Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fool's Errand.

Don’t you just hate doing the groceries? I don’t mean going to a little yuppie cutesy market and buying little organic wheatballs or whatnot. I mean the weekly groceries. Milk products, eggs and string cheese, meat sticks, fruit roll ups, frozen stuff and all that other shit. There are always so many obstacles standing in your way from having a nice, carefree and smooth errand run. The main problem, as always, is the clientele at these establishments. At the grocery store, you will likely be there at the same time as some of the following schmucks.

A) Bullshit parents with their sucky children.

You know what really bugs me? A kid walking around eating potato chips out of the bag before it’s been paid for. The parents always look like real champs too.

“Mommy I wants my potatey chips! NOW!”
Fine, here you go, Travis, have your Pringles. What can I say? He just doesn’t like to have to wait until he gets home to eat his Pringles.”

Doesn’t like waiting until he gets home? Does this apply to everything in the store to you people? If it does, I gotta say, I’m a little bit frightened to go down the toilet paper aisle. Thank god you’re not shopping for toilet seats or dildoes. Why are you so Gung Ho on creating all kinds of needy little fat monsters, anyways? Here’s an idea, let’s teach the kids about patience. They can wait. No one needs Fudgeos that badly, ever, never, not ever. This is the same ass-hat parent who sees his kid eating grapes out of someone else’s cart and thinks:

“Isn’t that cute? No, Todd, don’t take that man’s grapes, here I opened the chocolate milk for you.”

Yeah, real cute, a little thieving bastard. I say we should be ratting these kids out to the security guards at the front, and the parents too, because I think they’re in on it.

Ever seen one of those jackasses with their jackass child on one of those leash harness things? I’ve actually had it where Jackass was looking at granola bars on one side of the aisle and Jackass Junior was on the other side licking cans of cake icing. This, in turn, was causing the leash to act like some kind of police caution tape, or velvet rope, or any other blocking belt like instrument. I suggest you bring scissors along for just such an occasion. Chances are a good thirty minutes might go by before Jackass sees that their kid is no longer at the other end of the rope.

"I now declare this bridge open."

How about the moron that lets his dumb kid operate the cart? I’m not talking about the responsible parent/kid team with the kid who knows the score. Those kids are awesome, and should instantly be promoted to adult status. I’m talking about the dumb kids, produced by dumb parents. Look, if your kid sucks and you want them to learn about responsibility, give them extra chores, get them a dog, force them to work in a factory, or send them to Maury, and subsequently to Boot Camp, but don’t let them push the cart. The other day, I turned a corner into the cereal aisle, and there was a child piloted cart perpendicular to the row, a roadblock, if you will. The kid was just sitting there, dumbfounded.

Not surprisingly, I didn’t’ see a parent anywhere. Probably they were chasing their other child, currently free and running around with half a leash dangling behind them. Or maybe the parent is one of those real important looking people (with the Bluetooth headset and high-speed raditude) and was busy talking about something very loudly and simply didn’t realize that their kid wasn’t behind them anymore. You know the kind of douche bag that I mean, who's all like “I said fourteen million god dammit!” Just push the cart out of the way, the kid won’t really notice or care, as they are more than likely busy playing Gameboy and/or picking their nose. Don’t hold onto their cart for too long or they might start following you, and assuming that you are their parent.

Recently I was in a parking lot, and this horrible looking mother was trying to get her horrible looking daughter out of the car, at which point the daughter screamed at her mother to “get the fuck out of my face, faggot”, to which the mother replied something along the lines of wishing that she could send her daughter back to Russia. The daughter of course said she’d be happy to get away from her “faggot” mother, and of course the mother said that she would love to do it too, and that she should “just wait... you just wait an' see”. Hey, at least they finally agreed on something. I can’t begin to explain the cornucopia of problems I have with all of these statements and with this pair of winners. Personally I wouldn’t want to send her to Russia, because that would just be exporting the bad genes, and could ignite a war. Let’s keep it local. I guess I don’t really have a point at the end of all of this, except that I really wish that that wasn’t a true story and maybe that some people just really shouldn’t make any babies.

B) Old people, just in general, but especially the really old ones.

They never know what they want, and they never know where to find it. They navigate their carts the same way that they drive, making incredibly wide turns and nearly running people over. They knock shit off the shelves without even realizing. When choosing eggs, they take forever. They fill their carts with oddly large quantities of fish. I think their goal is to slow everything down, and keep everyone in the store for so long that, upon exiting, everyone is old like them. If they are in an aisle, that aisle is slow, if they are at checkout, then that checkout line is terribly slow. They have coupons, and they want to try and negotiate prices, even though they can’t. Also, once it’s finally time to pay, they always pay cash, and it’s always, “Hold on now, now just wait a second, I think I’ve got the seventeen cents”… in pennies.

I once saw an old lady arguing with the cashier over the price of the decorative wax fruit she picked up in the non-food section of the grocery store. She was insisting that bananas were on special, at twenty-nine cents per pound, and asking for the manager. Either she is brilliant, confused, or completely insane, but in any case, you definitely don’t want to be behind her in the checkout line. I don’t know how this particular wax banana argument ended, because the cashier two rows down opened up a brand new line and I ran over a small boy and his mother to get there before anyone else. I was out of there before the manager had even made it over to resolve the banana dilemma. The best way to deal with old people cluttering up the aisles and checkout lines is to ask them if they need any help with their groceries, and then club them over the head with a baguette when their guard is down.

C) Couples,you know, the annoying kind.

Maybe they just moved in together, maybe they are newlyweds, maybe this is the first time they’ve gone shopping for groceries together and they are letting themselves get carried away in the romantic sights and smells of the milk products and various butters, but honestly, let's keep the hardcore make out sessions for home. The really annoying ones get so caught up in the moment that they leave their cart in the middle of nowhere, and that’s when there’s an obstacle created. Screaming “Get a Room” or slapping one of them on the back of the head, won’t get you anywhere. I like to just take off with their cart, or throw random shit in it, like pickled bull testicles, or expired cheeses. Pickled bull testicles and moldy Camembert? But, those aren’t on the list!

“Honey did you put these in the cart? Because, you know I’m allergic!”
“How do I know you’re not just getting them for that bimbo floozy at the office?”
“That’s it, I want a divorce!”

…and scene.

Couples that fight at the grocery store aren’t good for anyone’s well being either. Yelling, screaming, dangerous arm waving… All of these can lead to trouble. I get stressed out just being in an aisle with them. I feel like I have to get out of the aisle and give them their privacy, but then I think, that’s bullshit, I really need some of that artificial cheese. If you see a couple fighting, then throw a jar of apple sauce or a container of plain yogurt right at their feet and yell out “cleanup on aisle seven”. That ought to shut them up, shut them up real good. Then reach right over one of their shoulders onto the shelf behind them, and be like, "excuse me, but I was really just trying to get some Velveeta".

D) Picky people picking out produce, taking forever.

Some people apparently know all of the tricks to finding the best fruit and veggies ever. Man, fuck those people. They sit there in front of the tomatoes taking up space, when all I want to do is grab four or five tomatoes and move on quickly to the next item on the list. One technique I like to employ is to tap them on the shoulder and ask them to pick some out for me. They’re happy because they get to show off their “skills” and I’m happy because I still got my tomatoes before them. If they say no, then just throw tomatoes at them, and boo them. These are the same people that you see squeezing all the loaves of bread, in some kind of psycho-sexual quest for freshness. Always take the loaves at the back of the shelves, there’s less chance that those ones have been thoroughly molested. The bread feelers seem to feel the front most loaves and then move on.

And, this is completely unrelated, but why do they even have those huge peanut sacks in the produce section near the potatoes? Are there a lot of elephant owners in the urban milieu? I’ve never seen anyone buy a single one of these huge sacks. If you want to get some attention, dress up like a circus ringmaster and fill a cart with those peanut sacks. Everyone will get excited and think that the circus is in town. Speaking of which, does the circus still come to town, and if so, do people get excited? Do they still travel by train, with the giraffe head coming out of one car? You know, and the bearded lady and stretchy thin guy are married, and their kids are wolfboy and fartface? These are all questions that fill my head and cause me to forget to pick up liquid fabric softener and garbage bags. Meanwhile, this asshole is still checking each cantaloupe one by one. Just make a fucking decision already!

E) Cheap people, focusing solely on sale items.

These are the idiots that think that toilet paper only goes on sale once every generation. Have you ever seen a toilet paper sale, where it’s one of those big packs of about forty-eight rolls on sale for half price, and it says ‘limit of eight per customer’? And you’re thinking, who could possibly buy more than one, let alone eight? Right after asking yourself that, you see the guy. He’s got eight of them balancing in his cart, like the leaning tower of teepee, trying to navigate through the aisles to get to the cash. He’s not even here for anything else. He’s just here for toilet paper. How much shit could your household possibly produce that you need this much toilet paper? I wouldn’t even know where to put it. I’d need a spare room in my apartment just for the toilet paper. This is the same person who feeds his children Christmas Logs for supper everyday in January, because they are now eighty-five percent off. After all, it has all four food groups: milk, molasses, fruit and logs. I guess, a family surviving on an all Christmas Log diet, would go through quite a bit of toilet paper. Increase Log input, exponentially increase log output. Everything is starting to make more sense now, you know, mathematically.

The good part about these people is that they usually know exactly what they want. They often do their homework and know specifically what is on sale. The real trouble comes when you get the people that go in blind and just browse for sale items. These are the people that take up space and try reading the bar codes to see if the little sale label corresponds to the product that they are holding.

“I can’t tell if it’s all the Mini-Wheat varieties or just the cinnamon bun ones that are on sale.”
“Check the bar code.”
“I’m trying to see. There’s a number here that ends in ninety-two, do you have a ninety-two?”
“I’ve got a seventy-five.”

I like to give them misinformation. Tell them that, "actually, it’s all the cereals other than the Mini-Wheats that are on sale". They’ll be very excited. Try to sound like you work there. Generally these people are stupid, and will believe you. If you do this, though, be sure not to end up behind them at checkout, or else you will be there for a while.

“But the cereal man said it was all on sale.”
“Right, which ceral man was it? Was it Captain Crunch or Tony the Tiger?”
“No, he was dressed all in black.”
“Sure. That’s Count Chocula. Are you on any medication?”

Sometimes these people are also old, so you’re facing all the same problems mentioned earlier as well, at which point you should ask them if they need any help with their groceries, and then club them over the head with a baguette when their guard is down.

If you find a grocery store that is open really late at night, then going late at night can often assist you in avoiding many of the aforementioned problematic peoples. However, beware, because late at night, you risk running into a whole mess of other types of problematic peoples such as: crazy people, the homeless, night shift workers, vampires, lounge singers, prostitutes, crackheads, insomniacs, ninjas, or combinations of those I just listed. If you are able to go in the middle of the day, on a weekday, this is also advantageous, as it will diminish the overall number of people, however the concentration of old people, will be increased. Make sure to load your cart with day old baguettes, and you'll be fine. It’s clobberin’ time.

That’s it. Toilet paper’s on sale.


  1. Best post yet, nice Hard Days Night reference!

  2. It's important to picture John Lennon saying it when reading :)