20 Items or Less: An IQ Test

Good people of Los Angeles, the next time you’re headed to the checkout lane at Von’s I’d ask you to bear in mind that the sign over the Express Line that says “20 Items or Less” is an explicit direction, not a suggestion. “20 items” does not mean a rough estimate of 20 items. “20 Items” is not 22 or 24 or 28 items. “20 Items” is already pushing the limits of “Express,” so do us a favor and don’t ruin it for those of us that really only need to buy a couple of things. And don’t cheat on your count. You can only count items of the same type as one item if you’re reasonable about it. Obviously, a bag of tomatoes is one item. If the checker can ring in one of your items and then input the quantity on the keyboard, maybe that’s okay. But if your 20 yogurts and 20 2-liter bottles of soda and 20 boxes of diapers have to be rung up separately then it’s 60 items, not 3. Or if your stuff takes up an entire cart or an entire checkout counter belt, it’s not 20 items.

As a corollary, I would like to point out to the management of the Echo Park Von’s on Alvarado that if the only lane you have open is an Express Lane it sort of defeats the point.

3 Replies to “20 Items or Less: An IQ Test”

  1. I’m with you. If I could figure out a way to relate it to LA, I’d love to do a post about my own grammar peeves. The next time I hear somebody describe something as “addicting,” I’m just going to punch them in the face. Like Homer and the guy that invented annoying radio advertisements.

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