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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Friday, June 15, 2012



First, some haiku.

Shopping in the aisles
you realize that there are
kids that you could kill.

Today we will continue our sojourn in Grocery Store Land. I know what your thinking. You’re thinking we’ll talk about the magazine aisle. You’re wrong. It's too much like visiting the library of congress. Magazines, unless what I write is in them, are boring.

We will instead address the pharmacy. The pharmacy was the first place I visited last week. I'd dropped off a prescription and was told it would be done in about twenty minutes. In pharmacy time that is about two weeks. 

This week I received an automated call that said it was ready. Since I was at the grocery store as usual, I went to the pharmacy and placed a cardboard cutout of the incredible hulk, that I picked up in the movie rental department, to save my place in a line moving at approximately the speed of tectonic plates. Ailing customers sit in in plastic chairs and talk about their diseases and the efficacy of their meds, while offering medical advice to everyone who will listen. The competition  for the greatest suffering is fierce.

There’s a sign about six feet away from the pharmacy window that says: “For the privacy of others please stand behind this sign.” Normally there are  about ten to twenty people in line. Upon arriving at the pick-up window, every one of them very privately screams something like; “My doctor called it in four days ago!”,  “What do you mean my insurance won’t pay for it!?” or  “My God, how much?” 

There is usually an older person with six prescriptions that asks questions about each one and then pays with a check precipitating a credit check on all three of their credit reports. Sometimes they will whack the counter with their cane and want to talk with the manager about how little medicare is paying. It's interesting to see how many people sigh hugely and slap their foreheads. This is the time when impatient mothers start screaming at children to quit playing on the blood pressure machine. 

My prescription, of course was mistakenly filled somewhere at a pharmacy in Nebraska and might be ready next week. Next week it will be filled at a satellite pharmacy and I will have to go there from now on to get it. The odds of actually getting your script is two in seven; knowing this, I didn’t bring the money for it anyway and Since I usually sit there for two hours, I'll run back and swap the unrefrigerated milk and meat, which will start to smell soon.

My store is open twenty-four hours. I used to go shopping late at night to avoid the crowds. It actually takes longer because the only checker is so deaf he cant hear the intercom and is in the freezer usually doing something stupid like putting his tongue on a metal shelf. No one else at night knows how to work the check stand. When he is available he gives you a disgusted look as if he is thinking "Some idiot left the front door unlocked again." Night shopping is super weird. 

Every night is karaoke night and many stockers are raucously singing to rock music that is playing on the intercom. They sound like a bunch of howler monkeys whose girlfriends just shot them out of the saddle. The rest are all hollering disgusting jokes or making lewd comments about the woman who is three aisles over.

There is generally a non-English speaking, cleaning service person that resents my attempt to shop on aisles that he hasn't roped off. He always tries to run me over with a propane-powered buffer. I've gotten good at climbing shelves quickly. He apparently doesn't understand screaming in English.

I get mugged a lot more often in the parking lot at night so I’ve opted to stick with day shopping.

Produce is a crapshoot. You may get oranges so sour they turn your head inside out, or you may get oranges genetically engineered to turn into goop and crawl out of your refrigerator the next day. Organic produce is more expensive and richer in protein due to all the insects in them. I prefer the cheaper, chemically sprayed, gassed, mutant produce, with wax all over it.

The fresh French bread that's baked four times a day is a sure trip to the dentist. The bakery apparently confuses “crust” with the outer layer of the earth.

There are always phenomenal savings, sometimes up to ten cents at the “Manager Gone Wild section!” Managers love specials. Manager specials are generally green meat, slimy lettuce, donuts that seem to be moving, outdated curdled milk and strawberries with little white Santa beards. I suspect its the same stuff I put back last week while waiting at the pharmacy. 

There are often signs that advertise a lower price when you buy ten of something. The price for only one is five percent higher. Who would buy ten fifty-pound bags of dog food, unless they have a teenager or run an old folks home?

At the end of the last aisle, I gird my loins and head for the checkout stand. (I wonder if I could call in sick with a girded loin?) Normally I don’t have to go too far to the checkout line because it stretches back to the pharmacy which is usually the last department. After a while (six hours in pharmacy time), I am only a couple of buggies from seeing an actual checker.

 Of course it will be time for the checker’s break so she turns off her light and barricades the entrance with a growling buggy. The union rules state that checkers must rest one hour out of every two because popping gum, and glaring at customers is very exhausting. This is a lucky break for me. Veteran shoppers like myself know her break will only take an hour so I remain where I am rather than go to the end of another line. Meanwhile I catch up on the Enquirer and weekly world news. Did you know Arnold Schwartzenegger is really a woman married to a vampire and has given birth to the batboy who married a female Sasquatch that gave birth to Jesse Ventura who claims that the government is planning to hide all indispensable members of the government and their bimbos, not including Nancy Pelosi, inside Cheyenne Mountain in 2012? Me neither. Real journalists that care, unlike myself, write facts. I try not to get too concerned with truth. No one would believe it. The National Enquirer sources are always unimpeachable.

There are two types of checkers. Married, depressed checkers wearing no make-up that don’t care, and resentful single ones with enough make-up to make them look like a piñata that care even less. Last night mine was the latter. When the rested checker returned, her gum popping escalated to the point where it sounded like a River Dance production on bubble wrap. She was able to pop at this rate while having a conversation with the checker in the next check stand about tattoos, her boyfriend or her pregnancy test, all the while checking groceries and ignoring me.

Some shoppers stand in line carrying a file folder full of coupons that outweigh their groceries. Upon noticing this, other customers in line run screaming out the door and instantly get run over by the drag racers at the crosswalk. Any fool forgetting their store savings card is immediately penalized eighty-five dollars.

I challenged a price once claiming their ad said it was lower. I was dragged into the office and beaten with rubber grocery separators, until I recanted and apologized to the checker for my unthinkable crime.

Most bag-boys are sadistic frontal lobotomy patients who work only long enough to make their next car payment and steal acne medicine. They have been extensively trained for up to five minutes to put eggs, tomatoes, and bread under the canned goods and put items on the bottom of your cart so that they will fall off on your way to the car five times, or eight if its raining.
Plastic bags are engineered to disintegrate one foot from your trunk.  We have to put three of them inside each other just to carry dog poop when we take the dogs for a walk. Usually I use earth friendly, ecologically sound, cloth bags that don’t disintegrate until one foot from your front door.

There is always a lottery ticket machine on the way out with signs proclaiming all the winners that have turned into crack heads and are now sleeping on the park benches they helped to buy. Of course I buy one. Who knows, I might win and need a bench.

Well I’m going home to enjoy some dog food and green steaks. Bye till next time.


  1. TFF I don't use the pharmacy at the grocery store, but I see a lot that do. I have noticed that Walgreen's is getting pretty much like you described in your post. The last time there to pick up my son's meds one lady standing in line was carrying a tiny baby and had seven kids running around screaming everywhere. I pray she was there for the morning after pill, and after like what felt like 8 hours in line I was going to pretend she was Mrs Duggar and tell her how much we enjoy that show (not) but hopefully get moved up in the line.

  2. Ah.....a fellow hoarder!
    Green steak? No. But I might be willing to try green eggs and ham.

    1. My son eats too fast to hoard anything. He doesn't even taste it on the way down.

    2. But my desk is proof that I would be a total hoarder.

  3. I feel like I'm forever repeating myself by saying how brilliant you are...but darn't it, you are.

  4. That's 'darn' and not 'darn't'. Jeez I need to sleep.

  5. Thanks. I don't work and sometimes it takes me three weeks to put one of these together working about an hour or two a day. I write and rewrite and can barely spell. These are all old ones I'm editing and re posting. I once asked a big shot where I worked, "Am I successful because I work a lot or I'm smart?" He said, "You are the only one who can answer that." I thought "Hey! I'm working a hundred hours a week." That jerk just called me stupid. If you had my time, you would be better than me.

  6. @grins - thanks again for a very entertaining read. I really have no ides where your minds at, but to see the side of life as you do must be bliss. No depressing moments for you - in every instance another humorous event!
    keep it up!