I Can't Really Complain . . . But I Still Do
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Location: Colorado

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Clean Up In Aisle Seventeen

Here's one for ya . . .

So I'm at the local grocery store this afternoon and somewhere between the beef jerky and the spray deodorant . . . I spazzed. I just lost it and totally flipped out. One minute I was pushing my three-wheeled cart calmly and patiently through the never-ending rows of generic-brand breakfast cereal, and the next minute I was totally covered in crunchy peanut butter and trying to convince the checkout ladies to join my conga line. This happens to everyone eventually, right?

Now, I love a 5 lb. package of freeze-dried garbonzo beans just like the next guy, but why is it that every time I get within 300 yards of a grocery store I start to fantasize about waiting in the "No Registration Papers" line at the Department of Motor Vehicles? I'm pretty sure that I saw a news story last week about some new scientific link between those eerie bright lights and a very rare type of tumor.

This is your brain on bulk coffee sweetener.

Maybe the key to having a fuller, richer grocery store experience is to open your mind and completely embrace the reality that no matter how slow all of those other check-out lines are moving before you make your choice, once you commit, every other line but yours will suddenly shift into overdrive and start moving faster than Michael Jackson under subpoena. "Hey wait - that old lady has 16 items!" I believe Murphy said it best when he so eloquently explained that "It ain't the size of the line that gets 'em, but the sheer number of price-checks on Diet Spam."

Utter Poetry.

Now, before we go too far in indicting the noble grocery store, let us remember that eventually we're all gonna need a couple of sheets of toilet paper and then all bets are off. Try as I might, I have yet to figure out that last mysterious ingredient in the secret formula for Coke. (And please don't email - I already know that it isn't oregano) Darn soda addiction. They have it - I want it. I guess when you get down to it . . . it's as simple as that.

So, for now the grocery store remains a necessary evil. Sort of like paying taxes or getting your emissions tested. We have to drive, just like we have to eat.

Maybe I should become a farmer.

Ben O.


Blogger Memphis Steve said...

I used to know a guy named Ben Ondrak. Do you play hockey, by any chance? Have a sister named Laura?

8:00 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

I hate the lines at our grocery store. I always get the cashier that can't find a bar code on any item. By the time I roll out of there, I usually have the full-blown eye twitch going on.

8:39 AM  
Blogger KayseaLove said...

I take advantage of the mags and read my horoscope for the month. Am I alone when I purposely seek the longest line possible just for the free reading?

Who is dumping whom, how to lose 30lbs in 3 days, et cetera.

Yes, person in line ahead of me, PLEASE write a check that doesn't go through so I can leisurely read without getting completely engrossed in this article and at the last minute have to buy it because I can't be left hanging.

8:54 AM  
Blogger LiVEwiRe said...

I end up dreaming of the DMV because that is somewhere I'd actually RATHER be than the grocery store. The place makes me physically ill and I whine like a child every time I have to go. Hey, is there really such a thing as Diet Spam? ::gag::

9:12 AM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Steve - sorry I ain't he. I watch hockey, but don't play (Go Avs!) And I do have a sister, but her name isn't Laura.

I hope you will return nonetheless.

Trin - I think they sell a cream for that. It's on aisle 7.

Kay - You are the luckiest person I know. I usually can't wait to get out. I do like reading the magazines, though. I just don't search out the longest line. Are you sure you passed your last mental health exam?

LV - I am not sure about the Diet Spam. I have never even bought Spam, but it seemed funny at the time. I guess even Spam eaters need to have a low-fat option too.

Thanks all for stopping by - Ben O.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Hey Girl - thanks for "stealing" the bit about Survivor - Streets of LA. Everyone do yourself a favor and surf on over and comment on the post.


While you are there - check her out.

Thanks again - Ben O.

9:59 AM  
Blogger marrie said...

why don't you just get your groceries delivered. When I can't handle the grocery store for whatever reason I just order them from Safeway.com or Albertsons.com. It is only 9.95 extra, or free the first time, I think, and they bring the groceries in and put them on your kitchen table. And they bring you flowers.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Jas said...

they bring you flowers? It's like groceries and a date all in one.
I like getting things delivered, but i love to browse. Grocery shopping is actually relaxing for me. Makes me feel human again after a day in the hospital.

Spam Lite (tm) does exist.

why a farmer Ben? They still need to go to the grocery store for toilet paper and such. i say just go to Costco and buy a huge amount of everything, and then use sparingly. That way, you can shop only 2 times a year.

12:52 PM  
Blogger NYPinTA said...

The final ingredient in Coke is love. ;)

1:41 PM  
Blogger Brooklyn said...

i swear diet coke has crack in it!!! that is my excuse to why i drink 6 a day....

2:29 PM  
Blogger nutty said...

I love your posts. So funny. You know, Ben O. kinda sounds like a farm brand, maybe there's something to that.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see that you are on a roll again - or was it that you needed a roll? Whatever . . I am also one of that rare breed that actually enjoys a leisurely stroll thru a good grocery store checking out new items, etc. But I agree with the comment about having too many items in the express lane. Can that customer with 40 items in a 12-item lane not read, or they just think they'll get by with it? They usually do!! Oh, well, life is too short to let something like that ruin your day! NJ

4:30 PM  
Blogger Master of None said...

I saw your comment on the "Just Humor Me" blog about waiting in line at Gibsons. Where did you grow up? I too remember Gibsons in North Mississippi, and I thought Gibsons was local, regional at best.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Master - I grew up in the DFW Metroplex in beautiful, hot Texas.

Best place to grow up I can think of.

I have very vivid memories of going to Gibsons down the street and talking my Mom into buying me Star Wars Dudes (I called them dudes, they called them figures.)

Memory Lane - Ben O.

8:47 PM  
Blogger European said...

I usually pick the longest line because clearly, that one will end up moving the fastest (it's one of those little known facts). Also, I try to schedule going to the store at a time when noone else will be there. And then there's the trashy magazines...
Really, it's a question of attitude. Prepare yourself mentally for the agony that is grocery shopping, and it won't be so bad.
Also, Peanut butter conga line... hmmm.

9:46 PM  
Blogger European said...

Ben - if you wanted a picture next to your comment, you'd have to add one to your profile. Just in case. ;)

9:47 PM  
Blogger ~*Stephanie*~ said...

UGH where is my comment..MM huh it is lost in space..

2:17 PM  
Blogger Brooklyn said...


3:31 PM  
Blogger Life is better blonde said...

Hilarious! I wouldn't mind seeing a picture either:)

6:25 PM  

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