Archive for the ‘ Foodtown (and other supermarkets) ’ Category

I Hate Me, Part 287,111

My never ending quest for Jazz apples led me to an Acme Supermarket, not my backup supermarket in Fair Haven but the one in Shrewsbury (near Call Me Ishmael’s-Discount Whaling Supply Hut). Not my store of choice but here I was on a hot tip my wife got thru her Apple blog, Apples, Fuck Yeah! Well they had the Jazz apples and they seemed reasonably fresh. Unfortunately they were displayed (see diagrams below)in such a way that the apples were sitting on top of each other and it was like a game of apple Jenga, trying to pull out the freshest apples without disturbing the apples that were resting on them. I got two and then when I went for a third, POW! I grabbed the wrong apple and a good 8-10 apples started to fall off the display. I tried to grab them which made me drop the apples I already had and the result was about 10 apples rolling around the floor. There’s no way to look like anything but an idiot when scrambling for fallen apples, there should have been Benny Hill music playing in the store as I was trying to round up the fallen and now mostly bruised apples. An old woman was standing near the lettuce watching this happen and she just shook her head disgustedly at me like I had been playing a prank. I gathered up the apples, found four that weren’t terrible and slunk towards the checkout. That Acme now has a radioactive embarrassment half life of about six to eight months.

TRANSLATION: #1 cutaway of grocers fruit display. #2 how the jazz apples were displayed

TRANSLATION: #1 cutaway of grocers fruit display. #2 how the jazz apples were displayed

I Hate Me, Part 198,562

I’ve been trying to watch what I eat for a while now. I lost some weight and it’s a constant,blah,blah,blah. Anyhow, every now and again I’ll get a jones some food I really shouldn’t get. In this case a black & white cookie. Not a bakery/artisanal version, “made with the darkest chocolate from Belgium’s famed chocolate mines and the purest sugar taken from rarest sugar trees hidden deep in the Himalayas and tended to by the Dalai Lama himself”. I wanted a cellophane wrapped one where the chocolate part is soft and the white part (not vanilla) is a hard sugar shell and the cookie part is slightly stale. I found one at a local Krauszer’s. I took it to the counter and:
Counter Guy: I can’t sell you that.

Me: why not? (did my wife send out a flyer to local shops “do not sell unhealthy food to this man” with my picture on it?)
Counter Guy: Look, there’s some black stuff on the white side…I don’t want you to get sick.
Me: I’m pretty sure it’s not mold…It’s just a bit of chocolate that ended up over there when they were making it.
Counter Guy: No, I can’t sell that to you, sorry…get another one.
I went back to the rack and grabbed another one
Counter Guy: No, that’s bad as well, get one from the shelf below
Me: Those are danishes, I wanted a black & white cookie
Counter Guy: Below that
Me: Those are pound cake slices, not the same thing
Counter Guy: I’m sorry
Me:…ok…do you want the unsellable black & white cookies so nobody else gets disappointed?
Counter Guy: No…just leave them there
I left hungry and puzzled.

I Hate Me, Part 276,015

I ran into Foodtown to pick up a few things, got everything relatively unscathed and headed to the “10 Items or Less” check out. In the lane next to mine was this crazy customer who comes into Jacks. She comes in frequently and goes off on insane logic defying tangents. These usually go from interesting to maddening very quickly. There’s a soda refrigerator at the front of the check out so I kind of ducked down so she wouldn’t see me and engage me in a conversation. The way I was crouching/ducking looked like I was frozen in the middle of a fall. The customer in front of me works at Foodtown and was buying something on his break. He’s a large guy who is stone faced and unblinking, he was just staring at me. I was trying to act casual, which was kind of hard considering the position I was trying to hold. I appeared crazier than the crazy person I was trying to avoid. As I was leaving I got a better look at the woman I was trying to avoid and realized I had never seen her before.

I Hate Me, part 244,010

I went to Foodtown to pick up some stuff. It was early afternoon and crowded with old people, this is never good. I went to the deli counter and was waiting, in front of me was an old guy in one one of those motorized shopping carts that the store supplies, they’re like a prehistoric Rascal. They always look cool in a “if I had the balls, I’d use one of those to shop one day, it would be cool or stupid, probably stupid” type way. Anyhow, they’re about the size of a twin bed, are always in the way and move very slowly. So I thought the old guy in the motor cart had ordered and when the deli guy asked if I needed help, Grandpa Munster piped in “I’m next, I’m before him… jesus.” I shrugged and said, fine. A short while earlier when I was at home, I was cutting up some hot peppers and got some hot pepper juice in my eye. It was brutal and my eye was still red and little teary. So the old guy was glaring at me thinking I was trying to cut him and he sees my red teary eye, “You don’t have to cry about it, I was first.” I was somewhat taken aback and tried to explain about the hot pepper and he put up his hand, “aaaachh..I’m ordering here…Yeah, I want two orders of beef stew.. two small orders of stew….Noooo, that’s too small…..Nooo, that’s too big…There’s nothin’ in the middle?…jesus…Gimme the big one but don’t fill it up.” I ordered my chicken and raced to the check out, where I had the small satisfaction of getting ahead of him in line.

like a prehistoric Rascal


I Hate Me, Part 200,771

Once again I was at Foodtown, and of course I was in a rush. It was really sunny out, I have the type of glasses that darken in the sun. Once inside they don’t un-darken very quickly. As I grabbed a basket I saw what I thought was a guy holding a toddler by the chest and neck. I was thinking, Good Christ, what a terrible way to hold a child”. I was staring at him and “Holy shit! He just pulled his child’s head off, Nooooooo! I was stunned and staring at him and I realized that it wasn’t a child, it was a melon, a baguette, and a sack of potatoes and the guy was trying to carry everything without a basket. He caught me staring at him and glared and I tried to mime a sorry-I-thought-I-knew-you type thing and I quickly went to the other side of the store. Good Christ, what a terrible way to hold your groceries.

Through darkened lenses, this combination of groceries appeared to be a child

I Hate Me, Part 276,030

It was late morning, I had to run to Foodtown and I had to make it quick. I needed to pick up a salad for my lunch, a twelve pack of diet root-beer, paper towels and some other bullshit that I now forget. I then had to drop the good car off with Carrie and get to work. I was running a little late and I was feeling a little rushed, a less charitable person might describe it as panicky. Anyhow, I got into the store grabbed a cart and headed towards the salad. As I got there this woman talking on her blue-tooth had her cart blocking the aisle, I tried to go around and was met with her screaming banshee child running around holding a big container of apple cider over his head, like he was a pint sized terrorist using it as a potential weapon. I went around the other side and got my salad. A few feet away the main aisle gets pretty skinny due to an overzealous water display. I found that it was blocked again by the the cart of blue-tooth woman, I didn’t see banshee child but I heard him. She was oblivious to my miming of “Is this your cart? Hmmm”, so I moved it myself. I got what I needed in the meat aisle and headed towards frozen foods. I had an open field and I was making up time. I turned the corner and “FUUCCKKK!” her goddamned cart was blocking another aisle, this goddamned thing was like the Flying Dutchman. This time I just rammed it with my cart. This time the woman saw me and glared, I just gave a shrug and a “I dunno” face. I got the rest of my stuff and headed to the check out, I was headed for the “around 25” items lane and out of nowhere blue tooth woman and banshee child cut in front. They probably didn’t cut me off, I just interpreted it that way. So i went to the 10 item lane, knowing full well that I had more that 10 items. This isn’t usually a big deal but one of my more assholish “quirks” is being a “too many items in the 10 items or less lane” nazi. I can’t help it, if I’m on one of those lines, I’ll silently count the items of the customers in front of me and get angry if they are over. So me, Sgt. Check-out is over, way over. The cashier didn’t give a shit but here I am apologizing and explaining, “Well, I’m sorry…I know there are five yogurts… but if you count them as one item…. five times…well…. then I’m close to the suggested ten items…right.” The cashier just looked at me in bland astonishment and said “it’s fine… it doesn’t matter”. I realized I overplayed my apology card and then apologized for apologizing. I finally paid and left, a little more dead then before I went in.

I Hate Me, Part 105,002

I’ve been eating a lot of apples lately and my favorite seems to be “Jazz” apples. I know, it’s a horrible, horrible name for an apple. It doesn’t bring to mind Coltrane or Miles Davis eating an apple, it makes me think of “jazz hands” and Kenny G but it’s a really good apple. I know there’s people out there (I’m looking at you Matt Forman) who swear by green apples, those people are wrong. Jazz apples are the way to go. I was out the other day trying to find some, I figured Foodtown wouldn’t have any so I went to Whole Foods. Now, my politics are definitely to the left but going to Whole Foods makes me feel like Ted Nugent sometimes. If you go there at the wrong time it seems to be populated by caricatures of every liberal stereotype. People taking things and ideas I believe in and drawing them out to a horribly narcissistic degree. Of course they didn’t have any Jazz apples, so I went to the hot food section and got the next best thing, a nice slab of pork that had been double marinated in self-satisfaction and guilt (it was delicious). I also got a salad to try and offset the porkness of my visit. I got on line to pay, disgusted with myself for coming in to buy something healthy and leaving with the exact opposite (the salad was just a “beard”). The woman who was two customers ahead of me was buying fifteen cents worth of bulk sunflower seeds and the guy ringing her up was being extremely chatty. It was just inane bullshit and I thought he was hitting on her but no, he was just a friendly talkative guy. There’s nothing wrong with being friendly, there’s not enough friendly people around but keep things going, keep ringing up. The guy in front of me also had a longer than needed conversation with the cashier and by the time it was my turn at bat, I was exuding such a strong “DON’T TALK TO ME” vibe that it felt like visible lines of hate were coming off of me. The cashier, who was just being nice didn’t pick up on the message of “AAAAAAAAAAUUUUUGGHHHHHH! just fucking ring me up and shut-up!” that I was sending him telepathically and was chatting away. I was wooden with anger but not rude. I finally paid and was steaming out of the store when the automatic sliding door was a little slow and I walked into it head first. It was pretty goddamned funny. I went to Foodtown that night, they had Jazz apples and all was right with the world.

I Hate Me, Part 109,777

Went to Foodtown tonight after work to pick up some stuff for Christmas dinner. I had maybe five items and was in the “fast track” aisle. There was an older guy in front of me who was trying to figure out how to sign the charge card screen after he swiped his card. While I was waiting, my cashier and the cashier at the next counter started talking about their periods. The duration of their periods, the severity of their periods, the monthly time frame of their periods. The effects of certain types of birth control on their periods. I’m staring at the ground, willing the old guy to hurry up so I can start getting rung up by this amateur gynecologist “(thinking)Let’s Go!… Just put a fucking X on the screen with that stupid looking fake pen, Just…Fucking.. Do it, MOVE IT MOVE IT”. As the guy finally figured it out, an older woman who was just starting to get rung up by the cashier at the next counter wanted to join the cashiers conversation. “are you girls talking about… you know…” and she elaborately moved her hands in front of her crotch, not in a sexual way but in a this is the area we’re talking about, right? kind of way. She continued “…your time…down there…” The two cashiers just stared at her. “…Let me tell you something…two weeks…two…weeks, I’m not even kidding.” I guess this scared my cashier into ringing me up and I was quickly gone.

I Hate Me, Part 107,263

It was a shit day off, I had just gotten into a beef with my next door neighbor (aka: the trash burner). When that kind of stuff happens, I replay it constantly in my head and it hamstrings my day. I had to go to Foodtown, I knew the potential for annoyance* was high, but I wanted to get out of the house. I wanted to make a surgical strike, I needed salad from the salad bar, some apples, yogurt, laundry detergent, and paper towels. I didn’t need a cart or a basket, in my head I figured out my store route; salad,apples,detergent,towels,yogurt, check-out. I had a giant cup of coffee before I left and I felt bulletproof. I got in and everything went to plan, I started celebrating (well, maybe not celebrating but it was the kind of day where any victory was good) and then I hit the check-out (cue the brake squealing, record scratching sound). The shortest line was the express line but in front of me was an old guy in a motorized assist cart and a guy who comes into my store who’s referred to as “The Kasabian guy”. A nice enough guy who seems a bit medicated and always asked about upcoming releases for this english band called Kasabian, sometimes he’d come in a couple of times a week and check. I hadn’t seen him in a while and I really didn’t want to get into a conversation much less a conversation about Kasabian. The guy in the motorized cart was going as fast as a guy in a motorized cart can go and the Kasabian guy had his stuff all spread out on the conveyer belt and was standing in such a way that I couldn’t put anything down without risking a conversation. It was about this time that my pyramid of groceries started to shift (remember I didn’t want to be slowed down by a cart or basket). It was a good stack, in my left hand a flat container of salad with carton of individual yogurts on top and a bag of apples resting on top of everything. In my right hand, a roll of paper towels under my arm and the jug of detergent in my hand. The apples started rolling around in their bag, threatening to spill out, I tried to steady it and ended up dropping everything onto the conveyer belt, knocking over most of the Kasabian guy’s stuff. I apologized to him and he had no idea who I was. In my flustered-ness I blurted out, “Still listening to Kasabian?”, he made a weird lemon face and said no.

*A side note to the word “annoy”. My wife says I never met a pun I didn’t like and I know that puns are the lowest rung of humor but… A long time ago my friend Dave and I did a couple of songs on a four-track under the name Annoy-Bauten ( a pun on german band Einsturzende Neubauten), we did a couple of Sabbath songs (I forget which) and impersonated William Shatner singing them. Not as good as it sounds. 

I Hate Me, Part 255,301

I went to Foodtown after work, while shopping I saw a deli guy who I always see when I’m there. I asked him how it was going and he said “You know what they say in that old gospel song…swing low, sweet chariot”. I know that song as an old spiritual made famous by Paul Robeson. Robeson had an insanely deep voice and it’s fun to try and sing as deep as he did. I know he was great actor and athlete as well as a singer, he was also early civil rights casualty and was treated extremely badly by our government, but still… So I instinctively sang back in my deepest voice (in reality,not so deep) “Comin’ for to carry me home” As I did this I noticed a middle aged black guy at the other end of the counter glaring at me. Me being my usual paranoid self thought that maybe he thought I was being racist, when it was probably just a critique on my shitty voice, so I sputtered “ I..was just tryin’ to do sing as low as Paul Robeson.” It was a panic move, I’m not saying that no one knows who Paul Robeson is anymore but it’s an odd thing to blurt out, about as odd and dumb as trying to sing a line from an old spiritual in Foodtown. The guy shook his head and walked away. I quickly headed to the checkout, staring at my feet.

Paul Robeson