tips for modern living

1. Grocery store checkout line
Do you know how the checkout line conveyor belt (CLCB) at a grocery store works? Probably, but let me explain. You place your items on the CLCB and they move forward, inexplicably. When they arrive at the cashier's bar code scanner the belt magically stops. This happens because there is a motion sensor at the end of the CLCB, right by the cashier, which kills the CLCB motor when an item reaches the lip of the CLCB. Were it not for this sensor, groceries would march forward (like lemmings) onto the scanner and then probably onto the floor (like quarters in those rip-off carnival arcade machines). Our lives have been dramatically improved by this development in modern supermarkets. However, there are drawbacks. The power of inertia lies among them.

When you have a single bottle of a carbonated beverage (e.g., soda) on the conveyor belt, make sure it is not standing alone. Imagine this scenario -- you place a bottle of delicious Coca-Cola on the CLCB. It moves forward, gracefully, until it triggers the sensor. When the motor is killed the bottle tips over towards the cashier and causes unwanted carbonation and fizzing. This is only a problem for lightweight bottles such as single sodas. Items like forties, champagne bottles, and wine don't usually tip over -- but they might, so be careful.

Tip: When purchasing one or two carbonated beverage(s) lacking the mass to not fall over when the CLCB stops (e.g., a 20-ounce Coke), carry it/them to the cashier yourself. If you are purchasing three or more, line them up parallel with the direction of the CLCB; their collective mass should prevent any falling over. (Though the bottle up front may take one for the team.)
Tip: When purchasing one or two bottle(s) among other groceries, place the bottle(s) directly behind heavier items to prevent it/them from falling forward.
Tip: Always place cereal boxes parallel with the CLCB. Always. These, too, will fall over if placed perpindicular with the CLCB.

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