I lifted my arm to about shoulder height, slightly bent at the elbow, fingers spread outwardly and made a sweeping rotating gesture with my hand. With a deep suggestive voice I quietly said, “You don’t want me to go to the store. You want to drop me off at the house first.”
They say the Force can have a powerful effect on the weak-minded. That doesn’t include wives. The car pulled into the grocery store lot and we parked.
To the grocery store!
They got edible cactus in a jar
Mixes and accessories for my bar
Breakfast cereal that comes in a box
Bagels, cream cheese and even the lox
Fruits thoughtfully sealed inside of wax
Winged feminine products sold in packs
Only forty-two varieties of Wheat Thins
Toilet paper with gels squirted in
Everything you ever needed and more
You’ll find it all at the grocery store!
A wise woman once said, “I learned a hard lesson this day. … [N]ever and I repeat NEVER EVER take Tom shopping again!!!” This person was my wife of two years ago. Not my wife of today. Apparently the two have never met.
Our story begins and ends in a grocery store…
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Because you ask, the answer is no. This is a friendly cousin of an old favorite, “Because, you wish it!” which I picked up from a happy-go-lucky Klingon Commander in the movie Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.
It’s a simple policy I find to be remarkably effective.
For a limited time, I’ll explain how it works.
Step 1: Find someone to ask you for something. This usually isn’t too hard.
Step 2: Say “no.” The phrase “Because, you wish it!” is optional but provides a certain undeniable flair.
If you can’t find someone to ask for something, try going grocery shopping. 99% of the time (or so I theorize) the amount of your purchase will contain a fractional amount of dollars. (I’m in cents about that.) That’s when the happy-go-lucky clerk will loudly ask, for all to hear:
You’re not such a selfish sack of shit that you’re unwilling to “round up” for charity, are you? Huh, huh, huh? Greedo! I must be Han Solo because I’m firing first. I dare you to say no. It’s for “charity” and that’s always good, right? Am I right or am I right?
Listen, fuck face. I’m doing you a courtesy by shopping in your establishment. And you respond to that by trying to guilt me into some action that will ultimately make you look good?
I decided the best course of action is to carry an actual bottle of Roundup® Weed Killer on my belt. (Who says Monsanto can’t be handy?) When some snot nose practitioner of psychological warfare asks me if I want to “round up” I’ll happily reply, “Don’t mind if I do!” and spray that shit right in their face.
Human acute toxicity is dose related. Acute fatal toxicity has been reported in deliberate overdose. Epidemiological studies have not found associations between long term low level exposure to glyphosate and any disease.
Based on an assessment completed in 1993 and published as a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) document, the EPA considers glyphosate to be noncarcinogenic and relatively low in dermal and oral acute toxicity. The EPA considered a “worst case” dietary risk model of an individual eating a lifetime of food derived entirely from glyphosate-sprayed fields with residues at their maximum levels. This model indicated that no adverse health effects would be expected under such conditions.
In June 2013, the Medical Laboratory in Bremen published a report that glyphosate was present in human urine samples from 18 European countries. Malta showed the highest test results with the chemical showing up in 90% of samples and the average for all countries was 43.9%. Diet was stated as the main source.
Thanks for the assist, Wikipedia! 🙂
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. “Won’t you round up that wee bit for charity?” That sounds a lot nicer than the reality: “Gimme some arbitrary amount of your cash for our cause that you know nothing about. Our admin costs are only 98%. Ha ha ha!”
Or, worse: “We’ll use this money to fight against you, your core beliefs, and every cultural warfare front on which you stand opposed.” On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be shopping at Chick-Fil-A and/or the Boy Scouts after all.
What’s wrong with asking for a little charity? Mainly that it makes it your decision and not mine. What could possibly be wrong with that? Only that I have absolutely no idea what my money will be used to support. Duh.
Recently a dude came to my door and asked for marriage equality support. That’s one of my pet causes. I gladly told him we already signed the petition when we enjoyed a “free” concert in the park. (Ha!) He said, “That’s great. I also need $60.”
“I don’t know who the hell you are.” Worse, the dude was a paid canvasser. Bothering me in my own home was his job. Somehow that rubs me the wrong way. It’s feels like spraying Monsanto on those alleged grass roots.
Long story short, me and the dude had a 45-minute conversation on my front porch and we connected. I ended up violating my own rule and giving him the oddly specific amount of $60. It didn’t hurt that this was a cause I believe in. What can guru say? Guru is often too nice.
A few weeks later, though, come to find out there are two different groups operating in the state, ostensibly for the same overall goal, but employing differing and contradictory strategies. Holy crap. Which group did I agree with? Which strategy did I end up “voting” for with my money? Did I agree with it? Or was I on the wrong side?
This is why giving to charity should be an outgoing decision, never incoming. Ever. To choose to do so is akin to voluntarily flushing your money down a toilet. Or worse.
So sell me my groceries and shut the hell up. I got hit by enough beggars just by walking into your store. That should have been my first clue, I guess.
I do something weird every single morning. Something that sets me apart from many. And I do so enjoy being apart.
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The other day I received this little nugget in my Inbox:
You may however, make me popcorn later if you’re good to me.
–Email from the Mrs.
It’s nice to have something to look forward to. I was going to be allowed to make popcorn if I behaved well enough. Oh boy!
Someone was hankerin’ for popcorn. On Friday night it didn’t quite work out, but Saturday it finally did. Here’s how it happened.
Saturday morning we woke up and headed out to the country to hit the fresh produce stands. The first stand didn’t have any tomatoes, but the second one did. They were also unloading corn from a truck which had just been filled in the field next door. Four ears of the freshest possible corn for only a buck. Yes!
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The other day I walked to the grocery store and got stuff for dinner. There is something about cooking with groceries you obtained using your own two feet, rather than a car, I think.
I spent $35.92 on the trip. First, let’s deduct anything that didn’t have to do with dinner.
- Reusable bag refund (five cents per bag): $0.10
- Orange juice: $4.19
- Green bell pepper: $0.50
- Eggs: $2.59
- Russet potato: $1.75
That’s $26.79 I spent on dinner only. With that I made four main dishes. (Super Enchiladas that my wife raved about.) My wife and I ate two those that night. The next morning I made huevos rancheros with leftover ingredients. (She said they were the second best she’s ever had.) Then, the next evening, we had the remaining two entrees for dinner. Continue reading →
Last Sunday was a beautiful day. Sandwiched between overcast, cold, windy and rainy days was a day that felt almost like summer. The sky was crystal clear, the sun was shining, kids were outside playing and you could hear lawn mowers echoing throughout suburbia.
Aside from the chill, it could have been a typical summer day.
Ever since I picked up an iPod (more about that later) I’ve been on a podcast binge. I grabbed the thing, stuck the ear “buds” in my head, and took off, on foot, for the grocery store.
This is the story of that trip.
The trip to the store was strangely uneventful. I didn’t just fall of the turnip truck yesterday, though. I knew this was the calm before the storm. Something big was coming my way. Still, I resolved to enjoy the moment, enjoying the walk, the warmth of the sun and listening to TED audio podcasts. I was traveling under the power of my own feet and listening to TED. God, I felt so alive and so enlightened, a true member of the modern “I care about my planet and everyone on it” community!
In the store, I did some quick shopping. This was also uneventful.
Then it was time for checkout. This is the part that really makes my tushy pucker up. Yeah, I’ve done this before.
I’ll do my best, with my limited writing skills, to explain how it all went down. Crime scene photos, if desired, can be obtained from my local police department.
My local neighborhood grocery store is basically a shit dump. It’s pricey yet run down. Most of the employees seem to feel the same way about their jobs that I do about mine. (Like it isn’t the best thing to happen to them all day.) But the store usually isn’t too crowded and you can get in and out with only a modicum of pain.
As I approached the front of the store I saw a bunch of people in Lane 1 even though the light was off. I cruised in that direction and saw the “lane closed” sign was out.
Looking around, I noticed that Lane 4’s light was turned on. “That must be where they want me to go,” I surmised. But when I got to Lane 4 no employee was in sight.
I was conflicted. Should I wait in Lane 4 for an employee who may or may not ever show up? The longer I waited the greater the possibility that new people would get in Lane 1 and I’d be bumped. If that happened I’d become angry and show great magic.
After what felt like an eternity (in grocery store time), I opted to go back to Lane 1 and get at the end of a line for a lane that claimed to be closed. Right after I did that, an employee magically appeared in Lane 4. Remember, based on the “lane closed” signs and the status of the lights, I still believed Lane 4 was where I supposed to go.
The checker on Lane 4 began helping a lady before I could get back there. I got in line behind her.
The checker gestured wildly at me to go away. “This lane is closed,” he hissed.
This is the moment that people tell me I should be more assertive. I felt like saying, “You disgusting maggoty piece of shit motherfucker! Your goddamn light is on and Lane 1’s is off. Fuck you!!!” Instead, like always, I accepted this piece of pure concentrated evil as additional weight on my shoulders and moved on. Head down, I shuffled back to Lane 1.
Fuming now, on the edge of a great storm, I stood in Lane 1 and gave the checker in Lane 4 the stare-down of death. He stared right back. It was game on. I found myself wondering if NASA had yet reviewed my volunteer application for the one-way mission to Mars.
And so, like this, I waited in the long line in Lane 1.
But not too long. As soon as the guy on Lane 4 helped that lady, something interesting happened. The two checkers gave each other a nod and they both simultaneously left their work stations. WTF?
They crisscrossed in front of us. They had just changed lanes.
Suddenly Lane 4 was open for business and before you could say “anal sex” was full of shoppers.
I was standing in Lane 1 which still had the “lane closed” sign out. And indeed, as if it was any surprise, I was directed back to Lane 4 where I assumed my position at the end of the line.
I wish I could say I’m making this up. I’m not. I don’t know why shit like this happens to me. At no point was I pushy. At each step of the way I tried to follow their little rules. Yet I was the one person they singled out to take a massive dump on. It truly boggled my mind.
Finally it was my turn. She asked, “Paper or plastic?” and I handed over my reusable bags. In an extremely unlikely fit of assertiveness, I started a conversation with the checker. “What was that all about? Your lane had a closed sign and the light off and this lane was open with the light on, yet …”
She cut me off. Ah, nothing more refreshing that me-oriented communicators when you are the customer and they are the employee. Isn’t that the best?
“[The other checker] had to run upstairs and we had to switch lanes for a minute.”
Uh huh. Whatever. Thanks for listening, bitch. That wasn’t an apology and it has absolutely nothing to do with what I was trying to ask. Shrug. More evil on my shoulders accepted. Fuck it.
I helped her load my shit into the reusable bags. It was time to go. I picked up the bags and KERPLUNK!
One of the bags had the bottom blow out and my shit was all over the table. This was actually the best part of the whole trip, though. She double-bagged my shit in plastic and I was on my way. It would have been worse if the blowout had occurred half-way home. I quickly said a quiet prayer of thanks for this surprisingly positive development.
The rest of the trip was pretty much uneventful except for one little bit of icing on the cake. I was about five houses away from getting back to my house when I happened to look down. There, scratched out in the sidewalk, was a fucking swastika. Five houses away from my bloody home! One and/or all of my neighbors are fucking assholes.
And some people actually dare to wonder why I don’t like to leave the house. It usually ends up being the worst thing that ever happened to me.
Someday all of the evil I accept from others onto my shoulders is going to reach critical mass. I just hope I’m not there when it happens.