Normally I would be wandering the isles of the grocery store because I have nothing better to do, or because I am trying to get something for dinner but I am not quite sure what I want, or because I am a bit of a hefty gentleman and the grocery store is like my cathedral. But today that was not the case. I was simply trying and failing to go grocery shopping.
About a week ago I opened up one of the many cupboards that line my Worldwide Headquarters and happened upon a noticeable lack of non-perishable food items. Oh yeah, I was face to face with hectares worth of brown fake wood inside the cupboards. So I moved on to the trusty refrigerator where I was confronted with well-stocked condiment shelves on the door, and a six-pack of beer, and a half-inch of milk in a God-knows how old jug, but little else. I got a very good look at the bare wire shelves that came with my Frigidaire. In fact, it was about as close to what a refrigerator looks like new as one can get with a currently working unit. It was what one would call a "bachelor fridge." This seems appropriate as I am a bachelor, but I like to eat. And the Unpaid Interns wouldn't shut up so I thought I should throw them a sandwich or two. So it was time to go grocery shopping.
And grocery shopping I did. Back in the day, I used to be a one-grocery store kind of guy; loyal to a fault with the one store that I always went to. I actually felt like a traitor and a weirdo when I would go to the other store, especially when it was for something my usual didn't carry. But here? No so much. And I am not sure why. I move fluidly back and forth between the two grocery stores in town with nary a care, and I am not even going to make and suggestions as to why. I don't care. I just know that's how it works with me now. One could say that I am a changed man I guess.
But anyway, I don't shop very often (as you may have surmised already) so sometimes it can be months between my visits to one particular of my two grocery stores, and in a span of months sometimes things get changed around a little bit. That's understandable. But this time it was ri-God-damn-diculous. I literally wandered around for hours like Moses in the desert looking for shit. I had a list that I had made out several days ago and had been carrying around in my wallet for some sort of osmosis process or something and I was so confused when I got behind the wheel of my shopping cart that I forgot that it even existed, let alone what was on it. So that certainly did not help matters at all. But the real thing that was impeding my progress was the fact that I apparently was unable to figure out where any food item was located.
First of all, whomever makes the decisions about where to put things in grocery stores must be smoking the reefer in the parking lot before punching the time clock, because nothing makes sense. See, in the process of learning life we as social humans learn certain grouping skills. For instance, if we see a pile of Legos lying on the floor we have this tendency to go ahead and pile the blue ones in a little pile over here, and the red ones in a pile over there, maybe the yellow ones in a pile on the other side of the red ones. Most people. Not the grocery store guys. I am thinking that agents from national grocery store chains and the National Grocers Association actually go around from school to school in Canada and America and recruit the kids who are mixing the piles of different colored blocks together to go to a special training center to learn how to mess with the public head by putting things in crazy places. Because here I am, standing in the middle of this bigass grocery store with no idea of where anything is and no idea where to find it. I mean, there are some things that sort of get encoded into your grocery DNA, like the fact that the pickles and mustard are always by the ketchup, and that the meat is always in the back, that kind of stuff. Like marshmallows. Where do you do to find marshmallows? They aren't on the big signs over the isles, so where do you start when looking for them? I guarantee you that they aren't where you first look. What about french fried onions for your green bean casserole? Or tapioca? Tortilla shells? Yeah, in my supermarket they aren't by the Mexican food, they are by the pasta. What the hell is with that?
And that was the stuff that they haven't moved around. A while ago the good people at the grocery store decided to move around everything in the frozen food section. Okay, fine. I can deal with that. But what they did after that is just sinister. Since the last time I was there they took a couple of very small coolers within the frozen food section, which led to my wandering around that section for a half hour looking for frozen peas. It was so bad that I was actually going back to the cooler where the peas were located before the first big change, which is now filled with frozen pizzas. Or maybe that was the cooler where the frozen peas are located at the other store, I don't really know. I was in a state of bewilderment, and I am lucky I was able to get out alive.
So I am not sure what I am going to do with myself. I guess that I am going to have to go to the grocery store more often, like daily or perhaps on a weekly basis. Maybe I should go scout the place out a day before shopping, maybe take A-Town and have him make a map for me. I just don't know, but something has to give here. One of these days I am going to go in there and not come out, and it won't be for a good reason. Or - and here's a radical suggestion - maybe the grocery store SHOULD STOP MOVING ALL THEIR SHIT AROUND. Man, that was easy.