Thursday, October 2, 2008

Random thoughts whilst grocery shopping

Sometimes, I quite enjoy grocery shopping. Not the "I just need to pick up a few things" type of grocery shopping, nor the "Sunday afternoon when everyone and their dog is waiting in the deli line-up" grocery shopping, or the "I'm going to try to haul all this crap on the bus so I have to ignore the giant pickled goods sale" type of grocery shopping. I'm talking the random weekday leisurely shopping, wandering down every aisle with buggy room to spare.


And whoever came up with the idea of cup holders in shopping carts? Bloody genius. My caffeine addiction thanks you.

This morning, as I was on my way out the door, I received a call from the person I was scheduled to assess, canceling due to sickness. Suddenly I had a free morning. For me, free time is generally a very exciting concept, and a slew of ideas rushed through my head, including an unscheduled fitness class, getting a head start on a new project (boo), or going to see a matinee of a Korean film about a rebel goat herder's daughter at the film festival. And then I realized there was nothing for breakfast but cereal crumbs or mustard on the heel of a loaf of bread, and decided that a massive shopping trip was likely the most effective use of my time.

I then decided, that in celebration of my three hours of spare time, I was going to go all out on this shopping trip. I would pay the extra five dollars in cab fare home to go to my dream grocery store, the one with guavas and twelve kinds of bulk trail mix and a salad bar, rather than the lame local store with only two kinds of turkey at the deli.

Livin' large, my friends.

Apparently no one goes shopping Wednesday morning, and thus I could saunter down the aisles with leisure, fingers tapping on the handle to non-offensive adult contemporary music, using a mental shopping list that grew each time I discovered a new condiment aisle.

A few thoughts that came to my mind under the blinding fluorescent lights...
  • Have any of you ever heard of Grapples before? They look suspiciously like a standard Gala apple, but apparently are grape-flavoured. Despite my curiosity, I didn't purchase any- not because of their likely abundance of carcinogens, but rather because I was unwilling to pay $5 for a 4-pack of anything except pomegranate coolers.
  • Swiffers have been primarily invented to convince us that we had been rolling around in our own filth up until their purchase. I can't figure out how they can still fish up so much dirt after I've swept the floor... but my neuroticism insists that I can't stop buying them now.
  • Is shopping cart theft really such a universal problem that the wheels need to automatically lock a millimeter off store property? It makes it a real bitch for those of us who need to get our purchases to the cab on the corner.
  • Why do some people seem to think that Canadian driving rules switch to European in a grocery store? Keep your cart to the right, people!
  • I always want to find a viable excuse to buy frozen hors d'oeuvres. Mini-sausage rolls seem so much tastier than rice.
  • Why does the produce spray always attack me specifically?
  • This particular store has a super badass and frighteningly dangerous looking bread slicer. I find it strange that I can operate said slicer without much consideration, yet I cannot use the basic sloping tool to slide the bread into the bag. My loaves are always askew.
  • The best thing about a massive shopping trip? The kick ass dinner you have that night. The worse thing? Separating and bagging bulk meat.... ewwww, slimy.
  • Why, with the whole move towards eliminating paper bags, do cashiers always look so homicidal when I hand them my canvas bags? The environment frowns at you.

  • Who buys headcheese??

31 comments:

Crushed said...

I have never seen a bread slicer in a supermarket...

Or trolley wheels that lock. Here you have to pute a pound in the trolley dispense to get a trolley and you only get it back when you return the trolley to the dispenser.

And WHAT is headcheese?

Essentially Me said...

Head cheese makes me want to barf. Actually it looks like congealed barf. I remember when I worked at a deli some people would ask for it, and I was so disgusted when I had to slice it up for them.

Daisy said...

I'm so jealous of North American grocery stores right now...

so, so jealous.

dmb5_libra said...

grapple? ain't all that. it tastes like a gala apple that smells like artificial grape. i think there's something wrong with that.

t.k.foster said...

Grapple? That has to be one of the more odd things I've seen and believe me, I eat the strangest crap.

tmamone said...

Who buys headcheese?

The only person I can think of is Leatherface. Oh wait, he made is own headcheese.

lspoon said...

I lurve grocery shopping during off hours. It is so wonderfully relaxing :)

Nilsa S. said...

Oh, the leisurely stroll through the grocery store sounds wonderful. Though, I always wind up spending well over $100.

And here's my thing with the whole move towards paper. Our Whole Foods no longer use paper bags. EXCEPT in the produce section, which continues to use plastic. Makes me wonder when they'll make a change there, too.

Matt said...

grape flavored apples?

WTF?

I must taste this immediately.

Yoda said...

I love grocery shopping and my GF hates me for it. Not only do I spend 2 nights a week at a grocery shop, but I have to go to 3 shops.

1. Stop-n-shop (for good ol' regular crap)
2. Whole Foods (for produce and yummy organic treats)
3. Morton Williams (for their awesome beer collection!)

brandy said...

Ahh, I love the frozen party treats too, mini sausages and potato skins... I always linger there before slowly walking away. As for head cheese... yikes. I don't understand that at all.

The cart thing was once explained to me by a friend who used to work at Wal-mart. The main reason they have those set up is not even for the sake of making the parking lot neater, but because when people leave their carts all over they end up rolling into people's parked cars and denting them and people were getting pissed and trying to sue for damages. It's still annoying as hell though.

longredcape said...

Your loaves are always askew. Cute :)

I'm having a hard time keeping up with your frequency of posting! (not that I'm complaining because I love reading your blog.)

Princess of the Universe said...

1. I totally want to try a grapple.
2. We don't have the wheel locking situation here yet - I guess it's only a matter of time...

Bayjb said...

I wish shopping carts had a nicer little basket for my purse. Only complaint. I've had Grapples before but they were a little too odd for me, personally.

Z said...

I am so jealous right now. I loooooooooove leisurely grocery shopping (at the good stores, not the crappy selection I have near me) !!!

cdp said...

We don't have bread slicers OR cup holders and that cheese looks f-ing nasty.

rs27 said...

A grape flavored apple?

We have found nirvana!

Salt City Mistress said...

Wow, the bread slicer thing sounds interesting, though I'm sure I could manage cutting off at least a bit of my finger if I tried to operate it.

I too get targeted by the produce spray. It's our lot in life.

miss milly said...

I HAVE HAD A GRAPPLE.

Actually they are quite weird. They are essentially a gala apple that tastes like grape kool-aid.

Headcheese makes me gag... same with blood sausages.

emaura15 said...

This makes me want to grocery shop really bad. Too bad I'm broke as a joke.

Joanna said...

Ew....I hate separating raw meat, too! But seriously - sounds like such a relaxing grocery trip.

jenn said...

I want to shop at your grocery store! And try a grapple (purely for interest; if only they were less than $1.25 each!).

And basically just be grateful that we don't get headcheese in NZ (in fact, I don't even know what it is...)

EF said...

You had to ask about shopping carts...
theft and injury are the 2 key challenges supermarkets face with shopping carts: The Food Marketing Institute in Washington, D.C., reported that shopping cart theft costs the retail industry a whopping $800 million a year.

And...22,000 children are hospitalized a year due to shaopping cart injuries 9no telling how many more happen that don't go to hospitals).

And my other totally lame knowledge...Swiffer is so damn successful b/c it creates an electrostatic charge that binds the "stuff" to the cloth...it pulls debris up to it...instead of being pushed back into a corner.

Kayleigh said...

I know nothing about Grapples, and I fear that I have been falling behind in life because of it. And head cheese frightens me beyond all imagination!!!!!! AHHHHHH!!

I loved this post, btw. Really really fun!

Larissa said...

Okay, that head cheese is disgusting!

Also, I've seen Grapples in the store too, but never really thought about what they were.

distracted spunk said...

My eyes are agog with wonderment.

Tis all.

S'Mat said...

Head cheese???
And reality rushes back in...

S'Mat said...

and... just saw EF's stats. NO WAY!

seriously, no way. how can the US (i'm guessing) supermarkets possibly claim close to a billion dollars in lost trolleys per annum? actually, i won't question US losses now. it all counts. unless it doesn't winkwink.

while i kid, 22,000 seems pretty high (though seeming pretty high might explain both the theft and the accidents).

who knows? you guy's carry president's choice decadent chocolate chunk cookies down there?

Jenn said...

My uncle and grandparents were just discussing head cheese. No thanks.

Mrs4444 said...

Very good question (the headcheese thing). Ewwwww.

the frog princess said...

"Who buys headcheese??"

People who don't get their Mystery Meat fix from scrapple.