Put That in Your Cart and . . .
Beautiful wife Sandy is a shopping wizard. She can ferret out bargains obtainable with no sacrifice in quality and develop schemes for visits to stores that rank right up there with some of the more successful military campaigns in history. Sandy is at her best in dealing with the supermarket scene.
With rare exceptions, Wednesday is grocery shopping day. Sandy spends about a half-hour taking inventory, checking for coupon deals, and developing a list. Visits to two, and sometimes three, supermarkets are planned. I go along on the shopping trips often enough to maintain a barely adequate ability to handle the tasks on the infrequent occasions when Sandy is not available to replenish our supplies.
Wednesday is the day of choice for several reasons. All three markets get major deliveries on the same days, and Sandy long ago coordinated her visits with those events. At all three, shelves are fully stocked with fresh merchandise on Wednesday. Also, weekend advertised specials are in effect, but by making a mid-week trip we avoid the clogged aisles and long checkout lines that make supermarket visits miserable on a Saturday or Sunday.
The first market on our route gives a 5 percent senior discount on all purchases—only on Wednesdays. Best of all for me, the same store offers free coffee to fully mature adults on Wednesdays. Yes, Wednesday is the day.
Our next stop generally has lower prices, and Sandy buys items there priced below the 5-percent discount level at stop one. Coffee is 50 cents a cup at the second market, not a bad deal at all if I haven’t fueled up sufficiently at the first place.
Because my only important contributions to successful market-going are sipping coffee and pushing the cart, I have ample time to observe the strange attire and activities of fellow shoppers. It is cheap entertainment—almost as good as sitting in an airport, one of our long-time favorite spots for people watching. The variety is incredible. I often coin playful names for some of the characters—Go-Cart Gertie, Aisle Blocker Blanche, Chatty Cathy Checkout, The Raucous Rug Rat—and quite a few not for publication here or elsewhere.
On a recent visit to what is the cleanest and best-maintained of the three markets, I noticed the door of the toilet enclosure for handicapped folks in the men’s room had been vandalized. Someone had inflicted numerous dents in the metal panel, as though the perpetrator had been pounding on the door with a club.
Could it have been the work of Harvey Stall Banger?