Supermarket Ettiquette

In this age of economic crisis, technological scams and frauds, and tensions among countries like never before,  there is a new peril facing humankind: the grocery cart as kamikaze weapon.

Recently, my hometown grocery store reinvented itself and instead of long, single aisles one had to navigate from beginning to end, (or turn-around mid-stream) , it cut out the shelves mid-aisle, and made new aisles that bisect the originals at a 90 degree angle. Thus — grocery store intersections! In theory, the idea seems to be customer-focused, you know, ease, convenience, and all that. In reality, these stores have morphed into playgrounds for the emotionally frustrated, angry,  irritated, depressed, bipolar, and angst-motivated teeth-gnashers.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been pushed, shoved, smashed into, and run over with someone in some state of heightened emotion. On the passive end of the spectrum, I’ve had to wait for, as well as steer around, some clueless clod who has no comprehension that there may be other people in this universe. In this milieu, there are no rules of the road, and thusly, no one has a clear right-of-way except those bully-ish sorts who will take advantage of any situation.

Okay, you get the picture? Let’s throw in another variable, the one that makes me frustrated, angry, irritated, depressed, bipolar, and an angst-motivated teeth-gnasher, and that is the Baby Basket Bomber, as in those ridiculously long, big, basket in back, kiddie-car in front shopping carts. These things are a caliber of weapon, driver (mother-pusher) included, that win wars!

Anyway, try meeting one of these in the grocery aisle intersection. These mothers KNOW they have power, and they love wielding it. In fact, the other day, I was at one end of an aisle, and a woman with two kids in the Baby Bomber car at the other end of the aisle came at me with eyes narrowed, shoulders bent in fast-forward position, and was that actually foam in the corners of her mouth?   I stopped and could not help staring as she barreled towards me. I made a mental noted to petition the store manager to outlaw the bloody things in the interest of keeping the rest of us innocent customers alive.

In fact, I think that thanks to this new store layout, we need courses and manuals on the Basics of Grocery Story Etiquette.

Nick DiChario

Reader, writer, life-long mistake-maker

Judith Shenouda

Author of Living Well in Froggy's World of Plenty: Sweet Talk to Read Aloud; A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That: Eating Our Way; and Career Success in 12 Easy Steps: A Journal; and Owner of Shenouda Associates Inc., Provider of Technical, Marketing, and Business Communications

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