Tip for the day

Isn't it strange that evolution would give us a sense of humor? When you think about it, it's weird that we have a physiological response to absurdity. We laugh at nonsense. We like it. We think it's funny. Don't you think it odd that we appreciate absurdity? Why would we develop that way? How does that benefit us? I suppose if we couldn't laugh at things that don't make sense we couldn't react to a lot of life. I can't tell if that's funny or really scary. Calvin

Don’t struggle to change. Struggle strengthens what you are trying to change.
- Cheri Huber

A day without laughter is a day wasted.
- Charlie Chaplin

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Thursday, June 14, 2012


You will find yourself whacking your forehead constantly wondering things like “Why in the world didn’t I look for deodorant in the produce department?” 

      Eating is one of my favorite sports, and I have a teenager living at home that needs to consume his body weight in food about every hour to supply the much needed energy for sleep. Consequently, when I’m not at work, I do a lot of panhandling. Chances are, if you see someone standing with signs at busy intersections asking for money, they're parents and their beards and crutches are fake. Needless to say, if I’m not working or begging, I’m at the grocery store. I can’t seem to convince my wife how much fun it is. That’s because she’s not stupid and evidently I am. You may think this assessment is unfair. Me too, but then I'm the one shopping.
       Upon arriving at the store, the first thing I do is to look for routes that avoid the gangs of feral shopping carts that roam the parking lot in search of victims. Never, ever, use the cross walk to the store, as that is where drag races are held. If I’m lucky, I'll eventually find a parking spot in an adjacent county, with no more than two menacing carts blocking the entrance. 

For safety’s sake and minimum blood loss I usually ram them into another car. I drive an old, faded, rusted out truck that I hope people hit, which of course insures that they won’t come near it. Buggies have no such qualms but what can they do that hasn't been done to the truck?
         Inside the store there are docile buggies. I’ve never found one but I’ve been assured they exist. The buggy I choose will invariably start pulling to the right. Usually I find mop strings wrapped inextricably around the rear wheel so I can be assured of leaving black skid marks in my wake. Trying to be sensitive to the disabled cart, I lift up the corner of the cart that drags and take short steps similar to that of a spastic penguin. 

The opposite front wheel is usually covered with wads of petrified gum providing the surprisingly smooth glide of a Roto-tiller on frozen gravel. After enduring several disapproving stares as my cart screeches along, I'm able to appreciate the ability to annoy people.
      My grocery store has made every effort to get every single, ethnic and organic item produced on the planet, not to mention lawn furniture, underwear, bicycles, spas, gas, guns, grills, Etc. (Gas, Guns and Grills would make a great title for an article) Consequently, they have had to throw in about six extra aisles that the architect never planned for, thereby making the aisles narrower. In any given aisle there is just enough space for two buggies to pass, so store owners have compensated for that oversight by enlarging the size of the shopping carts and placing displays in the aisles. 
All these obstacles still can’t keep shoppers out, so to further enhance the shopping experience, carts with a car-like kiddy seat protruding out the front are provided to placate all the screaming  children with ADHD that normally would be smashing merchandise. This makes carts twice as long, effectively letting them totally block entire aisles. 
      There are always little old ladies demanding you yield at the end of the every aisle. Buggy bumper duels inevitably ensue. Thanks to my lame carts I always lose.
         A handicapped person in a motorized cart doesn’t stand a chance unless the vehicle has a cowcatcher and enough horsepower to pop a wheelie.
       Another way store managers find space is to make shelves higher. 

They put things so high that people have to jump or climb to reach them resulting in screams and profanity from people in the next aisle being brained as products topple from their side. My guess is that the owners pay basketball teams with ladders to come in at night and restock the top selves.
      Someone is standing motionless exactly in the middle of almost every aisle, oblivious to the people politely waiting for him to regain consciousness and get out of the way. His stunned state is because the crackers that were 1.99 yesterday went to the EVERY DAY LOW PRICE of (surprise!) 4.29. 
After five minutes he is still trying to figure this out. A person at the back of the aisle, fresh out of anger management class, will lose it and start screaming profanities that jolt the stunned person out of their reverie. "Captain Beyond" will look up and owlishly blink a few times, completely forgetting what he was thinking about and happily move on to the next aisle, to have a conversation with a shelf-talker to see if he can get any tips on getting a date with the girl announcing the produce sprayer warning.
      Once I saw three women, immobile except for their jaws, discussing a PTA meeting or some equally riveting topic, in front of the dairy. Their insensitivity to the growing crowd caused a traffic jam of Los Angeles proportions. 
A fed-up, an angry mob hog tied them, dragged them off to the parking lot and threw them to the wild buggies. The last sight they saw was snarling buggies rearing up and pawing at the air with their front wheels. This, except when you are driving, is why God gave us cell phones. (Which is another rant I will address in a different article.) I have to admit it is kind of disgruntling to follow someone talking on an unseen earphone. If they just  acquired a new love interest, and have more than three cans of whipped cream in their cart, its cheaper to follow them around than calling a 900 number. 
       I have learned the hard way that delicatessens sell “fresh” rotisserie chicken four days after burning them to perfection. Rubber chickens are cheaper at the novelty store.
       According to magazines in grocery stores, grocery stores are currently the hottest spot to pick up dates. Most girls would realize that if a guy has a box of tampons or diapers in his cart he probably isn’t the best prospect. Not the supermarket hotties! Many of these hopefuls, wear sweats or shorts that say, “Bootylicious!” on their butts. Sometimes it’s the ones breaking the pound barrier with the kiddy cart full of children. If you can read the entire word "Bootylicious" back there, it's not actually bootylicious.  

Their buggies are mostly beer, pop, hotdogs, chips, and Twinkies and work much better than high-powered pheromones. This tactic is like chumming for fish, which by the way is illegal. The males with all the TV dinners and cans of Beefaroni are usually their accommodating victims. The appearance of some of these single moms is often because they develop eating disorders from the stress caused by trying to keep herd on their kids while shopping. These grocery supermodels break all spandex laws with impunity and are inevitably braless.  Don’t get me wrong. There are drop dead gorgeous women who shop there too, just not when you or I am there. To be fair, most guys at the store are ugly, smelly, dirty and sporting mullet haircuts (on their faces). It's as if they had gotten trapped with a muppet in the machine from the movie "The Fly" and were somehow genetically altered. The last date these guys had, they picked up at an AA meeting or had to be inflated. They don’t deserve the meat-market monthly magazine centerfolds. 
          Many organized people try to shop with a list. These people have been known to be there for days. If you naively shop with a list, you are destined to fight your way back to each aisle at least four times. That’s because there is no rhyme or reason to the layout of the store. You will find yourself whacking your forehead constantly wondering things like “Why in the world didn’t I look for deodorant in the produce department?” The experienced shopper just goes up and down the aisle grabbing what ever he thinks he can use and throws it in his basket.
           I will give you more shopping tips next week. My wife just called to tell me that my son ate all the dog’s food, but that the father of the kid next door, brought back my fake beard and crutches he borrowed just in time for rush hour. If I hurry I might beat the transients to the good spots at the busiest intersections


  1. I hate when things are placed up on shelves too high to reach, and I can’t stand inconsiderate shoppers. You’ve highlighted some good points here. Yes indeed, maneuvering through the grocery store can be quite an interesting experience, to say the least. :-o

    1. I'll bet a lot of shoppers are nimble enough to play on the Bronco's football team. I'm not sure what that says about the team. Readers, don't yell at me if you are a Bronco fan, I love the Broncos. I worship the ground they walk on.

  2. I love how you take an ordinary situation and place it above the mundane.
    I never fail to laugh at your musings. :)

    1. I could probably do better with the fodder the political parties and government provide, but I refuse to do political and/or religion. Thanks

  3. I cannot get over how you see so much in such simple things. I must keep an open mind, and see if I can be a bit more creative... Thank you!

    1. I guess the devil is in the details. I'm never in the hurry anyone else is.

  4. OMGosh you have just reasons I hate going to the grocery store. :)

    1. I think you're saying you hate grocery shopping as much as I do for the same reasons. Isn't it horrible.