October 29th, 2001


It's not just a grocery store, it's a Super Market.

There are two supermarkets right near my house. Both are small and insufficient for an in-depth shopping trip, and both are kind of dirty and tend to have old produce and nearly-expired milk. The Giant is particularly infuriating, since it is split into two buildings: one for the food and perishables, another for the pharmacy and other stuff that supermarkets tend to have. The aisles go every which way, some perpendicular to each other, others are really short, and it’s always packed full of people who must think it’s the only supermarket around to put up with it. Going in there is detrimental to my health, as my blood pressure rises whenever I even go near it.

As a result, I have been going to the Safeway that is across the parking lot. Smaller than the two halves of the Giant combined, at least it’s all together. It also tends to attract fewer of the yuppies and more of the, um, not-yuppies than the Giant does. It’s set up more like a normal supermarket and is generally less crowded.

But what seals the deal on that Safeway and what has made me decide to cement it as my go-to “just running in” supermarket is the staff. It’s always an adventure in there. Like when I run in there to use the Mac machine and get cigarettes before I go out: They keep the cigarettes behind the manager’s cage thing. The cashier will yell to the manager that they need a pack of Parliments, and the manger literally throws the cigarettes 20 feet to the cashier. Or how they yell jokes at each other over the loudspeaker.

Sunday some Mick, Dave, Keith, Carla and my brother came over to play Risk. I asked my brother if he’d cook breakfast for us and he said he would as long as I provided the food, so off to Safeway I went. I picked up bacon, eggs, chips, soda, the whole nine. I got a cashier that I had not had before but recognized him from another trip. What I noticed about him being in his line this time is that the man has a hook. That’s right. Peter-Pan and the Pirates Captain Hook hook. No hand. A hook. A very friendly hookhanded man, I might add. He chuckled with me about getting ready to watch football and let me scan a club card he had at the register even though I don’t have one. I was amazed at his dexterity with his one hand, since it appears that the hook is not used often. He managed to scan all of my stuff, put it all in the shopping cart, even slip the dozen eggs in their own bag all with one hand. I’m hooked.

Bargain Hunting

Saturday, HM and I went to Potomac Mills mostly to go to Ikea, but did venture into the mall a bit to have lunch. The Claires was having a 10 for $5 sale on selected jewelry in the back. I found two necklaces I liked (one with circles and one that was silver with “Las Vegas” written in script with a little die beneath it) so I figured I was well on my way.

There was a reason that all that stuff was on sale for that little. It sucked. Everything from bumblebee bobby pins to broken candles to dirty fake-hair scrunchies to old pictures of Joey Fatone. I managed to find two more items that were bearable and told HM to look too so that she could get that last thing that we needed to get up to the limit. We searched and searched, through hairsticks and floating frog pencil toppers, finally finding some barettes that she found bearable. I was thinking about what a good deal I was getting and looked at the sign again. TEN for five dollars. We only had five. It took us a half-hour to find the five. There was no way we were going to find five more. We even asked the wannabe Britney lookalike at the counter if we could get the deal with only five and she said no. Basically, Claires wanted that shit out of there and unless we would take ten, we couldn’t take any. So we tossed the stuff back on the pile for some other unsuspecting customer.

At least I got a four-dollar camo purse out of it.
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