Shop At Your Own Risk

I recently had an opportunity to do some grocery shopping. It’s not really an opportunity. It’s more of an adventure. Or maybe a nightmare. I really don’t know where anything is in our grocery store, so it takes me forever to shop. The store’s about the size of an airplane hangar, and based on the people I encountered, most are on some type of amphetamine or other drugs that render them crazed and allows them to move at great speed. Oh, and almost all of them are women. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just what I observed.

When I shop, which isn’t often, no matter how hard I try to select a functional cart, I always end up with one that has some type of wobbling wheels. I tested several before starting the expedition and found one that worked well. It worked until I added my first item, which was a loaf of cinnamon bread. Once there was something in the cart, the front right wheel started bouncing around like a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. By the time I got to the hamburger buns, we needed eight but they only came in packages of 12, my arms were going numb from the cart pounding I was taking. It wasn’t until later I learned the carts stop bouncing if there are two children or 70 pounds of groceries in them. Until the weight limit is reached, they pummel you.

I like fruit and yogurt for breakfast so I was looking for some fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. The store sells large boxes of fruit. Since kids won’t eat the stuff, and adults only eat it on weekends when they actually have a little time to eat breakfast, the 40-pound container of strawberries is a little much. And all the packages I looked at had fur growing inside them, rendering most of the fruit more suitable for some type of penicillin product than for eating. But I took one and put it into the cart. A quick aside. By the time I checked out the strawberries looked like they had been through a blender. Another benefit of bouncing carts.

Each morning I use my espresso machine and make myself a latte. I usually add flavored syrup and for some of the drinks, I put a little Nutella on the rim of the cup. Coffee and chocolate taste great together. I probably did three trips through the store before I found someone who knew where the Nutella was. She told me it was near the peanut butter. Not sure why I thought it would be with the chocolate syrup but it was by the peanut butter. It really didn’t matter because I couldn’t find the chocolate syrup either. Was it by the ice cream? Nope. The Nutella? Nope. The pizza? Yup. Of course. Where else would you find chocolate syrup but by the pizza?

While I’m thinking about it, are there no rules about which side of an aisle to push your cart? Most of the people I encountered left their cart in the middle of the aisle, making it impossible to pass on either side, or they drove wherever they wanted. Make sure not to be standing in their way when they come through. Those little kids that ride in the carts? Why do they scream the entire time they are in the store? By the time I finished my shopping, I completely understood why they were screaming. I wanted to scream too.

I also want to complain about the person who had a calculator and was doing some kind of calculus problem to decide the best deal on peaches. One brand of peaches was two cans for $.99, and another, three for $1.00. I didn’t think it was hard to figure out which was the best deal. Fortunately, her husband intervened. He took the two cans. He didn’t have a calculator. When they weren’t looking I swapped them for the three can deal. And I took their box of Wheaties because I couldn’t find my own box on the shelves. Then the cart war started.

A nice lady with two small children in her cart ran into the back of my leg. Evidently I didn’t move fast enough so she did it again. When I was finally able to get out of the way she bumped my cart over so she could get past. Trust me, three wide in my grocery store doesn’t work. My cart smashed into the ketchup bottles and knocked several off the shelf. With her safely past me, I bent down to pick up the ketchup and someone else bounced their cart off my head as they raced past. Seriously, I wanted to crush both of them but my cart technique isn’t nearly as good as theirs. I simply couldn’t catch them.

I finally caught the lady with the two kids, at the checkout line. She was standing at the front of her cart putting groceries on the conveyor belt. While she was unloading, I gave each kid a candy bar and a package of bubble gum. That shut the little demon possessed crying monsters up. They got the gum open pretty fast. The candy bars took longer. I saw mom turning to look at them so I casually turned my back on her, pretending to have no interest in what was about the happen. She lunged for the candy, grabbed it and actually put it back on the shelf. Then she moved back to the front of her cart and finished unloading. I can be very helpful when I want to be so I grabbed a handful of candy bars and put them into the cart seat with the littlest child. Then I took the divider thing, the one you put between your groceries and theirs and put it on the belt. Innocent me.

As I started unloading my cart, the checkout girl, the one with all the tattoos and a razor blade necklace, asked the lady if the kids wanted the half eaten bars they were munching on. She glared at me and I just smiled back at her. “Kids are funny,” I said. Two dollars later for candy, she left the store. As I got to the parking lot I suddenly started worrying she might run me over. She didn’t. When I got home I realized that in my haste to get in line behind this fine woman, I’d forgotten half of what I went for. Oh well. It was worth it. That was last Friday. Saturday night, I saw her in church…Praise The Lord!

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