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Shopping study of human condition

Posted on January 21, 2014 by Taber Times

After getting sick of eating out all the time, this bachelor relented and finally bought some groceries at 15 per cent Tuesday this month. The experience was memorable in a couple of situations, and it made me think how many times the human condition has stood out for me while navigating the waters of good deals for nourishment for our bodies over the years at 15 Per Cent Tuesdays.

DEAD MAN WALKING: You know that look you see in movies of men doing that long walk to the electric chair or lethal injection in jail dramas?

It was very similar to the look I saw of a man walking down the Maxi-Pad isle. Nothing quite paints the picture of fear and discomfort than a man looking for the right feminine hygiene product for their wife/girlfriend. It was classic watching him take that slow and steady stroll, picking up and setting down various products. A head scratch was intertwined with what looked like some sort of gastronomical discomfort when he saw the various choices out there. Kneeling down into the corner, hiding his shame that he perhaps failed in his quest, I noticed he was texting someone. I’m imagining the text read ‘ummmmm…hi honey…I forget…is it the Always Ultra Thin or the Always Infinity?’ As I was informed on my Facebook account, this man would have got extra points from their better half if the pads were accompanied by ice cream or chocolates.

KID N’ PLAY: I have the same rules involving young children at grocery stores as I do airplanes. Kids will be kids, I certainly was, and did, the exact behaviour I’ve seen nowadays in kids. All I ask is that parents make some degree of effort lassoing that boundless energy. The Yoda-like patience may work for that parent, but it doesn’t really help the 8O-year-old senior citizen on their second hip replacement when the child crashes into them in the isle playing tag with their little brother. It’s a grocery store, not a park.

TRICKS OF THE TRADE: I’ve learned a few things while grocery shopping. Don’t shop when you’re hungry for junk food impulse items, reach to the back for the freshest milk, if a deal looks too good to be true it probably is…as far as expiration dates go. It’s still a good deal if you can consume it right away, just make sure you consume it right away. I made that mistake one time with some 75 per cent off yogurt, letting it sit in the fridge for a couple of weeks and having not read the expiration date when I purchased it. You’d think I would have learned after the first spoonful tasted funny…but I was hungry.

MATH SKILLS: I have no idea, they may simply not have it apply on the rush that is 15 Per Cent Tuesday, but a cursory look at some peoples’ grocery cart and I can hazard a guess some people think 15-items-or-less is  a lot larger of a number than it actually is in that checkout counter. I compare it to these people who gave a generous definition of what carry-on-luggage is, being absolutely shocked that it won’t fit in the overhead compartment when really they just don’t want to be charged for an extra bag.

READING MATERIAL: I always get a chuckle as I read the headlines of some of these magazines in the checkout isle. Don’t want to sound snobby/elitist, but really, I do have to shake my head. It is getting to the point we can name Justin Timberlake’s last five girlfriends, but can’t remember the name of our children’s last three teachers or name three of our town/city councillors. You know, the people who actually have a direct impact on our lives.

You would swear by some of these headlines that the latest celebrity’s unfaithful tryst and the wonder if their marriage can last is somehow related to the world banks collapsing, famine in Africa, or a high unemployment rate with the importance they put into it.

DISCO DAN DISCOUNT: I know my mother had taught me well when my final total came through at the checkout till. Combining the 15 per cent off and card discount deals, I had $160 taken off what the bill would have been regularly. Those numbers were inflated a bit buying items like razors, etc., but it was solid nevertheless. A kind, elderly woman who made friendly chit chat in the isle as we waited to get rung in was amazed when she saw my total. If a grizzled veteran like that of the grocery wars gives me the thumbs up — I know I done good…you never leave a good deal behind.

THAT GUY: I’ll admit, I’m beginning to become ‘That Guy’ when parking my car. I am under no illusion that my 2012 Jeep Compass is some sort of Lamborghini or Porsche, but throw me a bone here. I had the same car for 14 years so I’m trying to keep it as nice and shiny as I can for awhile. No, I’m not one of those jerks who parks the car diagonally, taking up two of the closest stalls to the store in question. I drove my car to the furthest point from the grocery store and single stall parked it hoping for lots of room which I had at the time. I was a tad annoyed to return to find a car nudged up as close as possible to me afterwards for fear of door dings.

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