The above title is intended to be sung a-la “Liza Doolittle”
This is what I sing when I go into supermarkets here in the Duluth area. And being a confused Broadway babe, I have a tendency to spin around in the produce section with my arms open wide when I’m doing it.
How do you solve Maria’s problems? Give her a decent place to do her grocery shopping.
This issue has been lurking in the background since my favorite grocery store, Jubilee, was bought out by Super One. Jubilee, which is named “Festival” when it’s all big and such, was my favorite local grocery store. There was a branch near my house and, just like your local bar, everyone knew your name. And, just like your local bar, if you happened to stagger in and accidentally pee in the corner near the bakery, no one gave you flak. (Actually, the peeing proviso only held true for the “plaza Jubilee” location. If you pissed on the floor of the Lakeside Jubilee, there would be harsh consequences. After all, this is Lakeside.)
Not to put too fine a point on the differences between Jubilee and Super One, but I am a firm believer in the conspiracy theory that states Super One laces their circulating air with stupidity pheromones. Not only am I a firm believer in this conspiracy theory, I am the originator of it.
I always hated shopping at Super One, even back when I HAD A FRICKIN CHOICE. The stores are set up as if Wilma from the trailer park snarfed up a big ole snack of meth and then sat down with a purple crayon and the back of an empty cereal box and designed a grocery store. (MMM MMM MMM, Meth is crack for crackers!)
The location that I despise the most has aisles going perpendicular to the bank of cashiers with a break in the middle of each aisle which is conveniently filled with a bunch of shit to run into and get stuck on. The aisles on each side of the store are completely unrelated to the aisle on the corresponding side of the store which means that if you actually want to go down the entire length of the aisle, you encounter merchandise IN THE WRONG ORDER. I cannot buy my Kraft mac n cheese and then immediately be presented with toilet paper or ammonium nitrate. Also, the carts are too wide for the aisles in every stinkin' location. And the fact that they put up huge displays in narrow aisles with large carts makes for some interesting navigational choices. They need to get a highway maintenance crew in there with large stop and go signs...and those SEXY reflective vests!
And you have to admit, even if you are presented with a totally f-d up design to a store, there is an outside chance that the business will be saved by really great employees.
In this instance though, you will be presented with an anchor as you flail and drown.
There have been several times when I have had the opportunity to encounter the “Stoner Viking”. This cashier is a tall guy who looks very much like he could have had a career as a pillager back in the day. Unfortunately his career with Mr. Erickson would have undoubtedly been derailed by his love of a certain weed.
When I had the audacity to purchase leeks, he pulled them out of the produce baggie and demanded of me “What the hell is this???”
Not “Oh, this is different, what is it?”
I literally took a step backwards and wondered if he said this to the little old blue hairs. “It’s a leek." I stammered. "It’s like an onion.”
“Then why don’t you buy an onion?" He rolled his eyes at my obvious incompetence. "They’re cheaper…"
I desperately wanted to say something like “Well, the cheapest thing of all would be to have you stick it up your ass” but I didn’t. I defended the leek to him. I told him I liked leeks. I then realized the absurdity of the situation and started to giggle and said that I liked to take leeks. He then looked at me as if I had been smoking too much weed.
At least the gal bagging my groceries with the snaggle tooth and one good eye thought it was funny. She laughed so hard that I thought she was going to bring up one of her withered, blackened smoker’s lungs.
So lately I have been avoiding the local grocery store and going to Cub up by the mall. Since I have a tendency to go to the store at ungodly hours of the morning on weekends, I really thought I liked Cub. They have pretty fresh produce and the store wasn’t designed by drunken monkeys.
And then I went there during the afternoon on a Saturday and the store was dripping with Yuppies. Is Yuppie even a term anymore? Has it evolved in “Soccer Moms”? Whatever it is, the place was filthy with shoppers on cell phones, running over everyone in their way as their children shrieked that they wanted to live with their “other mom”. These were the people that wear their granola on their sleeve and want you to think that they are the consummate earth muffins, yet they drive SUV’s, never vote, and couldn’t consider thinking about anyone but themselves.
It’s a good thing I never make snap judgements…
So I go to Whole Foods and buy boxes of food that are listed as being “100% recycled foodstuffs”.
And it’s only three times more expensive than the going price in Tokyo.
What I really need is that NASA freeze dried food in convenient pill form.
That, and a drink.