Since I have been doing some of the grocery shopping lately, I couldn’t help but notice there are many "novice" shoppers out there.
I say novice because I am sure seasoned shoppers can’t be that bad. Trying to negotiate my way up and down the aisles, shoppers have their carts blocking one half of the aisle and their collective derrieres blocking the other half. How come these grocery carts don’t come equipped with horns?
I venture down the candy aisle, a very narrow aisle, and make it about three quarters of the way down. Some lady, just starting from the other end, expects me to back all the way out so she can get through. Is this fair?
When other customers are blocking the aisle and do not show any signs of moving, I usually try to gently "crash" into their cart and say, "Oooops sorry!" It’s the only way to move some of these shoppers. Hopefully I haven’t broken any of their eggs.
I’m at the fresh fruit counter waiting for my turn to pick out some strawberries, but the man in front of me is opening every package and examining the contents and has spent approximately 10 minutes doing so. I just wedge myself in beside him and start the same procedure and he finally leaves. I notice a similar pattern with customers squeezing the plums, apricots and avacados. Moving to another section, not once do I see anyone squeezing the Charmin!
What we need are traffic officers patrolling the aisles. This isn’t Europe. Keep to the right!
Wouldn’t that be something if you came home from grocery shopping with a ticket? Imagine opening the envelope the officer presented you. The ticket inside says: "Driving down the wrong side of the aisle…fine…. $200."
Later on during my shopping trip I notice the store has junior-sized shopping carts and small children are bouncing around the store hitting everything in sight. A perfect place for driver training. It’s bad enough that the parents can hardly manage their carts, but now we have to worry about "aisle rage" from kids.
Grocery shopping seems to be the time for visiting as well. People are standing in the middle of an aisle just visiting and socializing, blocking the path of those who are seriously shopping. I notice the next aisle once again blocked, this time by a zombie-like shopper. These are the shoppers who have no direction. They are not really shopping….just standing there gazing one notch above the top shelf. The walking dead!
After a very difficult time of grocery shopping, at long last, I get to the checkout counter. Time to pay. I pull out my cash and I decide to go through all of my pockets in order to give the clerk the exact change. After I come up a little short, I search through my wallet for my debit card and after a few attempts I tell the cashier I finally remember my PIN number. I look behind me in the line up and just smile. It’s called "getting even!"
Rick Sparling is a North Kildonan-based writer.
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