This afternoon, after an impulsive, wholly unnecessary food purchase (two heavily Parmesanned slices and a bottle of ginger ale) at Kingston Pizza, I headed down to the grocery and reached for a hand basket. Then I got lost in the aisles.
Some items taunted me more than others. A few multi-colored packages with recognizable names (they were very pretty, and positioned at eye-level) badmouthed their generic opponents and muttered something about standards of quality, but I dismissed their propagandistic ways. In all things sport (and food), I pull for the underdog.
The cereals were particularly aggressive. I told them to shut up. They hissed and hissed. Things became confused, like. What to buy?
After a few tense minutes I re-emerged at the front of the store and didn’t know what else to do, so I got in the checkout line. My hand basket wasn’t empty any more. Now there were some random items in it. (Shopping lists are for pussies.) I stood there in line and looked down at the basket to see what made the cut, since your guess is as good as mine.
Here’s what I discovered:
1) One half gallon of milk
2) One box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
3) One brick of sharp cheddar cheese
I’m not making this up. Those were the items. Jesus, I thought, what the hell is wrong with me? I go from a pizza lunch to--this? My poor body.
“Ma’am,” I yelled, motioning to the cashier, “what sorta scam are you running here? Where’s the veggies? All you sell are dairy products! You should be ashamed of yourselves! How’s a guy to scare up a square meal in this town? I have half a mind to…”
“Right over there, sir,” she replied. “Behind you. Next to the fruits.”
“Ahhh hell,” I said.
As I type this, I'm drinking from a glass of milk. God help me. ...