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The supermarket ritual

First off, it's gradually warming back up again. Thank the gods, I was not an am not still ready for winter yet or even Fall for that matter though I do enjoy all the colors the trees are putting on. The corn and soybeans are being harvested all over and soon the prairie will look like the prairie again. Flat and monochromatic until the spring. Not may favorite of all seasons but nothing I can do about it. I just pray it stays relatively warm for longerthan it did last year.

Anyway, I went to the supermarket last night. Deb and I had planned to go together and buy enough food for lunches and what not for the next couple of weeks. But I got home just after dark from work and she was already curled up on the couch with Peeker the big fat cat. I could tell she wasn't going anywhere. So I told her to decide on diner and I'd go up and buy it. She decided on roast chicken and twice baked potatoes and then informed me I was cooking and doing the dishes. I guess the fritata and the homemade spagetti she cooked last week are going to be it for awhile. Oh well, at least it gave me a short break.

So back outside I go. I think it actually warmed up a bit after the sun went down. Caught my neighbor the DJ on the radio as I drove. I had seen him at noon and reqested he play some good 80's hair band music for me. Just as I turned on the radio he says, "And this one is for my neighbor" and he plays Twisted Sister's, I Wanna Rock. I was headbanging all the way to the store. All Four blocks.

Got inside the store and proceeded to join the Unaccompanied Male Supermarket Ritual. To begin with, when you are not with your SO, under no circumstance can you grab a cart or a basket. All shopping items must be carried in the hands or somewhere on the person. Pockets do count as long as you remember to take the item out of the pocket when you check out. Only sensitive guys with names like Ethan, Evan or Ben grab a shopping cart.

So last night, there were five of us in the store at once. I headed for Produce and grabbed a 10 lb sack of Idaho Russets. I was passed quickly buy a guy with a gallon of milk under each arm and heading for the eggs section. Neat trick if you can manage it. Armed with my potatoes, I passed a guy gazing into the lasagne and pizza freezer wondering how many he could carry. I hit the meat section and grabbed a whole chicken and put it in the same hand as the potatoes. I still had a free hand and lots of shoulder space left. I saw the 2 gallons of milk guy again. He had a carton of 18 Jumbo Eggs. He was holding them gingerly under one arm with a jug of milk in each hand...brave man. I took a short cut through the Coffee aisle and snagged a box of Decaffeinated Earl Grey tea and held it in my free hand. Suddenly, there he was, the pizza guy. He was holding six frozen pizzas in both hands and balancing a cantaloupe on top. Not too difficult as long as you maintain a flat surface but it slows you down.

I knew I needed toilet paper but it wasn't time for that yet. It would upset the system. So I headed over to drink mixes and snagged a canister of Koolaid Wildberry Tea and balanced it on top of the Earl Grey box. Now I had both hands full but I was determined to get more. A gallon of distilled water was next. Can't make good tea with tap water. So now I had to do some rearanging. Still holding the potatoes and whole chicken in my left hand, I raised my arm up to cradle the Earl Grey and the Koolaid and held the water in my right hand. Now I had space under my right arm and my shoulders and pockets were still free. I put two packs of Marlboro lights in the pockets and managed a half gallon of butter brickle ice cream under the right arm. I grabbed a four pack of Charmin with my teeth and got it under my chin and balanced on the top of the Koolaid. Now I was ready to check out.

But here is where the real game begins. All the others had their stuff as well so we began the deadly part of the ritual. There is only one check out line that late and everyone wants to be the first one to get in line. Woe to the one who is last for they have to stand there with all their stuff in an intricate balancing act waiting for the others to check out. It sometimes turns into the makings of a Wrestling Battle Royal with alliances being formed to keep people from getting in line and guys bribing others with promises of holding some of their items. But last night there was none of that. We simply circled the store waiting for someone to make a mistake and allow enough room for one to make a dash to the register line. I tried to make a break for it and the pizza guy cut me off which almost left enough room for the eggs guy to make it but a guy carrying 14 sacks of bagels cut him off. That left a guy carrying three big bags of ice but he was too far away to do anything about it so we circled some more.

The first guy in line has to make it in clean without touching another guy or a foul is called and both of those guys have to go to the back of the store. So there we were circling again. Five more minutes and the store would be closing but we didn't let that bother us. Then we heard the terrible sound. The sound that could possibly spell doom for us all. It was the sound of a shopping cart moving from the frozen food section toward the check out line. In our minds we all saw the same picture. Some blue haired old lady with 50 cans of cat food in her basket who would take time to take out each one individually and make the rest of us stand there straining to hold up our loads and risk the comment from the check-out girl "So why didn't you get a basket?"

You could see the terror on all out faces so we all made a mad dash to the checkout counter, forgetting the rules and banging into each other in the process. I think the egg guy may have even broken a few. My toilet paper wobbled but never went down. I was first to get there.

TOO LATE.

To our horror, the driver of the shopping cart had beat us all there. But it wasn't the old cat food lady as we suspected. Oh no, this was far worse. This was another guy. He had already started to put his stuff on the counter so there was no stopping him now. His cart was filled with bean sprouts and sparkling water, Romain lettuce and honeydew melons, Pepperidge Farms Mint Milano cookies and smoked turkey breast luncheon meat. The five of us stood there sweaty and bedraggled from our conflict and just stared at this traitor. We gave each other knowing looks and I tapped the guy on the shoulder and said, "Don't I know you from somewhere? What's your name man?" He looked a little confused and sheepish and answered, "Benjamin."

"Oh, sorry!" I said, "I was thinking you were someone else." He turned back to putting his stuff on the counter and I tossed a glance back at my ritual comrades and we all rolled our eyes. So we stood there waiting our turn with no clear winner of the game. We'd been thwarted by a sensitive guy. Beeter luck next time I guess.

Peace,

Wander

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
ryl
Oct. 9th, 2001 01:00 pm (UTC)
I do that. Not get a basket when I'm shopping by myself, that is. I always forget when I go to the grocery store which causes me to lose items occasionally. But it's fun seeing what kind of towers you can build with the boxes in your hands.
wander
Oct. 9th, 2001 01:34 pm (UTC)
Re:
Yeah it's just those things like bags of grated cheese or bread that throw you off. They don't stack well at all.

Wander

ryl
Oct. 9th, 2001 02:03 pm (UTC)
Lousy bags...boxes for everyone!
wander
Oct. 9th, 2001 02:26 pm (UTC)
Re:
I've seen boxes of cheese. I'd love to see boxes of bread. Let the old ladies try to pinch those for freshness.

Wander

namaste21
Oct. 9th, 2001 01:59 pm (UTC)
*LMAO*

next time I'm bored, I'm headed to the grocery to check this out...
wander
Oct. 9th, 2001 02:01 pm (UTC)
Re:
Yep, check it out and report back on your findings.

Wander

cuddles
Oct. 9th, 2001 02:29 pm (UTC)
Hey!
How did you know I always grab a cart? I like to pretend I'm driving a stoc car around in the supermarket......

Stupid Wander with his clairvoyance.

Later

Cuddles
wander
Oct. 9th, 2001 02:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Hey!
That makes us even for certain comments made in Freeminds a couple weeks ago. I wondered how long it would take for you to pick up on that one.

Love ya man,

Wander

cuddles
Oct. 9th, 2001 03:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Hey!
Damn and I thought I had gotten away scot free on that one to.

Peace

Cuddles
wander
Oct. 9th, 2001 03:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Hey!
Only because I didn't have enough time to read everything until yesterday. I might be slow but I usually catch up.

Wander

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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wander
Wander aka StoneBear
Bear Dancer Studios

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