My Karen experience at Food Basics

Special to the Voice

We have all heard of “Karens,” the entitled females who demand that managers be called and service staff be reprimanded, and who threaten never to patronize an establishment again if their petty concerns aren’t addressed and they aren’t 110 percent apologized to. But here’s a question: What do we call the male equivalent?

Google offers three main candidates: “Ken,” “Chad,” and “Terry.”

I’m going to go with Terry, since the last time anyone named a male baby Terry was around 1950, and this numskull was at least 70.

I encountered this Terry in a checkout line at Fonthill Food Basics, where he was dressed like Elmer Fudd and wearing a very loose face mask. Terry’s face mask did not cover his nose. So we already know Terry is not the brightest bulb.

Terry is buying three items. From a distance (I am second in line behind him) I can’t see what the first one is, but the second and third are six-packs of bottled cola. The cashier has rung them up at what Terry considers the wrong price. Soon it becomes clear that he thinks it should be two six-packs for five dollars, while the cashier politely tells him that it is actually two six-packs for seven dollars.

“All our fizzy drinks are two for seven dollars this week,” she says.

Terry is not happy. His voice rises.

“The sign on the shelf says five dollars,” he repeats over and over.

“That must be for something else,” the cashier replies calmly.

A long discussion starts.

The elderly couple behind me (she is using a cane) sighs. The man waiting between me and Terry sighs. Another minute of Terry talking drags on.

Finally the cashier asks another employee to go check the sign on the shelf. Terry looks at the man in front of me, who is apparently giving Terry some stink eye.

“Sorry, buddy, but it is what it is,” says Terry.

“I was just about to say the same thing,” says the man, which confuses Terry for a second.

“Well, I mean, I wasn’t apologizing,” says Terry. “They have to make it right.”

Dear reader, have you guessed what’s coming? Indignant Terry, upset that he has to pay an extra two dollars to continue poisoning himself with carbonated sugar water, is about to be disappointed. (The expense to the Ontario public of treating his eventual self-induced diabetes, I admit, crosses my mind. A lot more than two dollars.)

The other employee returns. The sign says seven dollars. Terry sputters. He waves his hand.

“Then just—” he starts.

“Take it off?” the cashier asks.

“Yes, take them away,” says Terry, who goes to the end of the belt to bag whatever else he’s bought, then leaves.

“The fact that the sign said seven dollars made my day,” said the man in front of me to the cashier.

“I’m usually right on the sale prices,” she replied.

Here’s what I’m taking away. The Terrys of this world are as common than the Karens, but it’s always the Karens who get the worse reputation. In the spirit of Christmas, I humbly ask you Terrys and Karens out there to stuff a stocking in your entitlement and get over yourselves.



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