Playing for time


French supermarkets are very much like what we in the United States would think of as “American-style” supermarkets. However, customers in France are expected to bag their own groceries as the cashier scans them. There usually is a formless pile of plastic bags strewn about— the infuriatingly clingy type we’ve been discussing—and you are expected to open the plastic bags, pick up your groceries as they whiz down on you, stuff them in the bags and then be ready to pay, so you won’t hold up a dozen tired and testy Parisians in line behind you, ready to get home for supper. You want to talk about pressure? Sometimes, finger-licking is the only recourse.