Clean up on aisle four

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Htmx99

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi. What does "clean-up on aisle four"?
In a SF story, the crew need to scan themselves before entering the ship.

The boss said "All right, get out here and tag in."
The team leader said to other crew members "Come on, you heard the man.
Come scan yourselves like good little groceries."
Then one of the members said "Clean-up on aisle four" and scanned himself.

Is he saying a sexual joke? Any ideas would be great help.
Thanks!
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Come scan yourselves like good little groceries."
    Groceries are sold in supermarkets. Supermarkets display their goods in aisles. Groceries' bar codes are scanned at the checkout for pricing and scanned in the aisles for stock checks. His comment
    "Clean-up on aisle four" is nothing more than a joking reference to being scanned like a supermarket grocety item.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    The "groceries" comment refers to a grocery store. When a customer drops and beaks a bottle of Coke or salad dressing or something, someone on the store's public address system will say "Clean up on aisle 4" to get an employee over to aisle 4 to clean up the mess. It's a well-known expression that would be understood by most people.

    Added: Slight difference of simultaneous opinions. :eek: I will modestly suggest that I'm correct. :D
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I shall modestly agree with Andygc's opinion. I suggest that the the crew member was referring to being scanned - presumably this was a regular occurrence for them - and the phrase about cleanup was part of a running joke that involved all or any reference to what goes on in supermarkets..

    In fact Copyright's and Andygc's answers are not incompatible.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think "scanning" and "clean up" are two separate things – their only connection is that they are related to a grocery store. I grew up with "Clean up on aisle (number)" long before barcodes were even thought of.

    Two jokes for one venue is my opinion.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The "groceries" comment refers to a grocery store. When a customer drops and beaks a bottle of Coke or salad dressing or something, someone on the store's public address system will say "Clean up on aisle 4" to get an employee over to aisle 4 to clean up the mess. It's a well-known expression that would be understood by most people.
    :thumbsup: At least most people on this side of the pond. :)

    We've previously cleaned up this expression, using a different aisle. :rolleyes:

    Clean up (on) aisle 13
     

    Htmx99

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Wow. Thank you everybody. It seems that I was thinking too much.
    What I thought it might be a sexual joke was embarrassing. :(
    Thank you again!
     

    Htmx99

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thanks Parla. I love this forum already. I learn a lot.
    Everyone is kind enough to give me very useful comments.
    Cheers.
     
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