Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Shopping Over The Dam

What are all these people doing at the supermarket? It's a weekday morning, fer chrissakes!
A blue-haired old blueblood pushes past me-her cart , laden with a half-dozen gallons of milk and a pallette of Wonder Bread, bangs into my sore elbow.

Ow! She doesn't even notice.

What's up with all the milk? Oh. The paper says it might snow. An inch or two.
That's enough to make the locals panic. Stock up on supplies-enough to last until spring thaw, if need be. Make sure you get lots of fresh water! Fresh water? Spring thaw?
They're calling for a couple inches, tops. What the hell is wrong with these people?
What the hell is wrong with me?
If I had my shit together, I'd be in the parking lot selling 'frostbite insurance' to gullible suburban moms- instead I'm inside, fighting with lunatics over the last box of donuts.
Mine.
My stomach is making little Gollum noises.
Oh, heck. If I'm going to eat this whole box of Krispy Kremes, I'd better get something healthy to have later. I know! I'll make a giant-ass salad at the salad bar and knosh on it for a couple days.

This proves to be my undoing.

I round up a few more items and head for check-out.
Look at those lines. I can't deal with that.
Let's try the 'auto check-out'. I use it all the time at the other store, but I hardly ever shop here, as this market doesn't sell beer. Well, I'd better get used to it.
Look up the code for salad bar. OK. *beep* beep*
Place item on scale. OK.
Place item in bag. Done!

I grab a napkin and a plastic fork from the bottom of my cart and chuck them into the bag.
*BEEP*
"Unexpected Change In Contents Of Bag!"
Huh? Suddenly there's sirens and alarms, spotlights and bullhorns, all attention on me.
Unexpected, for sure.
Deep breath. Those alarms are probably hallucinations-they can be safely ignored.
Let's start over.
Code. Scale. Bag.
I put the napkin and fork in my pocket.
Scan the rest of my stuff. Oh, holy hell!
I stupidly placed the cat food on top of my bread. Let me fix that...

"Unexpected Change In Contents Of Bag!"

Aaaahhh!! Suddenly I can't breath. My heart is in a vise and it can't beat. I'm drenched in sweat, I can barely resist the urge to remove my coat and fling it away. So many people here, oh so many.
Fucking panic attack. I can't scan anything. I can't push any buttons. I can barely make it outside, my salad and my cat food abandoned at the robo-cashier.
I sit in the car, waiting for the shaking to stop. Nuts.
I'm too embarrassed to go back inside:
"Excuse me. I'm so damn fragile that buying groceries triggers a meltdown, but I'd really like my salad and some donuts."

After I catch my breath, I go to another store and buy a half-gallon of ice cream and some chocolate syrup. Then I go to the local burrito bucket and get fajitas. I return home and gorge.

Read half of Jennifer Government by Max Barry. Play some Madden. Relax.

If I had any dreams last night, I don't remember them.

3 comments:

MissBossyPants said...

The only time my husband and I have stocked up for any ind of weather was when Hurricane Ivan swept through. we barely had a power outage (6 hours) but SAM hit Costco and we were eating Ritz crackers and Goldfish for weeks.

Canopenner said...

man...I thought I was the only one that happened to.

Joe said...

Kinda reminds me of the scene in American Splendor where Paul Giamatti is stuck behind the little Jewish lady who is haggling over the price of dinking glasses. It was goddamn hilarious. Man I love that movie.