Jase On: Grocery Shopping
There is never a good time for grocery shopping. In fact, it always happens at the worst possible time. Sometimes it’s a harsh reminder that it’s back to work tomorrow. Sometimes you get dragged there during the biggest football game of the year and you can’t really follow along because nobody in real life actually has that stupid NFL subscription that the phone companies always advertise. Plus, who really wants to pay to watch a few dots move around on a Microsoft Paint-created “football field?” Oh, Orange Blob 4 scored a touchdown? Perfect! He’s on my fantasy team!
Frequently, I get dragged to the grocery store when I’m either secretly drunk or secretly wish that I was drunk. When I first step into the store, if I’m not drunk, the first thing I say is “fuck. I wish I was drunk.” The sad thing is, I know from experience that being drunk doesn’t make the shopping trip any better. But a boy can always dream. Just so you are aware, I have just now set the record for the most uses of the word ‘drunk’ in a single paragraph.
So what is it about grocery shopping that I hate so much? Beside everything, let’s start with the general environment. Grocery stores are purposely set up to be boring. When the most exciting thing about a store is the Gatorade display on top of the lunch meat cooler, suicide is more exciting. Everyone is always so bored in the grocery store. You can see it in the way that they silently walk around, hunched over their carts like grocery store zombies that have been infected with the deadly disease Blah. The weird thing about Blah, though, is that it’s curable either by grocery explosion or just leaving the grocery store.
The music is another aspect of the riveting environment that keeps me coming back for more. I’m always able to stay entertained while shopping for peaches and shaving cream while listening to It Doesn’t Matter What My Name is I Suck sing the reassuring, timeless hymn “Rockabye” to me. Ok, I’ve just been informed that the song isn’t actually called “Rockabye” (why does anyone know that?) but I don’t care. I’m sure everyone knows the depression-inducing gem I’m referring to. One song that comes on every single time that I’m trapped in the grocery store without fail is John Mayer’s “Your Body is a Wonderland.” There’s nothing quite like watching the sixty-eight year old grandmother in the toilet paper aisle caress her shoulders and swivel her hips as John Mayer reassures her that her body is, in fact, a wonderland; just as she had suspected all along. Now that I think about it, that same lady is there in the same aisle, during the same song every single time I go grocery shopping. In fact, this has tempted me to write a romance novel. I will title it “Your Bounty is a Wonderland” and the climax (I’m laughing because I’m immature.) will include Dotty DoublePly rolling around on the supermarket floor with Quilted Northern’s luscious rose-scented sex roll.
Other than writing a romance novel about the toilet paper aisle, there are very few ways to entertain yourself at the grocery store. One way is hunting for products with ridiculous names. As fun as this activity sounds, laughing at a store-brand cereal called Yellow Grahams is only possible once or twice. Spotted Dick has a longer joke window because a.) I have no idea what it is and b.) it must be canned cheetah dick. Another way you can entertain yourself is by writing and performing a musical as you go along through the store. This is only done effectively if you go all out with the dance moves and dramatically jump on top of chip displays and the deli counter while singing at the top of your lungs. While it’s loads of fun and can also guarantee your removal from the supermarket, it’s not as win-win as it sounds. Unless you consider sitting in the police station while being given a psychological evaluation win-win. Take it from the pro on this subject, it’s not as spiritually enlightening as one would think.
Another entertaining activity that can keep you busy is trying to pick up women. Or men; whatever you’re looking for really. Just no children. The super market has always been described as a great place to find a significant other. But how many couples do you know that actually met each other at the grocery store? How do you even go about picking someone up at the grocery store? Here are a couple of my ideas on how to do this. You’re standing at the meat cooler feeling up a prime rib. Up walks a fine female with some prime rib that you’d love to be feeling up. While rubbing the tenderloin, look up at her and say “Wow! This steak sure is bloody!” Normally that sentence alone should get you a date. If not, follow it up with “I love blood! What about you?” Odds are you’ll be married in no time. Another tactic that you could try also takes place at the romantic meat machine. This time when your prospective date walks up, be sure to be grabbing some fat from a chicken breast. Look up to her and say in an extremely loud voice “Wow! This chicken has a lot of fat. You don’t. Come with me!” You’re welcome for your engagement in advance.
Believe it or not, the worst part of the shopping trip is cashing out. Standing in line and thinking about paying close to a hundred dollars on bullshit like q-tips and mangos is one of the worst moments of reflection you can have. Sure, I’m big ballin’ baby baybay but I’d rather spend my skrillerz (did I use that right?) on jets and shit. The only thing worse than standing in line and hating yourself for spending the money is having a lot of time to think about it. This can happen to you if you get stuck behind someone that is convinced that they will soon be featured on the riveting docudrama Extreme Couponing. As this person pulls out their sticky wad of newspaper clippings and make believe coupons drawn out on napkins, they start to talk out loud either to themselves or to the imaginary camera crew that’s following them around. They remind everyone that they are such a great shopper and the store should be paying them to shop there. They let the “viewers at home” know that they’re the only ones smart enough to prepare for Armageddon by stocking up on forty-five packages of paper plates. Their two hundred pounds of canned deer meet will last them seven lifetimes! Why are we all so stupid? We don’t even deserve to survive! Why aren’t we them?
Once the extreme couponer finishes up, if you’re really lucky, you’ll get stuck with the cashier that tells her life story to everyone she meets. Oh, what’s that? You won Best Little Farmer at your county fair when you were six? That’s great! Tell me all about it! I’ve only been here for two hours, no big deal! Ooooooh Aunt Edna taught you how to cook broccoli at your summer home in the Adirondacks? Brilliant! Please, go on! You once threw up ham all over yourself after playing tag with your cousins? Yeah, actually I’m going to pass on the ham. Yeah, I’m sure. No, it’s fine just put the fucking ham away! Get it away from me!
After beating the last level of the Chatty Cashier, you’ve finally completed the cruel game of grocery shopping. As you leave, roll your shopping cart as hard as you can all the way across the parking lot as one last big fuck you to the man. Just make sure you get out of there quick and never come back. That’s easy these days now that every single store carries groceries. Maybe next week, we can get our groceries at Radio Shack!
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