have a nice day

it was a perfectly normal day
and I walked into the supermarket
for a bunch of bananas
ten cents a pound.
I had arisen at 1 p.m.
put on my sandals
yellow walking shorts
white sweatshirt.
I felt peacefully blank
the sun was out and there wasn’t
too much smog.
I got the bunch of bananas
and carried them to the check-out
counter.
I stood in line and waited
and looked at the check-out
girl.
she too seemed blank
but not peacefully so
it were as if she were working
out of a dark hole
and I felt waves coming from her
I felt waves of stupidity wafting
from her being.
she was young with strings of yellow
hair in her eyes
she bent slightly
breathing from her mouth–
but it was mostly the waves, the
waves.
she weighed the bananas
and bagged them
first ringing up the sale.
I reached out and disengaged the
sales slip by ripping it across
the jagged area which cut the slip.
the girl looked at me:
“sir, can’t you read that sign?”
“what sign?”
“that sign there!”
she pointed.   it said:
‘CUSTOMERS:   PLEASE DO NOT RIP OUT SALES
SLIP’.
“why do they ask that?” I inquired.
“ask what?”
“‘Please do not rip out sales slip’.”
“sir, that’s so the customers will not jam up the
machine.”
“oh,” I said.
then I reached down and pulled the zipper of my
walking shorts down.   I counted to five, then zipped
back up.
try to spoil my day, that bitch!
I walked up to the automatic door.
the sign on it said:
“THANKS FOR COMING…”
the door slid open and I walked
out.   then I stood there, opened my bag,
got out a banana and stood there and ate
the banana.

god damn it all, humanity was getting to be
less and less and less….
then I remembered:   I had not paid for the
bananas.
I walked on down to the corner
put 15 cents in the rack and pulled out the
Herald-Examiner.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1978
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: