Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm looking for a safe way to shop

We talked the other day about how busboys (and it's always a busBOY - why do restaurants not have women doing this? I'm sure they would be too smart to) keep taking plates away from diners who aren't finished their meals.  Our conclusion seemed to be that we should blame the whole thing on some sort of national plate shortage.

And then something else came to mind, and it must be attributed to a shortage of time.  I'm going to ask a question here:

What's the big rush in the grocery store?  Why, when I am trying to load my groceries on the belt and get everything packed and carted and ready to take on home, do people keep shoving their carts into my achin' anklebones?  Here's the deal...I'll be putting ginger ale, fig newtons or burrito wraps on the belt and then wham! Earl and Marge, next in line, shove their cart up to me. Excuse me, but neither one says, "excuse me."  And then - since as a veteran A&P register operator/ bagger I know enough to put the stop that goes on top of the bags at the end of the line - Earl starts wedging his bottled prune juice, flank steak and Metamucil right up against my light bulbs, hippie bread and eggs.  Do they even think about using one of those plastic logs as a divider?  They do not.

It just so happens that I love shopping for, cooking, and consuming groceries.  As a young man, I looked forward to a trip to the A&P on Joppa Rd, which closed down years ago and became the home of a Dodge dealership, but then times got hard and people couldn't afford new American cars, so the Dodge people left and now it's about to become a BMW agency.  But when it was an A&P, my mom would take me there, and then and there I began my lifelong love affair with aisles crammed with Realemon, Snap-E-Tom, Bisquick, Reddi Wip, TastyKakes and Ugli Fruit.

It does not go unnoticed that grocery manufacturers do not hold to my devotion to good spelling.  But I love to peruse the aisles of a good supermarket.  It's not until I go to check out that the assault begins.
It's often my luck to be behind a veteran shopper who wants to break the cashier's cashews over the current price of food, how many items to place in a bag (paper inside plastic of course), and why he or she won't accept this 7¢ coupon on Parkay margarine clipped from the December 5, 1972 issue of LIFE magazine.  While I wait, hoping to avoid seeing my loaf get smashed, Marge and Earl are noodging their cart ever closer to my ankles, and I can only wonder why?  Daring to take my eyes away from my lower appendages for a quick look at my watch, I see that it's 2:43 on a Saturday afternoon.  So what's the rush?

If I find out why everyone is suddenly in a hurry to get out of the BagUrSelf every Saturday afternoon, I might join the rush.  Until then, I'll be in aisle 10, wearing ankle braces.


AW said...

You are SO funny and wonderful...

Mark said...

Thank you, AW! What a kind thing to say!