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Grocery Shopping ~ An Olympic Event


Grocery shopping should be an Olympic Event.
I'm totally and completely serious.
It's amazing the athletics it takes to get in and out of a supermarket.

First of all, you have parking.
It's an obstacle course.
I'd turn into the closest spot.

"Handicapped parking only"
I'm married with two kids, that's three handicaps.
Only that doesn't count. Pulling out and into another.

"Reserved for Maternity/Pregnant woman"
Well, I was pregnant. Twice in fact.
Only that doesn't count.

I spot a place 17 rows away and drive like hell to reach it, out distancing the Chev coming down from the other direction and swing quickly into the spot admist the honking of horns and obscene finger gestures from the Mario Andretti wanna-be. Loser.

Then you enter the establishment and make a sprint to the carts which are quickly disappearing. Bypassing the slower ones, tripping the little kids that are smaller than you to get a cart with wheels that work and don't squeak.

You can't even get your cart close to the produce, so you park it some distance away and shot-put your melons from an admirable distance, sometimes even making a basket or two in the carrier part of the cart. Javelin your cucumbers one by one over the heads of screaming children and shuffling older people.

The deli counter is a nightmare. Butting in seems impossible and the only alternative to get near the front is a little backflip sommersault into a hair-raising front double twist thingie, without wobbling, and a perfect landing right up front. It's amazing you didn't kill anybody. I'd score you a ten for precision and balance, at the very least.

Moving right along to the dairy, it's wall to wall people, you can't bend over to reach anything. God help you if you drop your brick of American cheddar. Your only alternative is to kick it, dodging people's feet, elbowing and shuffling til you get back to your cart, kicking up with your toe and getting a field goal from your effort directly into the cart.

Fresh fish department. Look at those lobsters, lobbying for attention, breaststroking to impress the most stoic of buyers. Little do they know, the "winner" gets scalded.
Mmmm Mmmmm.

Off to cereal and baking products. The traffic doesn't seem so bad here, no sales in this section, but you still have to toss your Cheerios over your head aiming for the cart without bonking some unsuspecting Bran buyer upside the head. Then again, it does give great rebound.

Leafing through your flyer, you see that frozen orange juice is on sale three aisles away. You notice several others finding that page on THEIR fliers. You cautiously look up from the paper and warily eye those around you. They eye you back. You casually put the paper down and slip your hands around the handle of the cart. Your grip tightens. Your right eye twitches, the corner of the blue-haired lady over there's mouth tightens, that gentleman across the way's nose flares.

AND YOU'RE OFF! It's a scene exactly like Ben Hur's chariot race. Your dodging stock personnel, wheeling over people's shoes, items fall from your cart but you DON'T CARE! It's a three can limit and supplies are running out!

You make it, sweating, your eyes bulging and you perform a perfect swandive into the freezer, digging and grabbing for your three damn cans. You resurface triumphantly, arms raised in victory and head toward the checkouts.

"10 or less items" *sigh*
"20 or less items" *sigh*

You see a lady heading towards the only lineup with less than 80 people waiting, her toddler hurrying to catch up. A tin of tuna accidently slips from your cart into the path of the reckless and careless youngster and they crash to the floor in a wail of frustrated cries. The lady of course turns her cart to hurry back to the child, and you quite casually take her place in line.

I won't even talk about having to find your car after you've finally forked out $189.32 after coupons, with your 4 bags of groceries, carrying more weight in those 4 bags than those big muscled guys with the tight shorts and goofy suspenders holding barbells stationary for 10 seconds in a squat no less. Try carrying these badly packed, overstuffed, 50lbs each bags, 17 rows away, often with a kid or two attached to your hip. We got you beat.

The only consolation, is going to the nearest convenience store, buying yourself a gold foil wrapped candy bar, sitting back in the seat of the car, and enjoying the only medal you'll ever get, in the most exhausting and competitive sport out there.

Grocery Shopping.

 T O P

M O R E from D A V E


Unless otherwise specified, all material Copyright 2000 by Dave



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