clerk said to pick another one out. My receipt was good enough to just leave after that.

So, I wheeled the cart around and headed back to the melon aisle. This time I picked up one I remembered from before, not even whispering what happened to his brother melon. I firmly wedged him into the child seat and headed for the exit, quickly, since I was covered in red, juicy melon guts.

That's when chaos broke out and I realized that the wheels of these special, shop lift proof carts can only be unlocked once you pass through a register lane. In the self check aisle, that would be the main register where they can help you, if say, you decide to toss a melon on the ground (I swear he jumped).

The cart wheels locked up, a real thief would have run, it was so loud! There is no way that cart is leaving the store without going through checkout. Flashing red lights over both of the automated doors started swirling and an annoyed, accusing voice clearly stated, over the store speakers, I needed to return to the nearest register to complete my purchase, you watermelon-napper!

Luckily the staff at Safeway are incredibly nice and when I explained that I was just replacing a suicidal watermelon, my cart was kindly unlocked and I was free to go.

When I got home I decided to not wait for dinner to sample some fresh watermelon. I dug into that juicy watermelon with a sharp knife and a spoon. I was taking no chances there would be another melon suicide on MY watch. He was just as delicious as his brother would have been.

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Alyssa Jenkins May 22, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Oh, Elaine...only you would refer to a watermelon with a third-person-masculine pronoun! I love your writing. :)
Janice P Ellis May 25, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I love funny watermelon stories, and yours certainly brought a smile to my morning, Elaine. I, too, love how you referred to the watermelon you caused to have an early demise as "he". lol!! You'd be surprised what a source of stress those innocent looking watermelons can be for many of us "black folks". Some years ago, I had a black manager who absolutely loved watermelon, but, refused to buy them himself. He worried that he would be judged by other shoppers as the stereotypical watermelon-loving black person, which I found hilarious. Who CARES who's buying a watermelon? All we're concerned about when we grocery shop is what's for dinner and how long will it take to get it on the table! Great story! From now on, I'll think of you as I perform my ritualistic watermelon "thump test". (For those of you who don't understand the thump test, you thump the watermelon with your knuckle; the deeper the tone, the yummier the melon will be.) Step two, (if applicable) is make sure to check to see if other shoppers are watching and stereotyping! : )
Elaine Hagebush May 26, 2012 at 06:07 PM
He was definitely a he . . . LOL!
Elaine Hagebush May 26, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Okay, I would never note what another person had in their basket, much less if the person was of any heritage so tell your boss to buy his watermelon in peace. They are just too good to not eat! As long as you can get it home without him jumping off of the scale. LOL

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