I went to a new grocery store today. That’s always an opportunity for fun and adventure.
I choose to hit the store at 5:10 PM, which happens to be when they open the gates at Epic and let the indentured servants take a few hours of personal time. Thanks to the traffic, my right-hand turn into the grocery store parking lot became a left-right-left-right-right-right hand turn with a quick detour to Minnesota. Off to a good start.
This new grocery store was not atypical. There were shelves and these shelves contained food. The food came in several different containers and in a variety of colors. Each color appeared to represent a variant of a particular food-type. Each food-type also fell under a particular brand, which then lent itself to an assortment of other brand-related food options. All of these damn choices, just give me my nutrient pills already.
At least I had a shopping list: “Milk and eggs and maybe some fuckin sushi yeah sushi is fuckin tasty as shit.” I was pretty excited about that sushi. There are few things in life more satisfying than a simple container of cheap grocery store sushi. No frills, no extras (unless you count the wasabi or the far-too-small packet of soy sauce). Just green shit and red shit wrapped in rice, dabbed in spicy salt water. The perfect calorie delivery vessel.
No one else seemed excited about the sushi – maybe the Verona locals have different tastes than me. One gentleman appeared to have just left the local coal mine after several months in those horrid depths. His face contorted into a haunted grimace, he grabbed one package of chicken breasts after another, stacking them unconsciously in his cart until at least a dozen teetered precariously. A woman took not one but two cartons of organic eggs. As I picked up some eggs for myself, I noticed the price difference between organic and non – a full four fucking dollars. Let’s be clear here: both my eggs and hers were ejected from an hen’s vagina not too long ago, along with all the commensurate shit, both literal and otherwise, that comes with the egg. If anything, I’d like my eggs to be less organic, please. If we can somehow make these things not come out of a chicken’s butt I would be thrilled. I think that a future where our food does not come from anywhere near an animal’s sex organs is a bright future. I would probably be happier with eggs if they emerged from a small dark hole in the top of mother hen’s head. I think that’s perfectly natural.
I don’t know if this is the case with most grocery stores (I’m usually too busy shoveling food into my cart to look around), but it seemed like this place exclusively employed mopey tweens. No adult presence to be seen, just a pack of sullen young girls and boys staring at me like I was their dad making another dull joke about texting. LOL! They performed cashier and bagging duties like toys with low batteries – incrementally slowing down until they simply ground to a halt, frozen while glaring at me as I fumbled with the credit card swiper. “Paper or plastic?” The bag boy moaned as if he had to physically drag those three words out of his socks and up through his body. I requested paper because I am an ethical, environment-loving human being who is going to sleep easy this evening having saved a tree or a wolf or some shit.
I left the grocery store at 5:20 PM. A quick, successful trip. As I pulled out of the parking lot, I witnessed the truck in front of me come within inches of being obliterated by a city bus. Life and death come and go so easily – perhaps we should all take a moment to really notice the grocery store next time we go. Don’t just stop and smell the roses. Also stop and smell the organic eggs and the sushi and the tweens selling cigarettes and booze to decrepit old men without teeth. Fucking smell everything. Be weird like that.