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And the people walk out of the grocery store

Carrying tons of food away in plastic bags every day,

While bean counters pronounce this as a good thing.

But the people say, loading bags into the back of

The minivan, trying to keep the milk jug from tipping over,

“Well, we have to eat, don’t we? I hate the bean counters,

Because I haven’t noticed them offering to pay for the milk,

Or even to load the bags in the minivan. But we have to eat.”

There used to be highschool boys and girls who would help, but the bean counters

Decided we wouldn’t care if they cut them out, and they needed the profit.

Then they decided we could load our own carts, so they could

Have more beans to count. And jobs for high-school kids went away.

Then they figured they’d save even more beans

By making us check out our own groceries, with machines

That never really work all that well.

 

But the joke’s on them, as they’re finding out too late

That the machines make it easy to slip extra stuff in the bag,

Skipping the scanner, in those bags we pack ourselves and load ourselves–

Since we can count beans, too. And there’s no kid to tell a joke to any more,

Or ask how the football team will do this year.

And so we wonder, making sure the milk doesn’t tip,

What has happened to those kids who aren’t learning

How to work and be useful and to have some spending money?

Who won’t realize that adults care what they’re up to?

But the bean counters can’t be bothered with such unimportant questions.

 

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