Shopping Can be Scary: A Personal Anecdote

I went grocery shopping this morning. Nothing exciting. A quick in-and-out—or so I’d thought.

Here’s how it went down.

It all started in the Coffee & Tea section, where I stood in shock, silently bemoaning the price of my favorite coffee. A large can was $18.99, double the price of the other brands. Being a good Scot, I refuse to buy it, but the yearning persists.

While I was reaching for the cheaper stuff, a voice at my elbow said, “Could you please tell me the price of that brand? My eyesight’s not so good.” I turned around to see a middle-aged man in one of those little scooter things the stores provide. He was squinting at the price of my favorite brand.

I said, “$18.99,” then added something innocuous like, “Do you believe the price of that stuff?”

Big, I mean HUGE mistake. It was the opening he needed, indeed, was probably waiting for. My innocent comment triggered a rant about coffee prices, food prices, oil and gasoline prices, and, ultimately, the war in [expletive deleted] foreign countries.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m as worried as the next person about the state of the world, the state of the environment, and the state of the universe, but this guy was over the top. I started to clue in that he might not be physically or visually challenged, he might not be there to buy groceries, and he might, just might, have a more than a few screws loose.

He started ranting about THE APOCALYPSE.

At that point, it’s possible I might have mentioned that many had believed the Mayan calendar predicted the same thing for 2012. Okay, so I did mention it.

That really set him off. He started yelling about the Hand of The Lord, and how Jesus had predicted the End of the World, and how THE APOCALYPSE wasn’t the same as any [expletive deleted] Mayan calendar, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I edged away. He followed. I mumbled something about how these things sure were worrying, and started sprinting with my shopping cart.

He kept pace. Man, those little scooter things are peppy.

I’m nimble when motivated. I zipped around several displays and shopping carts, and succeeded in losing him near the produce section.

Leaving the cart parked beside the bananas, I made a quick reconnoiter, and spied him running out the door. Guess he wasn’t handicapped after all.

In the end, I returned to where I’d left my shopping cart, only to find it missing. It took a good ten minutes, but I finally located it in the Organic Produce section, no doubt where the thief had discovered the mistake on noticing a pile of non-organic veggies in the cart.



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I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment, let me know you’ve read this post, tell me about your worst shopping experience.


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