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Monday, August 26, 2013

Combat Shopping

This was a big weekend, my wife agreed to let me go grocery shopping with her, something she won't often do.  Grocery shopping is an adventure, an action packed thrill ride with just enough danger to keep it interesting.  But, very few people suffer serious injury.

In our neighborhood three large grocery chains have stores within two blocks of each other, if it weren't for all of the other buildings in between you could actually see one from the other two, that is how close they are.  So, when the sales are right, and they coupons plentiful my wife will shop at all three.

We had just entered the last store, things had been pretty quiet, not much going on, a little disappointing, really.  Right away this store had potential, though, just looking at the shoppers offered some hope.

Entering right ahead of us was a man dressed for competition.  He was wearing expensive cross training shoes, with branded, ankle high socks, Tommie Compression sleeves on his knees, Adidas ClimaLite running shorts (designed specifically to wick away moisture, keeping an athlete cool, dry and performing at his best) and a matching shirt, all topped off by a "protective skull wrap with tie."  It was easy to tell he meant business by the way his sunglasses were perched, right above his brow, ready to drop, at a moments notice, when he stepped from the shaded arena of shopping into the sunlight of adoring fans.  He was a shopping machine, who stopped to bag some fresh mangoes as we passed.

Strawberries were on sale, my wife and I stopped.  While she picked the appropriate plastic container full, a tornado of Lycra Spandex pushing a shopping cart went whizzing past.  This was no ordinary woman, this was a serious athlete, and shopper, a woman who blurred the lines between exercising and getting groceries.  She took her training, competing and shopping seriously.  She wore clothes that were fashionable, fitted and aerodynamically sound.  There would be no excess drag as she tore through the grocery store grabbing high protein, low calorie food guaranteed to improve performance.  Her list must have started with kale, because she was looking through the bin, trying to find the healthiest kale in the display.

Across from the produce in this store is the organic food section, and as we were heading past the organic, healthy food toward the snack crackers, and potato chip aisle, my wife said "dangit, I forgot my coupons, wait here while I go to the car and grab them."

Sure, easy enough, it seemed safe.  I stood by the cart and started checking things out.

I noticed the "signage" indicating the good "saleage" in the surrounding area, one sign read "Super Stupendous, All Natural, Organic Wonder Juice only $1.49."  I couldn't help notice there was only 1 bottle left, and that both the Lycra clad wonder woman shopper and the performance minded competition shopper were both heading toward the last bottle.  Soon, they noticed this as well.

The race was on.  Whizzing past the melons, and tearing by the radishes, they arrived at the same time, the woman actually grabbed the bottle first, and the man punched her in the nose.  She went reeling as her eyes welled with tears.  But, she kept her wits long enough to drop low, turn and sweep kick both legs from her competitor.  Who landed flat on his back with a thud that could be heard all of the way over to the greeting cards, on sale 25% off, with a $25.00 purchase.

Not to be outdone, and sensing that this bottle of wonderful, delightful ambrosia was hanging in the balance the man jumped up and started circling to his left, deftly sidestepping the display of organic, gluten free, salt less crackers, now only $3.49, limit one per customer.

A voice came over the PA, saying "valued Supersaver Supermart customers, don't forget to stock up on chips for Labor Day weekend, most major brands on sale for $3.49 a bag in aisle 12, and head over to organic foods to see the fist fight."

Soon, people were crowding around, watching these two serious shoppers battle it out for the last bottle of Wonder Juice.  A vendor was selling hot dogs, falafel and store brand soda pop.

Sensing a crowd was gathering the man decided to put on a display of power, and moved in close and delivered a couple of savage blows to the mid section of the woman, who wisely grabbed the man and forced the deli counter person to come out, remove his apron and break the clinch.  But, that was all the time she needed to regroup.

After the break the man, thinking their was some weakness, and hoping he could finish the fight if he forced the action from moved in.  Maybe a little rashly and dropped his guard long enough for the woman to deliver a devastating roundhouse kick to the mans head.  He staggered backward.

As a last resort, he grabbed a bottle of all natural, sugar free, free range apple sauce (only $4.99 with a shoppers club card) and hurled it at the woman's head.  She managed to slip sideways so it was only a glancing blow, but it was enough to stagger her slightly, and she was not about to lose the last bottle of Wonder Juice to a cheap maneuver like that.  Thinking quickly, she scooped up a handful of All Natural, Gluten Free, Salt Free, reduced calorie Corn Tortilla Chips from a display bowl next to a small sample dish of Organic, All Natural Black Bean, Corn, Pineapple Salsa, (Buy One Get One Free, while supplies last) crushing them with her hand into a powder she tossed this fine, salt free substance into her opponents eyes.

He stumbled, temporarily blinded, and fell right into the woman's legs knocking her into a Bologna and Processed cheese display that had been left behind by a careless employee who had to hurry off for a quick cigarette break.

The bottle of juice flew high in the air and fell to the floor shattering with a sound that sounded to all those watching like a breaking heart.

Our noble competitors helped each other up, dusted each other off and went into the deli to celebrate with a pizza and a beer.

My wife came back, saw an employee mopping up the spilled juice and asked what I had done.  I tried to tell her what happened, and she sighed, rolled her eyes, looking to the Heavens for strength, and said "I can't take you anywhere."

I promised her I would behave, and said, "hey, maybe we should buy some beer."  She said OK, and off we went.  I can't wait for next week, a three day weekend always brings out the best in competitors.