Unusually Historically-informed Cashier Rings Last Sale

Posted on January 21, 2008 by Steve

RESTON, VIRGINIA -- Dennis, a cashier capable of making historical small talk over small dollar amounts, has left his position at Safeway of Hunter's Woods Plaza, according to well-placed sources. Dennis earned his remarkable reputation after ringing up a customer for $10.66 and remarking that it was "a bad year for England." On another occasion he observed that there was "not much happening" during the seventh century after a late-night sale of breadcrumbs and sundries came to $6.53.

Customers recall that Dennis was a source of information beyond the merely historical. When checkout line conversation turned to tortoises, he recalled a living tortoise of Steve Irwin's named Darwin which had been collected by the naturalist in the 1830s. He was also observed to be conversant in matters of produce prices, coupons, and membership card applications.

Dennis left his job at Safeway sometime "before Christmas," as explained by another evening cashier, between shouts of "write corporate" to impatient customers upset about the small number of lanes open.
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Posted by beowulf | January 24, 2008 | 10:11:07

This sounds like something from The Onion, but their search feature is disabled at the moment. Google searches for Dennis Safeway cashier don't turn up much of anything either.

Posted by Steve | January 24, 2008 | 13:16:51

I am flattered at the comparison to America's Finest News Source. This story, however, is completely true.

Posted by beowulf | February 11, 2008 | 23:41:08

"write corporate", indeed. i will have to save that one.

This story is just too bizarre. How did you come to know about Dennis?

Posted by Steve | April 16, 2008 | 10:51:54

I had the good fortune to be the customer whose bill totaled $10.66. When Dennis made his quip about England, I casually mentioned the Battle of Hastings to make it clear that I got the reference. But out in the parking lot, it didn't click. As everyone knows, William the Conqueror prevailed in 1066, so how could it be a bad year for England?

Of course, Dennis was right. Guillaume le Conquérant, Duke of Normandy, beat Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king, near Hastings.

Posted by Darian | December 29, 2010 | 13:52:20

One of my corporate passwords was in fact "Hastings1066-->," the "-->" denoting a spear. I find historical events a rich source of passwords, particualrly so since so few Americans bother with history.

Dennis reminds me of "A FIne Madness," a novel about a transit cop in the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel who would pivot from his perch and point -- to ostensibly speed cars along, but he had a system. Each make of car denoted a different pitch: Japanese for a ball, American for a strike, European for a foul, and so on. He would pitch whole World Series during his 8-hour stints in the smoggy tunnel.

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