What Would You Have Done?

06.24.13

A Textbook "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Moment

So I was in the Target last night with Margot (my daughter, just shy of three). It being an off time, 7:30-ish on a Sunday night, only a few of those multiple check-out lanes were open. I looked furtively around, as one does, and noticed that Lane 8 had only a couple of people, so I headed that way.

As I did I noticed a woman in front of me. She had no shopping cart and was carrying nothing. As she took her place in line in front of me, she turned around and said to me, in a pretty aggressive tone of voice: “Excuse me.” She pointed behind me. Here came her husband, pushing the buggy. The very full buggy.

What to do? In my view, this was ethically dubious on her part, and extremely so. You can’t do that to someone. Her merchandise was behind me. Had I been in her shoes, with my spouse trailing behind her with our merch, I have no doubt I would have waved her through. I was pretty shocked at her. But in the event I just let it go, because I didn’t want to create a ruckus in front of the kid, and because (this was the main thing, truth be told), I couldn’t quite (in the two or three seconds I had) figure out a way to object with enough moral clarity that she and her spouse would be properly chastised.

And that’s what made this such a great “Curb Your Enthusiasm” moment. As is the case in the funniest CYE situations, Larry David (i.e., my good self, in this instance) is actually in the right, but he’s such an asshole about it that he fritters away the moral advantage. I worried that that would be my fate. Larry D., if you somehow happen to be reading this, and you ever make a new season, this would make for a great episode, I humbly submit. Key point: Their cart is bulging full, while yours has just a few items. I envision that famous use of the camera as your eyes, three successive tighter-and-tighter shots of their cart as the realization hits that they're going to cost you 25 minutes.