Saturday, July 18, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (Shopping)

Did you ever…?
by Melech

Did you ever wonder or worry about the dangers of shopping ?
Grocery shopping is one of my least favourite things to do. It ranks somewhere between having gum surgery and slamming my fingers in the car door. I only shop when it is absolutely necessary. Today, it became absolutely necessary. There was no food in the house and I found myself hungrily eyeing the houseplants in my neighbour’s window, and wondering how they would taste with salad dressing. Too late. I already drank the salad dressing for breakfast.

I looked in the mirror and told myself; “You are a strong, healthy man. You are 5’10” tall and in reasonably good physical condition. Surely, you can handle a little shopping trip.”

When I pulled into the car park at the supermarket, my palms began to sweat and I felt a little panicky, but I braved it out, grabbed a shopping trolley (the one that limps), and I entered the store. I was promptly assaulted by a blast of icy air from the air conditioner. Apparently, the store manager feels that thirty degrees below zero is the ideal shopping temperature.

As I was blowing on my hands to keep them warm, a little old lady crashed into the back of my ankles with her shopping trolley and advised me to ‘watch where I was going’. I tried to apologize, but by this time, my lips had frozen shut. The shopping trolley and I, both limped up and down the isles. A large honeydew melon went rolling past me. In an effort to be a Good Samaritan, I bent down to retrieve the melon for the owner. I was immediately knocked senseless by the same little old lady’s shopping trolley, slamming into the side of my head. “That’s my melon,” she shouted. “Go get your own.”

When I regained consciousness, the store manager and two stock boys were leaning over me. One of them said, “Hey, man. We thought you were dead.”
“What gave me away?” I asked.
“When the Paramedics tried to put you in a body bag, you thanked them.”

I finally got to the checkout line and, yes, you guessed it. The same little old lady came sprinting down the aisle, crashed into my shopping trolley and my hip and said: “I was here first!”

Home at last! After putting the groceries away, I was too cold and tired to eat anything, so I thought I would take a nap. As I passed the bedroom mirror, I noticed that I didn’t look anything like the strong, healthy, 5’10” tall man I was earlier. I appeared to be much shorter, hunched over, suffering from frostbite, and I could have sworn that my hair was a different colour.

I called my sister on the phone and told her about everything that had happened. She asked me why I didn’t just go shopping at 6:00 AM, when the market opened. She said that the store was usually rather empty at that time. I told her I felt certain that the same shopping trolley (the one that limps), the same sub-zero temperature in the store, and the same little old lady would be there, waiting for me.
She said that I sounded like a case history on paranoia, and then she hung up on me.

“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©Copyright 2009 by Melech. All rights reserved
The next column will be posted on July 24, 2009

File #RBCOL03

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