We have a problem, Maine. In fact, it's what you might call a "growing epidemic". It's an issue that needs to be recognized and addressed before it's too late.

I first recognized the issue the other day while shopping at my local grocery store. The store is the perfect size for my liking, and the customer service is outstanding, especially through the pandemic.

Having said all of that, they did allow one of the most egregious acts I have ever laid my eyes on. Something so disgusting, I'm not sure I ever want to shop for food again...anywhere.

I just had to grab a few items, so the plan of action was to hit the self-can kiosk and sneak out of there in record time.

We are fortunate to have a have a sweet four station self-scan kiosk at the store. The bonus is they are card only, so no waiting for the weirdos who still use cash (and don't even get me started on folks who still use checks...).

So, I roll into the store, grab my items in just minutes, even have time to say hi to the lobsters, before heading up to the self-scan.

I'm heading up the aisle, about to turn the corner, when I see what appears to be a line at the self-scan. It's been since mid-pandemic since seeing a line. While it was perplexing, I still assumed it would go quickly. It's self-scan. It's the line you use when you only have a few items to check out. Right?

Apparently not, because the self-scan line looked like the Seventh Circle of Hell.

All four stations were being used by people with at least 20 items. Two of them had full carts. Not full baskets. Absolutely full carts. Quite honestly, it's was of the most demoralizing things I have ever seen.

I have been down on society before, but this nearly made me faint. To add insult to injury, the next person in line, yep, you guessed it, full cart.

I would have some level of understanding if the store was busy, or there weren't enough cashier lines open. However, that was not the case. The store was adequately prepared for the Sunday rush.

These people actively chose to use the self-scan lane with their full carts. It dumbfounded me to the point where I didn't even have the ability to switch to a faster lane. No, I just stood there, mouth agape, observing one of the most egregious acts human kind could ever witness.

I almost called the police, but thought that might be overreacting.

I can't quite understand why grocery stores don't have a written limit for the self-scan kiosk. The entire point is to get in and out, with as little human contact as possible. Clearly, the unwritten rules of the grocery store are not good enough for people to respect.

Much like airports and public restrooms, we need a civilized society in our grocery stores. We can't allow for the chaos to consume us all. And this is a total-team effort. Please think of your fellow men, women, and children. Do not clog the self-scan line with groceries. Be an adult and go get in the "big boy" line.

Thank you for your cooperation.

25 Unique Stores for Maine Foodies

From The County to Southern Maine to the Eastern most points, you will find a great variety of unique foods from Maine small businesses. Here are 25 such small businesses bringing their own flavor to the Maine foodie scene.

The General Stores Of Downeast Maine

These are the long-time general stores that are spread throughout downeast Maine. The stores that your grandparents picked up milk, beer, and that night's dinner at. For years they had been filled with things like fly paper, clothes, beef jerky, and that morning's newspaper. Now, you stop by for that slice of breakfast pizza, a tasty fried chicken sandwich for lunch, gas,and a handful of lottery tickets.

They're an important part of Maine's heritage, and their numbers are starting to dwindle. But we still frequent them to pick up the day's necessities and to keep up on town gossip.

They may not be owned by the original owners, and they may not look the same as they did years and years ago. But that same hometown feeling is there, the minute you set foot on their wooden floors. More than likely the same wooden floors that your grandparents set foot on.

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