Friday, March 7, 2008

A Trip to the Groccery Store

In prehistoric times, when a child wailed, “There’s nothing to eat around here!” it was a major hassle. Dad was forced to get out the bow and arrow and hunt down a wild boar. Mom had to go out and forage for berries, nuts and the occasional grub.

Nowadays putting food on the table is a much more civilized affair, but it still comes with trials, especially if you’re shopping with kids

The first obstacle is the wall of gumball machines just inside the entrance, which is the grocery store’s diabolical method of getting you to pay a cover charge just to get inside. After you’ve fed the machines five dollars in quarters, you’re allowed entry.

Once inside, you discover you’re stuck with the bad cart, one with a wheel so wobbly it should be taken out to the back of the store and shot. You rattle through the aisles, as your youngsters scatter to pick out assorted kiddy litter that will add at least fifty bucks to your food bill, and thousands to your dentist bill.

You head to the meat section and, as usual, nothing is on sale except unappetizing cuts like butts, shoulders and shanks. Since there is no such thing as Pork Butt Helper, you opt for a couple of pounds of hamburger.

Rounding the corner, you spot the dreaded Sample Lady. You’d be delighted to see the Sample Lady if she gave away good stuff like dark chocolate or Dixie cups of Chardonnay, but the Sample Lady is almost always peddling weird food you’d never want to eat.

“Don’t make eye contact,” you mutter to yourself as you try to duck behind a display of Little Debbies.

Too late! Sample Lady heads you off at the pass.

“Would you like to try this new yogurt?” she gushes. “It’s beet-flavored.”

The look on Sample Lady’s face is so hopeful you hate to turn her down. You take the yogurt and plan to ditch it somewhere in produce.

Recently you’ve vowed to purchase healthier foods so you stroll down a rarely visited part of the grocery store, the organic aisle. Suddenly you’re surrounded by oddities like oat cakes, soy milk, and gluten-free bread. Do people really eat this stuff? Feeling overwhelmed, you finally see a food you recognize, all-natural Cheetos. Feeling virtuous, you toss it into your basket.

You get into the checkout line. As your kids pillage the candy rack, you try not to look at the tabloid display.

“Junk food for the mind,” you sniff but then, out of the corner of your eye, you see the headline, “Ashton Begs Demi, “No More Plastic Surgery.”

“I knew she had some work done,” you cackle to yourself as you add the magazine to the cart.

Once you’re all checked out, the clerk announces your total. “$250.75.”


“Do you have your grocery card?”

Of course, you have your grocery card. With today’s prices a person would be stark raving mad to go shopping without it.

“Your total is now $250. 25.”

“That’s more like it,” you huff.

You get home, unload the groceries and unwind from your excursion. Two hours later, one of the kids takes a peek into the refrigerator and cries, “I’m starving and there’s nothing to eat!”
You tell him to go in the yard and dig for grubs.

Karen Neches was single for over twenty years. She used to tell people she was in the “hospice stage” of being single as she never expected to recover. Then at the age of forty-three she finally met her soul mate. Earthly Pleasures, Booksense Notable is dedicated to him. She maintains a web site at P.S Some people alsos know her as Karin Gillespie, founder of this blog.


JD Rhoades said...

Heh! I love it. The closest I ever came to whacking my beautiful teenage daughter in the back of the head is when she spent five minutes going through both a full refrigerator and a full cupboard, looking at an amazing selection of fruits, breads, veggies, lunch meats, cookies, crackers, cereals, etc. etc. and announced "there's never anything to eat in this house!"

Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed it. LOve to see you guest blog.


Mary said...

Loved this post. That sounds like grocery shopping with kids, for sure. Thanks for the chuckle this morning.


MadAnne said...

This is a great blog. I've found all kinds of wonderful authors. Just finished Earthly Pleasures and passed it on to my Mom.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for reading and passing on.