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

I Hate Me, part 377,109

I had to run out for errands. First was getting a new pair of shoes, which was a nightmare. A boring nightmare but a nightmare none the less. Who knew that people with size 12 feet got shunted off to the Circus and Freak Supply Hut (located in Hazlet, near the swamp). On my way home I stopped at the Stop & Shop to pick up some stuff. It wasn’t a lot but it was more than a hand basket would carry so I got a short grocery cart. There’s something about these carts that make me feel old and feeble. The normal carts are sturdy wagons to fill with food and drink, to barrel through the aisles with the impunity of an SUV. Whereas the short cart looks like a glorified walker, a reminder of what’s coming in a few years (if I’m lucky). Also, the short cart has an ankle smasher bar, so you have to walk with short halting steps or else you’ll smash your ankle. I wasn’t in a great mood after the shoe debacle so I thought “I’ll rewrite the rules, no short cart is gonna cramp my freewheeling, anti-authoritative style. Fuck the Man!” (I actually didn’t think that but when they make the movie of this tale, it would make a nice voice over. I’m thinking Liam Neeson). So ladies and gentlemen (those who haven’t fallen asleep yet), I pulled the cart instead of pushing it. When the history of the shopping cart is written I will be in there. Not written about like the Wright Brothers and flight but like the guy who’s shown in the history of flight blooper reel, he’s got a plane with ten wings that collapses almost instantly. Seconds after I started pulling the cart and it was smashing into the shelves knocking stuff off, I realized that they weren’t made to be pulled only pushed. I felt like an idiot, which I’m sure the people who witnessed it would agree with. Be sure to tip your bartender.

the short car. aka: the pre-walker, with ankle smasher bar

the short car. aka: the pre-walker, with ankle smasher bar

I Hate Me, part 355,291


Went to Foodtown to grab some stuff, not a lot. Enough to get into the “About 20 items or less” line. As I was making a bee line for the register, a woman with a cart darted in front of me and beat me to the line and then jumped in front of her cart to pull it in to the register line/cattle chute instead of the normal push. unfortunately in her haste she came in at an odd angle and it was stuck. This would have been ok if she was pushing the cart but pulling it, not so good. So, me being chivalrous and wanting to move things along. “Here, let me help”.  I had my basket in my right hand, so I went to lift the cart and move it with my left hand. I grabbed it in such a way that my hand appeared palsied. The woman looked at my hand and made a lemon face (“that big crippled man tried to help me. It was nice, he failed but it was nice”). So I swung the cart over but went too far and smashed it into the candy rack, knocking a bunch of candy onto the floor. I felt like Lennie from Of Mice and Men. The cart was straightened out enough to move through and I took my time picking up the fallen candy as to not look at the woman with the cart.

"I'm sorry I smashed the cart into the candy"

“I’m sorry I smashed the cart into the candy”

I Hate Me, part 394,330

I had to run to A&P after work. It was about 9pm and usually they’ll close one of the entrances at night, but I’m never sure what time this happens since I don’t go there that often. Instead of using the out of the way door that’s always open I always try the regular door but like Charlie Brown and the football it winds up in failure. So I was heading towards the regular door and a woman got there ahead of me and it was locked and there never is a “Please use other door” sign posted. She was frustrated and as we were walking towards the other entrance,
Woman: Jesus, why is that door always closed?…and they never put a sign up either
My other complaint about the A&P is their slow automatic doors, I’ve walked into them many times and I thought this would be a good time to vent.
Me: yeah, that stinks…and they have slow doors too
Me:…ya know…the doors…when they ARE unlocked…open VERY slowly…very easy to walk into…
[silence and glare]
Jesus, I hope this woman doesn’t think I’m trying to hit on her and very lamely I might add.
Me: uh…my wife and I were just talking about…..about how slow the doors were here…very slow.
And we got into the store and I hoped (successfully) that I could get my stuff and not run into her again.

officer, those automatic doors are very slow

officer, those automatic doors are very slow

I Hate Me, part 387,121

It was morning, I got a late start. I had to go to Foodtown to grab some salad and yogurt. Their salad bar is usually pretty strong, especially early. Not today, the lettuce was mostly stumps (the end part of the Romaine that should be thrown out). Which meant that it was a slow moving process to get a stump free salad. As I was doing this, an old guy was sweeping up around the salad bar and in a rush to pick through the salad (with tongs!) a couple of stumps landed on the floor. I didn’t want to be a dick after the old guy just swept up so I went to pick them up as I was bending over to pick them up I knocked over the salad from the container I was filling up and now there was a lot of salad on the floor. The guy who works the sushi bar (which is right across from the salad bar, both located in Foodtown’s extensive “bar district”) was just staring at me with no expression while sharpening a knife. I gathered up all the salad that was on the floor and threw it out and started over. I finally got to the checkout, there was a very old couple in front of me who were arguing with the cashier about a sale. They were buying 10 or so bottles of Alberto VO5 shampoo. This is more shampoo than they would probably ever live to use. There was a limit of two, the cashier tried to explain and showed them the advertising circular
Cashier-Here’s the circular, it says limit two
Woman-I don’t see that
Cashier-right here
Woman-mmmmmmmmm, well how much is it without the discount
He tells her a price
Woman-NNNoooo…I’ll just take the two
He rings everything up and tells her how much she owes
Woman-I think I’ll take two more of those shampoos
The cashier does something and adds two more shampoos and gives her the adjusted total. Now it’s the husbands turn, the cashier tells him the amount, which also comes up in the credit card machine, where he’s supposed to swipe his card
Cashier-that will be $28.46
Cashier-no…it’s twenty..eight..forty..six
Guy-eighty what?
Cashier-No…it’s right here (points to the credit card machine) Twenty Eight dollars and Forty Six cents
Guy-…what about the rest of the shampoo?
Woman-We’re not getting them
Guy-Why not?
Woman-the sale was wrong
This went on for another thirty seconds which felt like thirty years and then he finally paid and I bought my salad

a different Foodtown

a different Foodtown

I Hate Me, part 243,002

[note: this story is at best slender]
I had to go to the store after work. I ended up going to the A&P in Little Silver because the Foodtown didn’t have what I needed. A long time ago this A&P was great because it was open 24 hours and you could do weekly shopping with no one in the store except employees. Their prices were higher but I didn’t care because at one in the morning it was my personal supermarket. Dare I say, it was magical. Times have changed, now they close at 10pm and they have slow doors. I am not a fast man and their automatic doors are so slow that I’ve walked into them on several occasions, causing equal parts anger and embarrassment. They also lock one of the entrances near closing but they used to have a “please use other door” sign, not tonight. Clunk, walked right into it, slowly because I thought it was just slow not locked. Grrrrrr. Got what I had to buy and went to the checkout, they only had the self checkout open. I’m not a big self checkout fan, items don’t always read correctly and the self checkout watcher has to rouse themselves and come over and help but not before yelling out instructions “try scanning it againnnn”. If I was buying ass flavored Chex Mix then yes, I would appreciate the privacy of a self checkout but I’m not. I just want to get out of their quickly. There was a line of two people for the self checkout, I wasn’t paying attention and just stood there for a minute then I figured out that the two customers were talking to each other and the other self checkouts were open. Just as I realized this, “Hey, use those two” the self checkout matron yelled from her perch pointing to two open registers. So I started scanning my stuff and, “Hey, use that register”. Christ was I using the wrong register, fuck. I started gathering up my stuff to go to the other register, “No, not you…him”. Me, him, what? My mind was a bag of soft peanuts and I stopped caring. I finished, paid and walked into a slow door on my way out. Check and mate.

caution: slow doors(not actual A&P I went to)

caution: slow doors
(not actual A&P I went to)

I Hate Me, Part 277,010

My band had practice, we hadn’t gotten together in a while and I blew out my voice. After practice I had to go to Foodtown. I went to the deli counter, there was one customer ahead of me. As I said, my voice was shot and I cleared my throat as I was waiting. The guy working the counter is nice enough but a little high strung and he thought I was clearing my throat in a “Hey! Let’s go man.” type of way. “I’ll be with you in a second, sir”. I was trying not to talk so I just nodded. About thirty seconds later I had to clear my throat again, I tried to do it quietly but no luck and the guy looked over at me, before he said anything I tried to mime that my voice was shot but in retrospect it looked like I was pointing to my mouth and wanted to eat. Glare. “Yes sir, can I help you?” I tried to say “quarter pound of the house baked turkey.” but it sounded like someone was letting the air out of a balloon, I ended up just pointing to it and nodding yes when he said “quarter pound?” Eventually I had a full cart of food so I couldn’t go to the Express checkout and I was stuck in line behind a woman who must have been buying food for her entire town. A couple of checkouts away a girl looked like she was going to open another register but I couldn’t be sure, sometimes they just set the cash drawer up for the next day. So I kept looking over to see if the register would open. It hit me that constantly looking over at the register girl might look creepy so I tried not to look over as much. Of course when I was studiously not looking over, she opened up her register and another guy with a ton of groceries beat me there. I eventually got rung up.

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