Beer & Loathing in Supermarket Hell

September 1, 2012

I think there should be a special line at the supermarket for problematic customers. Anybody who remembers the Puppy Chow only after unloading their cart onto the conveyer, clearly doesn’t belong in the same line as me. The road to the register is a sacred place, man. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the transitional point between pushing around a heavy shopping cart full of beer and going home and drinking a… shopping cart full of beer. Point is, if you have to run back to Aisle 3 for anything once you’re in line, whether it be Kool-Aid or extra-small condoms, you’re a prime candidate for lock-up in Retail Jail. Follow decorum or spend the afternoon locked inside the frozen fuckin’ broccoli closet with all the fruit-fondlers and turkey bowlers. And anybody who knows that their check won’t clear… or for that matter, anyone still writing checks 2000 plus years after the death of Christ needs to be excommunicated to the flunky lane along with all those suckers still buying video tapes and flash cubes for their fucking camera.

Meanwhile, I can assure Lady Alpo in front of me that the cashier does not need to waste valuable time discussing a customer’s avoidance of bran products. Unless your therapist is moonlighting at the local friggin’ Food-Hut, there is no reason to converse in depth with the grocery clerk. These people are there to wave noodle bags over the scanner and slide Cheez Whiz down to the bagger. For many, this is more than enough of a challenge. Cashiers are far too busy for asinine drivel and don’t get paid enough to multitask. Let’s let them focus on the task at hand so we can all move on to a more pleasant activity far the fuck away from the barcode jungle.

Oh, and let it be known to baggers everywhere that plastic is always fine. Don’t bother me with choices, they’ll only confuse me. This is the 21st century, though. We’ve killed enough fucking trees it’s a miracle we can still find a shady spot to loaf in while pretending to be at work. Paper bags are no more relevant than burlap friggin’ sacks. This ain’t Little House On The Fuckin’ Prairie over here. I’m not visiting a feed store where my purchase will be delivered via shovel. I won’t be carrying grain by the pound or a rack full of animal pelts any time soon, and I certainly don’t have a donkey tied to a post in the parking lot. Plastic should suit the bagging needs of anyone living in this century, which is pretty much everyone that I know. Bottom line: Paper bags are an impractical product of a bygone era. They don’t have handles, they don’t scoop shit well, and they’re far too difficult to suffocate in. And, of course, I realize plastic bags are effectively made from Iraqi blood but I refuse to politicize an issue of personal convenience.

Finally, cashiers need to stop telling me to press the green button as if I’m still in my third year of kindergarten. I slid the card, I can follow the prompts. I’m not a kid punching his busy box waiting for something to happen and I’m not crackin’ a fuckin’ safe here. And if I want cash back… I’ll just take it!

Signs The Recession Has Affected You

November 2, 2010
  1. You’re pushing a full shopping cart and you’re miles from any store.
  2. Your clothes haven’t been washed in so long, your jeans crunch when you walk
  3. Your stomach grumbles when you smell cat food
  4. The park bench doesn’t seem all that uncomfortable anymore.
  5. The supermarket’s clearance cooler is tempting you towards the sale on graying meat
  6. You’ve stopped making jokes about Big-Lots.
  7. Your tires are bald… on your new house
  8. You’ve switched from Reynolds Wrap to the no-frills brand of aluminum foil… for  your TV antenna
  9. You’re finding new and exciting uses for duct tape, some of them medical
  10. You’ve switched back to AOL dial-up for 20 hours of monthly internet use


Signs The Recession Has Affected You

Snapshot of the Ant's Rants Financial Investment Portfolio

View From The Windshield

August 6, 2010


Pedestrians would be well-advised not to tap-dance on a busy expressway.

Since the time I learned to drive, I was led to believe that pedestrians have the right of way. My question, however, is Do Pedestrians HaveThe Right To Be Really Fucking Stupid?

Disclaimer: I am an unassuming driver with reasonable consideration for my surroundings. Only on occasion do I jump the curb or leave tire ruts on the neighbor’s lawn. For the most part, I accept that it is a crowded globe we live on, so I spin my wheels accordingly. Granted, this has less to do with a love for humanity than the repercussions of vehicular homicide. Nonetheless, there is an entire cast of characters that does not respect the weight of the Steel to Flesh ratio.

Witness the supermarket parking lot- Browsing the lot for a spot to plop, I encounter my first brush with idiocy. A middle-aged man on foot oblivious to his whereabouts floats through the lot with the sure-mindedness of shredded wheat soaking in milk on a breezy day. With no apparent neural connection between his brain and feet, the man seems more fascinated with the ground he is walking on than the 4000 lbs. of Japanese steel closing the gap between them. Suddenly startled that such a gargantuan vehicle could creep up on him so stealthily, the man snaps out of his snooze with cat-like reflexes and… stares… just stares… at me. He is alert but confused. The hamster wheel is turning; I can see it in his saucers. Somehow though, the equation remains unsolved. Any survival instinct once possessed has been trumped by dangerously slow processing time. By this point, a less thoughtful driver would be picking idiot-chunks out of his grill.

As I turn down a parking aisle, my truck encounters yet another challenger. A testosterone drenched youngster struts his invincible attitude not only across the lot but directly towards my oncoming vehicle. Mr. Young-Stud knows his rights and is not afraid to assert them, even at the cost of a Firestone fingerprint being embossed upon his back. He is a gunslinger walking towards a showdown. He is David to my Nissan’s Goliath. He cares not about the mangled mess I could turn him into with one press of the accelerator. Life in traction is a small price to pay for an insurance company payout. He has seen the commercials. He knows that Lizards and Cavemen have deep pockets; he will not back down.

Upon leaving the premises, I approach the stop sign that protects the walkway to the store’s entrance. Two elderly women stand poised to cross in front of my halted truck. I patiently wait for them to do so as they gaze out into the great beyond. They both wear sunglasses so dark that that I could only assume they are arc welders taking a lunch break. The women yammer back and forth. They take turns pointing in different directions as I wait for them to cross. I wave my hand frantically for them to get stepping, but they do not see me or my vehicle which sits idle a mere 10 feet from their side. Chalking it up to a problem with their peripheral vision, I politely rev the engine ’til it redlines before resorting to the horn-mashing which ultimately forces them to acknowledge my presence. Yet, instead of crossing over, they relinquish their right-of-way and wave for me to continue forth in front of them. Seeing this as an insurance claim waiting to happen, I once again wave for them to pass. What ensues can only be described as a power struggle of hand gestures.  This ridiculous display is followed by a series of stop-starts and double takes that could have easily resulted in bodily impact. Had I not been so caring, I’d have splattered anti-freeze and Ben-Gay all over the walkway. My advice to these two is simple. If you’re not ready to cross, step the fuck away from the intersection. When you’re ready to proceed, stick to the pecking order as prescribed by law and live to die another day. Save the gazing and grazing for the corn field and stay the fuck out of my way, please.

A Slice Of Cheese And A Pound Of BullShit

July 12, 2010

Package of Monkey Tits, organic jungle boobie meat

“Two slices of the Low-Sodium, Slightly-Glazed Virgina Ham cut as thin as possible without being shaved, please. I’d like a sample first, though” the man requested. With his face pressed up against the glass case, he looked up and added “I’d also like to sample the Horseradish Maple Swiss Cheese with the pimento particles stuffed inside it. Make it slightly thicker than the ham. I want a slice from the middle of the loaf, though. The ends never taste fresh. Don’t put it away, either. If I like it, I’ll have 3 slices of that one. Thanks.” Thus began my afternoon at the delicatessen.

Ultimately, my anal-retentive friend rejected the sample’s flavor and molecular density.  He browsed and pondered at his leisure before requesting another elaborately detailed cut of lunch meat. The line lengthened, stomachs grumbled and watches were checked for missed appointments. Yet, the man stood shamelessly collecting separate baggies each containing a few slivers of meat or cheese. Granted, I’m not highly educated. I possess no degree or title in lunchmeat connoisseurship. Yet, I couldn’t help thinking that if I was going to buy just enough meat for one sandwich, I would buy… hmmm… let me see… oh, I know… a fucking sandwich! Clearly though, Mr. Slice was indeed well-versed in the deli-arts and intended on building an edible masterpiece on his own terms. I could only assume that he would stop at the bakery to calibrate their ovens before purchasing one small hand-picked hoagie roll.

One of the most obnoxious activities witnessed at the deli counter has to be the incessant sampling of every meat block and cheese log under the glass. It’s not the Pepsi Challenge, dude, you don’t need to taste ‘em all. I say, roll the dice and buy a pound. If it tastes like an unwiped ass, just induce vomiting and hope it tastes better on the way back up. Besides, at least half of those sample-grubbers are just trying to get a free lunch while standing in line. Most people buy the same damn cold cuts every week, anyway. They already know what the Spicy Rat’s Ass tastes like and don’t need to nibble on a chunk while rolling their eyes around in debate over the purchase. The deli clerk should recognize these repeat offenders, deny them samples and send them to the end of the line with a pepperoni stick up their backside.

My turn at the deli counter is much more streamlined. I order deli meat with a great degree of certainty. “Genoa Salami, one pound, the good stuff” I bark, as my fist strikes the counter like a gavel springing my pastrami pal into action. Simple and straightforward, no clarification is required. This malarkey about the thickness of the cut is just another example of American culture gone berserk. In other parts of the world, people have to hunt and kill their own olive loaf each day before lunch. I just couldn’t, in good conscience, stand there and demand that my Hickory Squirrel Loaf be exactly 12mm in girth. If it was that damned important, I’d carry digital micro-calipers to the deli to gauge each slice for accuracy. Quite frankly, I don’t have the fucking time. Ballpark estimates work just fine for such trivialities. The Cheddar Chief behind the counter needs to take the customer’s preference out of the equation and use common sense. If the ham is sliced so thin that I could trace the funnies through it or mistake it for toilet paper, you might want to beef things up a bit. On the other hand, if the Smoked Bull Wanker is so thick that it could smother a large child, you can probably shave it down a few notches. As far as I’m concerned, anywhere in between those two extremes should just be fine for everybody. So, lock down that adjustment knob, Baloney Boy, and keep the line moving, please!