One would think a quick shopping trip to the grocery store would be a simple enough, and pleasant enough, experience. You pop in, grab what you need, and leave. Bada bing...done. Yet, for cosmic reasons I do not understand, my trips to the grocery store do not EVER go this way. Again, tonight was no exception.
After going to the gym (when in Fresno, the gym and the grocery store seem to be lately about the only two places I leave my home for), I was given a list of items to purchase for the hungry hoard (two daughters, mom, and sis) waiting back at home. One of these items was crackers and garlic and herb cream cheese spread. So I went about collecting my items in about ten minutes, and last on the list was the cream cheese spread. So off to the cheese aisle I go and....hmmmmm. Cream cheese, shredded cheese, blocks of cheese, individually sliced and wrapped cheese...and, um, apparently no cream cheese spread. I look again. And again. And oooooone more time to be sure. Nada. Then it hits me, "OH! It must be with the fancy cheese in the little kiosk near the deli with all the other foo foo stuff." So off to the fancy kiosk I go and......gorgonzola, feta, goat cheese, brie, blue cheese, aaaaand....no cream cheese spread. So I look again. And again. And again. Nada. Obviously I must have over looked it back at the cheese section, so I go back. Nothing.
OK, so this back and forth goes on for about twenty minutes before I finally locate the cream cheese spread in a third location next to the deli counter that contained NO CHEESE AT ALL (well, other than the one I was looking for). What it had was imported pastas, and hummus, and other dips, but no obvious signs of CHEESE. OK, all of this leads me to this question: WHY IN THE HELL DO WE HAVE CHEESE IN THREE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS???????? Here's an idea: you have ONE AISLE, labeled, crazily enough, "cheese". And in this aisle would be "cheese". All of it. You need cheese? You go to the FUCKING CHEESE AISLE. How hard would that be? Just imagine, cheese in the cheese aisle...what a concept. In fact, lets take this idea a step further. There's an aisle labeled "meat" that contains, you guessed it...meat. And one "dairy" that has...yep. The stuff from a cows boobs. The frozen aisle has...you get the idea. Etc. Conversations would go something like this:
"Excuse me sir? Where do I find the queso de la hombre con grande pelotas? If you could just point me to your gourmet..."
"Huh, what the hell is that?"
"Well, its this exquisite goats milk curd from a small region in Jalisco that accompanies a Red Zin like nothing you've..."
"Goats milk curd? You mean like cheese?"
"Oh. Well, then it's in the cheese aisle you pretentious dick."
See? Simple, clear, concise. Perfect for you, perfect for me, and perfect for pretentious dicks everywhere. It's a wonder we can find ANYTHING in a grocery store. Need roasted peppers? Are they in the canned vegetable aisle? No. The produce aisle? No. They're in the CONDIMENT aisle with ketchup and mustard. HUH??? Chili con carne is in the canned meat aisle, not the Mexican food aisle, but refried beans is in the Mexican food aisle, and not the canned beans aisle. WTF???? Is there a rule book on grocery store nomenclature I can study?????? Anyway, I found my cream cheese spread as I said, but only after an obsessive search for it that resulted in my forgetting to get lemon juice, which caused a momentary tea crisis when I got back home (luckily, I had just enough left in the fridge...but thanks for your concern). Had my garlic herb cream cheese spread been my only issue, no biggie. But as usual, there's more...
I get to the register to check out so I can just go home and get out of my gym clothes, shower and enjoy a nice dinner. As I stand in line with my stuff dumped onto the food treadmill that leads to the cashier (i.e. I am now committed to this line. Kinda like after you sleep with somebody. Sure, you COULD leave, but it's AWK-WARD) in the misnamed "Express Line", I now realize there's a commotion at the register. There's wild gesturing, the shaking of heads, lots of finger pointing, furrowed foreheads, the shrugging of shoulders, and a general sense of cluelessness...it was almost like I was watching a video of the day I lost my virginity. Anyway, people clearly do not know what to do. Finally, an older guy who obviously had to be brought out in the middle of his lunch break comes over and punches a numerical code into the register that was about as long as as the square root of pi, and apparently, twice as complicated, because he had to do it three times to get it right (again, see losing virginity above). And what was the issue you may or may not be asking yourself? Apparently somebody wrote a (GASP!) check...and royally fucked everything up. Now, I'm guessing this person pulled up in their Model-T and just wanted to buy some sarsaparilla, Epsom salts, and wanted to know if the war was over...the War of 1812 that is. Anyway, yes, they were old. But still, the way everybody was acting, I thought maybe he was attempting to pay with stone coins from ancient Sumeria, as opposed to a check. Luckily, they got it worked out, the old fart got his, well, whatever geezers venture out on a Saturday night for, and I went home to people wondering what the hell took so long. I related my story in a rather animated fashion, got a laugh, and everything was fine. But still...three cheese locations? Really???
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