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Grocery Shopping. What a Chore (Classic Repost)

4 Jul

July 5, 2012

This the day after the Fourth of July. Assuming that you have not blown a few fingers off, enjoy this true tale of the shopping game.

From April 19, 2011

Who doesn’t love grocery shopping? The excitement of the weekly sales, the delicious aroma of the deli department, the raw sexual thrill of squeezing the ripe melons, the firm, ripe melons, big, juicy melons… give me a second here.

Where was I? Oh, sorry, grocery shopping. Lost myself for a minute there.

Grocery shopping is a chore, pretty much by definition. And chores are not particularly fun. We wouldn’t call them “chores” if they were. Chopping wood is a chore. Lugging your mother-in-law to her book club (or pretty much anywhere- hey, it’s the mother-in-law) is a chore. Going to the strip club is not a chore. See what I mean? And damn if I’m not back to melons again.

Anyway, like most Americans I go grocery shopping once a week. Oh sure, some people go once a month and stock up at some big box joint where you can get mayonnaise in 50-gallon drums. Who needs that much mayonnaise? Unless you own a restaurant I really don’t want to know. And yes, I specifically mean Americans. I’m sorry Canadians, I have nothing against you but a lot of you speak French and that just won’t do. North America is an English-speaking continent, that is if you ignore large parts of  The United States in general and about 2/3 of New York City in particular.

But enough of that. This blog is about grocery shopping and dammit, I’m going to get to the point if it kills me.

Yeah, well see.

I was at Waldbaum’s last week. I’m usually a Shop Rite kind of guy but Waldbaum’s was within walking distance so there I was. Like many a grocery store, this one has the fruit and vegetables section right up front. Oh, sorry, I mean “produce section,” as in “the fruit and vegetable section had trouble “producing” an edible orange. They were all old and wrinkly, like your grandmother but not as kindly. So no oranges this week.

This store very conveniently has the meat department running parallel to the produce, because nothing goes with a pound of bananas like a roast beef. I picked up some steak and naturally wanted some potatoes for an all-American meal. (Again, sorry Canadians.) This is where I encountered a phenomena I have only found a Waldbaum’s.

You can buy potatoes in five-pound bags or if you are like me and are not afraid of another potato famine you can get some loose ones and only buy two or three. And herein lies the rub. The loose potatoes are ready for baking, meaning they are already wrapped in tin foil. How hard is it to wrap your own potato anyway? I don’t like buying potatoes sight unseen. A potato should not be a mystery.

I left them behind because who knows what was under the foil- black spots, potato bugs, maybe not even a potato at all or worse- a potato with an eye. A blinking eye. I didn’t want to deal with that so I decided to get some sweet potatoes or, failing that some yams, their near-identical Patty Duke Show-like cousins.

But where were they? Logic says that they should be right next to the baking potatoes. However, anyone who has ever scanned their receipt knows that grocery stores have nothing to do with logic. I couldn’t find them anywhere. OK, so no oranges or potatoes this week.

Other items I did not get this week were frozen mixed vegetables (in the steamer bags) and sugar-free Klondike bars. Draw your own conclusions about my diet.

In all honesty, I can’t claim that they didn’t have the  Klondike bars. Judging from the mostly empty freezer case that’s a good bet but I never got close enough to find out for sure. The dairy aisle is about 25% wider to accommodate the doors on the freezer cases. Problem is, the middle 50% of the aisle was taken up with stuff I’ll get to later after I see if I can master some basic math. Bear with me.

The aisle is 125% the size of a normal aisle.
50% of it was taken up.
Therefore, the aisle either
A- left Detroit at 10:15 going 50 miles per hour while another aisle headed toward it left Lansing at 11 pm going 60 miles per hour
B- was 62.5% the size of a regular aisle and therefore totally defeated the purpose of the extra room.

I’m no mathematician. I pick A.

The aisle was packed with Super Bowl displays. Yes, in April. They had more types of chips than I ever thought existed. They had some sort of lime-tequila flavored nachos but not a single decent orange back in produce. Go figure.

But that wasn’t all. There was a guy packing out butter into the cold case and of course, there were about 200 cases of butter in the aisle. There were also about 200 empty cases that formerly held butter scattered about. Farther down the aisle was a display of razors, which seems incongruous but by then I needed to shave since it took so long to wend my way down the aisle that I had some stubble coming in. And being out of razors, I put one in my wagon.

All that was annoying, all that was stupid- and need I mention the people who decide to stop in the middle of the narrow aisle and have conversations about anything but groceries? But none of that was the single item that pissed me off.

In the midst of this chaos aisle was a long, low table whose crude sign proclaimed BROKEN GROCERYIES 75 PER-CENTS OFF.  So was that 75 cents off or 75 percent off? It didn’t matter, I wouldn’t buy any of it for 100% off.

What was on the table? Damn little. A carton of milk that expired that day. A trio of squished loaves of bread. Two cartons of eggs that were mostly broken. This is a great store to shop if you like buying your eggs pre-cracked.

By the time I was ready to get the Hell out of Dodge but I forgot to get some carrots so I went back to the produce section where either a serial killer or a guy from the meat department- you can’t tell which just by the bloody white smock- was yelling to an elderly woman holding a cut of meat and pointing to the label “Listen lady I don’t know what that means! I got turkeys to put out. They don’t fly you know!”

I had to go around him and his non-flying turkeys, which really could be any turkeys in the world in any state of health, and so went past a display I had ignored earlier on: the firm, ripe, juicy melons.

It was while ogling- er, looking at the melons, that I saw them: the sweet potatoes. Right between the cantaloupes and the honeydews were the sweet potatoes. Really, how silly was I for not looking there in the first place?

I got on one of the only two open checkout lines and then the only good thing that happened all day happened then. The roof caved in destroyed the store.

No, no, the lane right next to me opened up and I zoomed in and was first. And luckily the cashier knew what he was doing and checked me out correctly despite the handicap of having more piercings than an eyebrow generally has. He even managed to scan my coupon without calling a supervisor.

So my friends and you Canadians too, I leave you with these parting words of wisdom: “Listen lady I don’t know what that means! I got turkeys to put out. They don’t fly you know!”


Late Night Movie House of Crap: Totino’s Pizza Rolls

4 Jul

July 4, 2012

You can’t get away from commercials at the movies and this is no exception.

This is the stupidest commercial I ever saw. And that is saying a lot because I have seen way too much tv in my life. I am not sure what the premise is or who the target audience is. Watch the commercial and we’ll discuss later.

These are the dumbest kids in the world. The pizza rolls are RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. I have to believe that the ad is targeted to parents, parents who think their kids are too stupid to tie their own shoes. Did these kids ride the little bus home? Is their underwear labeled “this side front”? And I hope you caught that the one on the left put the cell phone in the freezer. Every time I see that ad I want to smack those kids. (Especially the one on the right whose facial expressions seem to range from “wood” to “stone.”) Is that harsh? No, it is not harsh enough. Let’s follow this to the logical conclusion. They can’t see the package in front of them (either that or they can’t read), they leave the phone in the freezer, yet we are supposed to believe they can use the microwave without it blowing up? Not me, I call shenanigans on this dopey ad.

And for the record, pizza rolls come out wet and mushy from the microwave.

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