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Home » Stories, True and Otherwise

Give Me Groceries Or Give Me Death

Submitted by on March 11, 2007 – 7:39 PMNo Comment

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store.I don’t like to go to the grocery store, for several reasons.First, most ofthe other shoppers assume that nobody else in the store has anything better to do than stand behind them while they block the aisle and take fifteen minutes to decide which brand of frozen pizza to buy, and I always want to yell, “Stouffer’s, you bonehead!Stouffer’s!Now get the hell out of my way before I turn thirty over here,” but I never do, because I have to go back to that same grocery store and see those same people.For example, one time when I went to the grocery store in my old neighborhood, I made a face at a woman who had parked her cart sideways in the dairy aisle so she could chat with a friend of hers, and the woman totally saw me and she said to me in this super-snotty voice, “Could you be any ruder?”Uh duh.Of course I could be much, much, MUCH ruder, and I didn’t mind proving it either, because I was going to move out of that neighborhood in two days anyway, so I said really loudly, “Okay.MOVE YOUR CART, FOOL!” and I made a special effort to spray some spittle also.But I never would have done that if I had had to go back there.In short, I have to make nice at the grocery store, because I don’t have the balls to pitch a hissy.I hate that.

Second, when I walk home from the grocery store, I want to walk home quickly because I have no muscles anywhere in my arms and therefore the groceries get heavy in about five seconds, but inevitably someone slow gets in front of me on the sidewalk and doesn’t speed up or move to one side.Old people walk slowly, but I guess by the time you get old, you don’t need to hurry because you’ve seen almost everything already.I can dig that okay.But once in a while, a girl will float in front of me for about two blocks, walking very slowly in platform shoes so enormous that the shoes wear her instead of the other way around.She walks very slowly just in case Brad Pitt’s limousine passes her and Brad happens to be staring pensively out the window and wondering what can take away the empty feeling in his heart, and just in case he sees Floating Girl and thinks to himself, “This thing with Gwyneth…it’s a sham, a fraud…I can’t live this lie one moment longer,” and just in case the Bradster jumps out of the limo shouting, “Wait!Wait for me, Floating Girl!You have made my life complete, simply by existing!” then since she has wisely decided to float instead of walking like a normal person, Brad catches up to her in no time at all and they get married and live happily ever after, even though he wants to watch the Three Stooges marathon on TV and she wants to watch the figure skating, so they buy two TVs and put them next to each other.Awwww.Unfortunately, walking behind Floating Girl forces me to float also, and carrying a twenty-pound bag of kitty litter tends to interfere with the whole floating process.I hate that.

Third, I have to spend money that, technically, I don’t have.I hate that.Well, I hate not technically having money.I don’t hate spending it.Technically.Anyhow.

Fourth, the manager of this particular grocery store has decided to keep only two registers open at any given time, which means that the check-out line snakes all the way up the dairy aisle, so if you reach through the line to snag a quart of milk, some guy will get really offended because he believes that you are cutting in front of him, and he will give you a withering look and say, “Um, excuse me — no cutsies” in complete seriousness, and you stare at him because you have not heard the phrase “no cutsies” since the elementary school cafeteria, when your best friend got behind you in the line and the kid behind you snarled, “No cutsies,” and you explained to him, in the lofty tone of voice reserved in life for citizens of the fourth grade, that “she DOES SO get cutsies, SHE’S MY BEST FRIEND,” and that shut the kid up but good, because everyone knows best friends get cutsies.

Anyhow, back to the point, namely that I have to wait in this line for a very long time with nothing better to do than read the magazines.And oh, the joy contained therein.Not.How many blurry National Enquirer photographs of JonBenet do I have to look at in one lifetime?How many “Celebrity Babies” issues does People Magazine have to publish?How many times does Cosmo have to run the article about male orgasms before everyone realizes that they have printed it, unchanged, in every issue since the early seventies?By the time I reach the front of the line, I have read twelve butt exercise routines, six profiles of David Duchovny, eight interviews with the Heaven’s Gate refugee, four reviews of the Jurassic Park sequel, two high-protein low-fat diets, one horoscope for the cast of Friends, one horoscope written by the Heaven’s Gate refugee, two JonBenet makeup tips exclusives, and the male orgasms article (just in case they did change something since the last time I read it.They didn’t.Male orgasms feel good.Male orgasms result from stimulation of the penis.I just saved you three bucks.You’re welcome), and THEN they decide to close the check-out line because the drawer needs changing and I have to stand there and read the list of ingredients on a pack of gum because I have read everything else in sight, and just as I get ready to leave without paying and go home and make myself a nourishing meal from the crumbs in the toaster oven, they put the new drawer in and the cashier accidentally gives me too much change and I leave happy.

Alas, tomorrow I have to go to the goddamn grocery store again.



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