The Grocery Store at the End of the Universe

Okay, I have never been a fan of going to the grocery store. I hate the badly behaved children, the pushy women in a rush, the carts shaped like cars that block the entire aisle. I’ve never been good when there are so many obnoxious people confined in one place, combined with driving something. But since I am now the domestic goddess, I have come to terms with the necessity of going there. And really, my grocery store is not bad — clean, bright, usually quiet in the mornings when I go in. So I am learning to get all Zen about grocery shopping.

However, in recent weeks, it has become the grocery store of the surreal.

First off, what kind of a meat counter runs out of steaks — filets, in this instance — right before the weekend? Every Friday I go in to pick up two filets for our Friday night steak-and-baked-potatoes-just-like-down-home dinner. And more often then not, they have none. Now, is it WISE to run out of steaks before a weekend when a) everyone is home and barbecuing and 2) most people go grocery shopping? Perhaps the teens behind the counter do not know what a filet actually IS? Perhaps they can’t be arsed to actually go into the locker and see that they actually DO have more? I do not know.

Then, there are the old people. On Tuesday mornings, a city bus full of old folks — I call it the Oldsmobile — pulls up and brings the oldies in from a local nursing home to do their weekly shopping. Now, this is very sweet, except for when you are trying to get your shopping done and are used to driving in the fast lane, and suddenly everything grinds to a halt, like someone doing 80 in the fast lane on the 401. But I am usually patient with them, and try to be pleasant and helpful. And then, there was the old couple last week.

I was at the dairy case, getting some milk. There was a cute old couple there, anywhere between 150 and 400 years old, looking like they just fell off a charm bracelet. They were getting some milk as well. I put my milk in my cart, and pushed it behind them and started to walk away. Suddenly, I hear one of them — I think it was the woman, due to the proximity — rip the loudest FART I have ever heard. Certainly the loudest one I’ve ever heard in a public place full of, well, the public. I almost stopped dead in my tracks. But then fear of imminent stench drove me into the baby aisle. Perhaps getting old is a license to fart without inpunity, I don’t know.

Then today, I went in to get my groceries as usual. Up ahead I see two biker dudes. Shopping together. Chatting about house stuff. With a ROTTWEILER PUPPY in the baby seat of the shopping cart. Okay, so we have Gay Biker Couple bringing their Baby out grocery shopping with them. It was like watching the Village People buy bread. It was very odd. Junior was well behaved though, but STILL. A puppy in a grocery store? And to top it all off, one of Junior’s daddies was eating a box of butter tarts as he shopped. I hate people who eat stuff without buying it. That’s worse than the bringing in the puppy, as far as I am concerned.

And so, I have decided, if suddenly aliens come to earth and need to get their groceries and bring along the Rockettes to do a number and even bring John Cusack with them into the Ultra, I will not be surprised. But they sure as hell better not crack open a bag of two-bite brownies before they pay for them. Because that’s just WRONG.