Scourge and Transparency

The Rise and Fall of Advanced Social Journalism during the Early Twenty-First Century

Grocery Shopping

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Today we’re going to talk about going to the grocery store. That’s right, going to the grocery store.  When a person reaches a certain age he or she will need to go out into the world and walk into a designated shopping area that sells food along with other essential items and purchase such products. Even if you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to have your parents or guardians pay for or purchase food on your behalf you’re likely from time-to-time to enter a grocery store and go through the all too common situations that one will inevitably encounter at the local grocer.

If you need to shop for yourself there are many obvious points of interest you will encounter at the store. Firstly, every single person shopping is incredibly and indescribably miserable. It’s as if they are all on their way to attending a Bris/Funeral – there’s a look of complete discouragement on every face you see. People move slower than traffic coming back from cottage country on a long weekend when they have a buggy in front of them.

The buggy is always an awkward thing to push around. When you walk in and see the rows of surely at least partially broken bulky pieces of metal you always debate if it’s absolutely essential to your journey to be shoving it in and around the aisles. If you don’t get the buggy and instead decide to carry one of those plastic baskets you better hope your grocery list has less than a grand weight of 10 pounds. If not, I’ve got a bunch of news for ya: you’re not as strong as you think you are, grocery baskets aren’t that much less awkward than buggies, your bread is getting squished and you might pull your shoulder.

If you’re lucky enough to have your food and essentials provided for you regularly you still might have to go through the distress of having the responsibly to pick up a few items on occasion. You may find yourself on the way to a party and get a call from the host asking you to get buns and chips for the other guests. “No problem,” you say – you’re on your way with a friend and with both of you on the case you can find your shit and not miss 10 minutes of the festivities. Think again. 9 times out of 10 your buddy with you will forfeit any and all responsibilities that surround entering the store and will likely leave all logical intellect in the parking lot. As soon as you pass through the sliding automatic doors you’ll say to your supposed non-mentally handicapped adult friend, “I’m gonna grab the buns, you get a couple bags of chips for the party.” The next words out of your friend’s mouth spew of ignorance and irresponsibility – “Where are the chips?” he says.  You respond:  “Listen Indiana Jones you’re gonna go on a little adventure and slowly walk through the front of the store for 30 seconds until you find the junk food aisle, I didn’t design the fucking building, but I’m enough of a genius to notice a giant sign in a designated area that says ‘pop and fucking CHIPS, you dumb shit’!”

So you go and find the bakery, pick out two-dozen fresh sesame seed buns, bag them and get to where the chips are in less than 2 minutes. But what do you find there? Your partner in crime looking at the same mini size bag of 25 percent less salt, no-name, regular potato chips that you know he’s been stared at since he started his pilgrimage to get one of the most popular and ample items in the store. He inevitably looks up to you and says with the a hesitate drawl like he’s been up all night hitting the bong – “these are goood.” You immediately relinquish all hope in your friend’s capabilities as a responsible human being and contemplate beating him to death with the shitty bag of flavourless chips he’s holding in his hand.

Thankfully if your parents didn’t spoon feed you till you were 30 you have the crucial decision-making skills needed to grab some Doritos and Lays off the shelves and put them in your basket.  As you make your way to the checkout lanes you notice that the one designated for 1-8 items has about 16 people all with a minimum of 8 products in their buggies. People see the word “fast lane” above that checkout and can only assume that no matter how many people are lined up it’s faster than the lane directly adjacent that is one customer deep with only 9 items to ring up.

Now you’ve reached the cash register. You thought you saw misery in the faces of the other customers but nothing could prepare you for the bleak, melancholy, wretched, loss of all things holy in the eyes of the 18-year-old girl ringing up your groceries. She looks like she’s been standing at the same exact site collecting money and handing back receipts for about 48 hours straight. I’ve seen 60-year-old crackhead prostitutes from downtown Hamilton with more of a feather in their cap than these young ladies.

When you walk out of the grocery store it’s like being released from a kidnapping. It’s great to see people again that aren’t all on the brink of a complete mental and physical breakdown, however you have this huge burden to carry with you and feel as if you’ve forcibly been put in terribly uncomfortable positions for an undetermined and unnecessarily strenuous period of time. It’s great to be home with your family again, but when the fridge has finally been packed and you lastly get the chance to the look at the surprisingly costly bill it is at that moment you realize you forgot about 10 absolutely essential items that you went to the godforsaken grocery store to get in the first place.

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Written by shanedantimo

July 13, 2010 at 1:57 am

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