Monday, June 04, 2007

Grocery Shopping for Psychopaths

One of the most vile necessary evils in my life, even beyond contact lenses, menstruation and and car insurance, has got to be trips to the grocery store. Luckily because of where I live in rural Pennsylvania, I do most of my food shopping at Farmer's Markets, produce stands, a small butcher shop on the rare instances when I require meat -- and most importantly a quaint little Mennonite-run natural/organic store where you can purchase whole wheat couscous in bulk for a dollar per pound and natural peanut butter made on premises which is so fresh the oil hasn't even begun to separate yet.

But even so, the occasional pilgrimage to the local chain store is an unavoidable consequence of needing items like dog food, toiletries, Morningstar products and gallons of Turkey Hill Diet Green Tea. If such a thing as purgatory actually exists (and I sure as heck hope not, because I'm likely headed there) I'd imagine it to be not much different than the Weis Grocery Store on a Sunday morning.

Intrinsically, I've got an Bill McNeal-esque split personality which ranges between charming and misanthropic depending on the situation -- And it's always the latter which surfaces during my trips to the store. I'll be in a good mood as I get out of my car, but by the time I'm dragging my feet with the cart behind the trashy, oblivious middle-aged couple holding hands while blocking the entranceway is when Mrs. Niceguy leaves the fucking building. How I loathe these people! The ones who leave their carts obstructing the aisles and let their devil children run free. Ones who have loud, screaming conversations two feet away when I'm attempting to make a quick call home to ask Mr. Salty what kind of Kashi Bars he wants. Those who cut me off with their carts, thinking they can get away with an "Oops! Excuse me!" and polite smile are probably not anticipating the steely, hateful glance I dart back in their direction.

The checkout line is the icing on the cake. To be so close! To stand there, longingly gazing out at the getaway vehicle awaiting in the parking lot! Ohhh, but not so fast! The jerkass lady next in line is going to haggle over a 30-cent coupon, while my frozen yogurt slowly melts away -- along with my sanity. And just when you think it's safe? The same asshole wants to pay with a personal check. And the cashier is "new" and she doesn't know how to "do that" so additional help is required. Serenity now, serenity now!

By the time it's my turn, the fuckwad behind me is up my ass, because he somehow thinks the line will move more quickly if he invades my personal space. I am so livid I begin to hallucinate that I can make his fat head explode with my mind. And then finally, with a roll of register tape coupons, my little journey into Personal Hell is over for now -- and it's back home to Mr. Salty who incredulously wonders why I'm in such a shitty mood all of a sudden.

25 comments:

Kimberly said...

Why in the WORLD do you still go to Weis?? Go to the new Giant, it's awesome!

Osbourne Black said...

With that story, I believe you have just crystalized everyone's thoughts and actions eloquently throughout the civilized shopping world.
Congratulations on a post well done.

sme said...

Oh dear. Having worked in a grocery store for three years, I really do commiserate (sp?) with you. However, I must insist that the next time you are frustrated beyond all belief, and you step up to the cashier, BE PLEASANT. Force sunshine to come out of the depths of your soul and try to be nice, or at the very least indifferent. There are so many asshole customers out there, please don't be one of them.

litelysalted said...

Ohhh, nonono! I'm pleasant to the cashiers. (Unless they do something assy to piss me off, of course.) it's the other customers I reserve my death looks of abhorrence to.

onthevirg said...

People who still write checks in the store (any store) should have to line themselves up to get kicked in the crotch...repeatedly. Old persons get an exception. They don't know any better.

Joey O. said...

(in a sing-songy way) "The Reeeal Deeeal With Bill McNeal!"

Anonymous said...

I have very similar feelings about grocery shoppings as you. Now, however, I have become a complete recluse and do my grocery shopping at 3:30AM wednesday mornings. The only people in the store are me, the cashier, and the night supervisor. So much better.

TK said...

At first I thought - Ha! How funny would it be for you and Mrs. TK to go grocery shopping together.

But then I thought - wait... I don't want to explain to her (or your) parents why she burned a grocery store to the ground. Actual quote from her "I swear, if one more person pulls out a coupon, I'm going to kill every person in here."

Jayne said...

I miss Turkey Hill iced tea. They're finally starting to sell it here in new york- can you believe it??

Love the story!

litelysalted said...

jayne are you kidding me? My friend lives in Brookyn and that is going to be the best news for her ever.

tk I would luuurve to go shopping with Mrs. TK. I almost got myself arrested once attemtping to shop before a snowstorm, I bet the two of us could make it happen f'sure!

Manny said...

I'm sorry, I stopped reading at "...couscous in bulk....". What could you possibly be building in the LitelySalted Laboratory of Hate that you need couscous in bulk? And don't try and tell me you're making couscous butt plugs because it takes at least 60...I mean, um, great post.

Chez said...

Actually, only 59 if you pack it hard enough.

The couscous I mean.

salvatoreisagoodboy said...

i live in brooklyn. when my redbone coonhound dog escapes, he goes directly to the corner bodega. he looks inside the window with his saddest eyes, convincing gullable people he has not been fed- ever. in turn, the hipsters give him half of the pricey sandwich they just bought. wait til i train him to hold out for the Turkey Hill Diet Green Iced Tea. Hoooooottttt DDDDDooooooogggg!!! just in time for summer!

Weasel said...

I was going to say something about the middle of the night being the best time to shop, but then I noticed that anonymous said it already. But I'll say it anyway: the middle of the night is the best time to shop (if you're lucky enough to have a 24-hour grocery store in your neighborhood, that is).

MEECH! said...

This is the blog I have had in draft mode for a couple of weeks.

I am still going to post mine, but you probably said it funny-err!

I take it a step further with the personal-space-invader behind me crammed in the checkout aisle. I pretend to not know she's so close, swing my basket around, and knock aganist her or her cart. Then I say "Oh my, excuse me... I didn't know you were so (fucking) close!" I've done it a few times, but for the love of God - they have yet to move even an inch back, even when I crack them with my shopping basket.

And for the record, I am always ALWAYS pleasant to my cashier. (Especially when she very discreetly bags a certain embarrassing medication I was forced to buy, thanks to the fucking ruinous antibiotic I have been taking for the past week.)

em said...

I hate to say it, but thank God other people feel the same way. Last week at Jewel this jerk-off was seriously pushing the end of his fucking cart into my side while the cashier was still scanning my items. If he didn't have a kid with him I would have given him hell.

My own personal hell is still my commute on public transportation, though. At least at the end of my grocery shopping trip I can make myself feel better with cookies (Hob Nobs, if the store has them).

sme said...

so i have a blog now.....and you should read the Ardmore and Express Line posts to see what I think about working in a grocery store. I also put up the poop blog for your personal enjoyment.

aejr said...

mennonite markets???? omfg i am soooo moving back home. we get the same weis type shit at all the wholefoods and harvests up here. plus homeless people.

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