Sunday, January 30, 2005

A La Cart

I don't mind shopping for food. In fact, I like it. I'm transported back to my cave man ancestry braving the wilds, foraging for dinner, unknown dangers lurking at every turn.

Granted, the local supermarket is not exactly the great outdoors and the food doesn't run from the shelves at my approach as would deer and quail. Nevertheless I have a feeling of satisfaction as I load the truck with bounty deftly acquired. It's not easy, you know, foraging. Sometimes I return to my expectant family only to report that I failed to score a mango. Sorry, guys, I think they're out of season. They don't buy it. They know the mango got away, and they're right. It did.

I didn't expect my cart to get away, though.

I was at the meat and seafood counter waiting my turn. The meat and seafood counter is cool because they have a recording of a seagull that plays at random intervals. The seagull is cool.

So, the lady says "Is the shrimp fresh?" "Yes, m'am, from the gulf this morning." "How 'bout the snapper? Is it fresh?" "Yes, m'am, from the gulf this morning." "What about the Alaskan King Crab? That fresh?" "Yes, m'am, from the gulf this morning." "Hey, how can King Crab be fresh from the gulf this morning?" "They migrate, m'am, they migrate."

"OK, I take 10 pounds fresh Alaskan King Crab."

Finally, my turn came and I asked for 2 pounds of fresh, gulf filet mignon. Did it migrate from Alaska this morning, I enquired.

You know, you'd think the meat and seafood manager would have just a little bit of a sense of humor. Alas, not so.

I turned to drop my kill into my cart, and I know this is hard to believe, but my cart was gone! I imagined myself a Neanderthal ancestor about to drop his haunch of mastedon into his, uh, well, into his...what? What would a Neanderthal drop his haunch of mastedon into? Oh, yeah, his Volvo!

Imagine my Neanderthal ancestor's surprise when he turned around and his Volvo was gone! That must have been some surprise! Well, my cart was gone and I felt the same way. Exactly.

The meat and seafood manager offered, "I think that blonde lady took your cart. She went into the ice cream aisle." Yeah, and a dingo aite your baybah! I hustled off to the ice cream aisle and sure enough there was my cart being filled with Blue Bonnet Dark Chocolate ice cream. Now, I was quite torn by this dilemma. On the one hand the rogue lady was putting stuff into my cart and on the other hand she was putting good stuff into my cart. What to do, what to do?

I decided that she might start loading my cart with frozen okra which is a definite clash with Blue Bonnet Dark Chocolate ice cream, so I intervened ever so politely and said "Excuse me, I think you have my cart."

To which she replied, "Well, it's not my fault! I bought mushrooms, too!" Then she stalked off.

I dropped my steaks on top of the ice cream and strode off to the checkout lane. Whistling. Dark Chocolate ice cream. Yeah, baby!

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