Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas With Rats

Huh? Again with the rats?

This was the title of a story my son wrote in the second grade. Oh good, I thought, now everyone will think we live in a tenement. But in truth it was a very sweet story and we don't/didn't live in a tenement and I didn't care what they thought anyway. So rats it was. And rats it is again today, boys and girls.

A shopper in a grocery comes very close to the rat in a maze, doesn't s/he? The aisles (or as my students would say, "isles") stretch endlessly, one can't remember where anything is, other rats are bunched up in front of the items one wants, such as silver polish, extract of almond, and margarita mix, which come to think of it, might make an acceptable cocktail at the last minute.

I am going to share a grocery list tip, not that I ever follow my own advice.

Arrange the items on your list in the approximate order of the grocery "isles." So for instance my own list for Hannaford's (at present they have won the Battle for Becky, but THAT COULD CHANGE) starts with the produce section. One lemon, right here. Got it. One orange. Ditto. Lettuce, green pepper, tomatoes, got 'em all in one grab. I am awesome Oops, don't forget the grapes. See? This way I can scurry about in that one section, get everything, and not have to traipse back later when I'm already near the end of the maze.

Incidentally, what's with these enormous shopping carts that I guess are supposed to look like bumper cars for the kiddies to ride in? Anything to keep them quiet, I guess, but even so, they take up more than their share of space and I'm ready to ram one. Don't mess with me right now, I'm full of truth and righteousness. You might not know it but I'm wearing a Wonder Woman logo.

At least it isn't cold. My friend just returned from visiting North Carolina and said it was in the seventies every day. Yikes.

Meanwhile, back in the maze, there's always that one shopper who somehow is going against the flow. Didn't she start in the same aisle as you did? What made her jump out, like a bowling ball out of one gutter and into another? You smile at her each time you meet, which happens to be every freaking aisle. DIE, PEASANT!

Then occasionally you meet the chatters, those who have run into their next door neighbors and CAN'T BELIEVE IT!! OH MY GOD IT'S BEEN SO LONG!!!

Wonder Woman smites them too.

Most people have the same glazed expression that you do. And that's the way it should be. You can see the ones who have allowed panic to swell in their hearts. MAYBE I SHOULDN'T MAKE THE CHEESE BALL. MAYBE PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF IT. MAYBE I SHOULD TURN AROUND AND GO BACK TO PRODUCE AND RETHINK THIS.

Do it and regret it the rest of your life.

The "medical" aisle is usually free of carts and shoppers. I try not to look at the poor individual scanning the shelves for some embarrassing item. What is it with men anyway? They always want to tell you about their hemorrhoids/bowels/defecatory problems. I always say the same thing. "I don't want to know you that well."

The dairy aisle is the last one at H's. A lot of bunching up occurs here, a lot of competitive grabbing for cream cheese and eggs. This is where you start balancing items precariously on top of each other in your cart. Those grapes and tomatoes you selected way back twenty years ago in produce? They are at the bottom. You gotta give credit to the Hannaford design team, huh?

So you eventually make your way to a register, where you are evaluated by the rat psychologists and given a coupon for your next trip to the maze. Then it's across the street to the liquor store and their version of the same thing. More about that another day.


Time to play the Messiah. Loud.



At 8:16 PM , Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

I don't like rats - normally - but that photo is rather sweet. Is it your own photo of a pet rat your son owned?
Anyway, your similes of us unfortunate Xmas shoppers as rats in a maze, is somehow very appropriate. I am about to go scuyrrying and scampering about now - I will keep in mind your wonderfully nasty Wonder Woman comments! It'll help me to smile through it all. (I will keep you posted.) BTW your posts are the MOST inspirational Christmas posts I've ever had the pleasure to read. I am LOVING the updates ... You make me snort out loud (3 times in a row!) - ABM wonders what I am reading ... only two more days to go Beks (over here anyway.)

At 9:11 PM , Blogger Mark said...

I'm going to get busted reading your blog at work one day. I have to hide under the partition and stifle the laughter. Tears.

I heard somewhere that rats are cleaner than mice, although that's not saying much, is it?

Have a great Christmas if I don't get on here again, b. And good luck with the rest of your shopping.

At 9:18 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

My Thursday task was to wrap, and today's was to pack. For better or worse, I didn't have to clean for the holiday. Tomorrow I'm off on a 2000 mile road trip, more like hamsters in tubes than rats in a maze, only with passing lanes. Fortunately, I like to drive.

Merry Christmas to you and yours-

At 7:37 AM , Blogger Becky said...

Thanks to all of you and have a merry and a happy.



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