Thursday, 23 July 2009

The Real Canadian Stupid Store

We're more than halfway through our brief, shining Canadian Summer and I haven't broken a sweat. At least, not a real sweat (hot flashes don't count). We've barely crept above room temperature and almost every day has been blessed (I use that term loosely) with rain.

The air is thick with humidity and everything is sticky, from doorknobs to the hardwood floors. The front door won't open unless I put a shoulder to it. This morning during a downpour I mopped up another mess in the basement and changed the water bucket in the fireplace. We have to get the eavestroughs and downspouts replaced, but Handsome But Not Handy Husband hasn't started calling around for estimates yet. I silently scream at every raindrop.

Later, the skies cleared long enough for a quick foray to the local super grocery store for emergency supplies: toilet paper, bread, Aleve, wine and Twizzlers. My daughter and I threw on our jackets (yes, it's that warm) and hopped into the car.

In the bread aisle, a lady inspected the Wonder Bread Plus Whole Wheat. I didn't want to get my shopping cart in her way, so I waited patiently. Instead of grabbing a loaf and moving along, she checked each expiry tab, throwing loaves back in disgust. She took one, moved as if she was about to leave, then backed up and started the process all over again with the white bread.

We decided to call her Angry Bread Lady. She stopped every time I wanted to stop, reading labels and throwing items into her cart, glaring at each item as if daring them to escape.

In the freezer aisle, another woman held an impossibly tiny infant in the crook of one arm while sorting through frozen waffles. The baby fretted while the woman shifted it awkwardly. If she'd forgotten her stroller, why didn't she use one of those handy carts with a bucket baby seat? The image of a baby hitting the hard floor flashed before my eyes, and I winced.

Of course we bought more than necessary. That's what happens when you cart along a kid who had skipped lunch. Yeah, she's twenty, but she's still my kid. She gasped in wonder at every ice cream carton and raspberry tart like a puppy distracted by a squirrel. I powered through, only allowing a chocolate bar and a bottle of Orange Crush. After all, it was my money, right?

The young lad at the checkout reminded me of the Target Lady on Saturday Night Live. He and a co-worker launched into a lively discussion about the merits of Taco Bites, and he inspected my DVD of Love Actually as if he'd never seen it before. I fully expected him to drop everything and dash to the Electronics department for a copy of his own.

I'm home now, waiting for my daughter to wander off to her room so I can watch Love Actually and eat a Twizzler or ten.


BernardL said...

'She gasped in wonder at every ice cream carton and raspberry tart like a puppy distracted by a squirrel.'

LOL! That was a very entertaining weather report and store visit... at least from a reader's viewpoint. I've always done the grocery shopping which my wife hates to do. She missed out on all the years I guided a cart through the store with my kids proudly wearing Chiquita banana stickers on their foreheads. :)

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Haha my daughter is not really six years old but it seems like that, doesn't it?

I love the image of laughing children wearing produce stickers while jogging through the aisles.

Wendy said...

I love how you turn an ordinary trip to the store into something captivating and fun to read!

Liane Spicer said...

Somehow writing about tiresome routines enables you to see the humour in them. It's raining here too. Raining and hot. And I'm not talking about the hot flashes either. I wish someone would explain to me the physiological function of those!