Sunday, March 19, 2017


 St. Paddy's Day:
somber, gray, wet, damp, windy

On St. Patrick's Day I summoned the courage to drive into town. Actually, I was compelled to go because I wanted to personally get an erroneous bill straightened out (from my Internet provider/phone company).

They were extremely nice about the error, and now I'm straight.
So to speak.

After getting gas, going to the bank, and hauling my trash to the dump, I was ready to call it a day - but I had to go grocery shopping.

There are three shopping choices in this minuscule town: Walmart, the supermarket, and the Dollar Store. If you really want to  spice up your mundane existence and live dangerously you can always visit the Tractor Supply Company. 

Walmart is inevitably my first stop. That's the only place that has decent cat food and tolerable bread.

Let me explain something: I've always enjoyed a wide variety of breads - rye, pumpernickel, sourdough, cheese bread, black bread, herbal bread, etc.

Rural Tennessee has white bread. That's it. Rye isn't in their vocabulary.  Either is hard Italian salami. Or wine. Or fine cheese or pastries. Or all the other things I crave and would actually kill for.

The local Walmart at least has some mediocre Italian bread and smoked ham - so that's what I always buy.

I'm also able to get Viennese coffee and Earl Grey tea - thank God. One of the very few pleasures I have left.

So, I'm in the coffee aisle at Walmart. The Viennese coffee that I always buy is on the very lowest shelf. In fact, it's actually level with the ground. I have to crawl to get it.

There's an extremely attractive young Amish woman looking at the coffee. Hey, Amish women turn me on. It has something to do with the way they dress.
Anyway, this chick is carefully reading every coffee label on the shelf - - and she's standing directly in front of the Viennese coffee that I desperately want.
She won't move. She just keeps reading.

I linger near her, trying not to look suspicious or perverted, trying to pretend I'm looking at other things. And I'm thinking:
How the hell am I going to get the damn Viennese coffee? I don't want to crawl around the hem of her dress.

She finally moves just enough for me to quickly dive and snatch the coffee - - -and believe me, diving and snatching is not an easy feat with my notoriously bad back.

Did I ever mention how much I hate store employees who are constantly in the way so you can't look at things?
Walmart wins First Prize for annoying employees....
it also happens here at the local supermarket.  

I'm trying to look at donuts and an extremely annoying but cutsie-looking male employee is blocking the entire area with a large cart while he carefully puts out loaves of bread. White bread.

I make a few strategic maneuvers around him to get to the donuts. While trying to grab one damn box of donuts, I inadvertently start an avalanche. At least half a dozen boxes tumble to the floor.

Holy shit!! (I think I said that out loud).
I quickly scramble to retrieve the errant donut boxes while hoping my ravaged spine won't snap in the process. I'm trying to look cool and nimble in the wake of profound embarrassment.

My life is like a Woody Allen movie. 

Did I mention the two employees blocking the frozen food aisle? They have a gigantic food cart in the middle of the aisle while they slowly and carefully stock the shelves. 

I stall around, hoping they'll eventually leave but they don't. Can't these Bozos stock shelves after hours??

I eventually have to force my way around them to get the damn frozen things that I desperately need.
I drove a hundred freaking miles (slight exaggeration) on perilous mountain roads to get to this raunchy supermarket and I'm not about to leave without my French fries and fish sticks.

As I was driving home on the narrow, winding, dangerous, slick - not to mention perilous - mountain roads, loose rocks started falling from the cliffs above. One of them bounced off my car but fortunately didn't do damage.

Five minutes after I got home it started pouring rain. I got drenched as I hauled the heavy stash of groceries up the muddy, slippery, annoyingly steep bank to my back door. 

As if on cue, my cat Scratch showed up out of nowhere and dropped a dead mouse directly in front of the back door.
I kid you not. A gift from a grateful feline.  


  1. You were not the only one bringing home the groceries

    1. I think I'd rather hunt for mice than drive to town.

  2. Just as I saw the post headline my blood pressure went up!!!! I feel sorry you don't have more choices and less pressure. "Either is hard Italian salami. Or wine. Or fine cheese or pastries. Or all the other things I crave and would actually kill for." I am the same way and could make a meal of just these items, I love you all the more now. And the dead mouse was just the topping to end the day heh? Meanwhile I was in a Wal Mart here. Once was enough. So my hat in off too you.

    1. It seems like I forfeited all the luxuries of life by moving to a rural area. Heck, even West Texas had better food! And fewer mice....

  3. Sorry for chuckling, but your description of plotting to grab the coffee was so vivid!
    I, too, am a sucker for differing kinds of bread, but I've not heard of 'black bread' since my dad was alive. Is that the stuff (I vaguely recall) that comes in a can?

    1. I've seen bread in a can (it's still available) but I've never tried it. I mostly used to get black bread in California and - of all places - the Missouri Ozarks.

  4. Walmart wants to get the items out in the aisles so they can sell things as quickly as possible so they still stock during the day but they forget about blocking the aisles so people can't get TO said items--LOL! Love a grateful cat to welcome you home!!!!

    P.S. I hope you are stockpiling essentials all year till the snow flies. ;)

    1. I should probably be more kind to Walmart, since I've had relatives who've worked there. But they definitely have more employees than customers.

      I've never yet been in a Walmart when employees weren't blocking the aisles. You're right - they want to keep selling things quickly.

  5. Usually if I just say, "Excuse me" people will get out of my way. Truly, some of them are so tuned out to what is going on around them that they honestly don't realize they're in your way. I imagine you know this and have just livened up your shopping experience for us. I know it's a trek to your mailbox. Does UPS deliver to your door? If so, you might look into ordering wine online. I believe Amazon is now offering foodstuffs also.

    1. Some of the employees are definitely polite - - but there are others who look annoyed at the fact that you're daring to tread in their territory. They won't move at all - - or else they do so reluctantly.

      Unfortunately I've never had anything delivered directly to my door. Packages are often just dumped by my mailbox. I don't think I'd risk buying wine online (although it's tempting...).

  6. Hi Jon: I smiled when I saw the heading, "Jon goes to town"......I guessed it would involve some elevating of blood pressure! I still miss Trader Joe's from my California days. I used to say that other then getting kitty litter from elsewhere, all my grocery shopping, wine requirements, were met in TJs. A good friend in LA still forwards their Fearless Flyer to me periodically. Soooooooo have you started putting reserves aside yet? MaggieB

    1. I had completely forgotten about Trader Joe's - I'm glad you mentioned it. And, yes, I have started buying extra things (like cat litter, etc.). And I usually freeze several loaves of bread.

  7. I too have noticed the rise of nonchalant obstructionism practiced in stores. I suspect we come from a generation more sensitive to the progress of others through the shopping aisles. Strangely, since a Walmart landed 2 miles up our road, I've encountered more courtesy among customers there than in smaller supermarkets. Dress-code is definitely more casual but politeness seems to flourish. Surprised me.

    1. Wow, I wish Walmart was only two miles away from me! I'm always extremely frazzled when I have to trek down the mountain with pack mules.

      I have found that people in general are more polite in rural areas. But I've also found that Walmart consistently has more employees than customers. Aisle obstructionism is rampant.

  8. I have to disagree on your opinion of Walmart. I just did a shout out for our
    Walmart on our county page on Facebook. Maybe because we live in a country town but the employees are always nothing but friendly and helpful. Glad you got back up that dangerous road to home. You have got to teach your feline family to help you carry those groceries in.

    1. I'm laughing to myself when I think of all the funny things I used to write about Walmart when I lived in Texas. I do agree that in small towns and rural areas the employees are generally more polite.

  9. Okay, this post has thoroughly convinced me I don't want to live in your kinda boondocks. I'm a foodie and a cook, and the ONLY kind of shopping I enjoy is in awesome food markets. We're blessed with a lot of fantastic international markets here, where I can find just about any kind of food, spice, and cooking ingredient my heart has ever desired.

    Have you ever considered baking your own bread? It isn't all that difficult to do, and then you could have any kind of bread you want. Eating nothing but white bread isn't a savory (HA!) option.

  10. Scratch went shopping too. How sweet. You and the Amish woman. There'd be a story for sure. Who would be educating whom? Glad you snatched your coffee from the bottom shelf. Nothing brings more satisfaction than a cup of hot brew on a sh!tty day.


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