Wednesday, May 21, 2014


The grocery store is the source of many thought provoking comments (not that I'm in the conversation).  Something about the wait to purchase groceries morphs into fertile ground for lima bean lipservice, metal cart mantras and elegant everyday evangelists who present their views loud and proud.  Trapped in an eternity of wait-time, I get to hear it all (of course, it would all go unnoticed if it weren't for the illogical staffing of one cashier to five baggin' boys.  So, thanks for that).

Resigned to the fact that I'll stand there longer than necessary, I inadvertantly overhear most of the conversations around me.  I try not to make eye contact,  lest I be pulled in to those dark abysses of chatter.  Looking blankly at the contents of their carts does the trick nicely, but I still can't help but hear the banter.  Mentally, I comparitively evaluate comments versus cart contents.

An old friend from Ohio had a favorite saying: "That's what your mouth said."  It inferred that what you said wasn't necessarily true to form with your actions.  I love that saying.  Not to be outdone, I created another term that identifies hypocrisy chatter that I call "sin-onyms."

A sin-onym is when you are defining something as's a sin;  but you're doing it. Sometimes, blatantly and obliviously.

What's in the heart vs. what's in the cart:

"Thou shall not kill..."  (Complaining about a local crime;  a dog that was shot.)

Cart contents: Steaks, fish sticks, pork chops, Stovetop stuffing, canned chicken, Coke, paper products.   Unless it is a cow, chicken or fish, by the looks of your cart.  I look at my cart. Bathroom cleaner, turkey lunchmeat and almond milk.  I'm not sure about living almonds, but what about germs?  I'm a future killer, too.  With a little luck, I'll soon be killing them all over the bathroom.  What am I thinking? They have lives!  Grody, disgusting, body-fluid borne, disease causing lives.

"Vegetarianism only makes sense;  I don't want to kill anything just to satisfy some selfish urge."  (Debating the virtues of dietary decisions with a spouse)
Cart contents: Vegetables, fruits, Annie's brand frozen foods, Larabars, quinoa, beer, bottled water.  What do you have against plants?  Really, they're living.  Where do you draw the line?  How do you live with yourself.

"I don't want to judge...but that girl is a ______." (reviewing magazines on the stand) 
Cart contents:  Beer, Coke, saltines, hamburger helper, Enquirer, People.   Magazines are a PR machine;  this in not information to help you make a decision about what someone is or isn't;  you just can't know if anything you hear in the media is true.  There is also a passage in the same often quoted book that says "by all means, use your judgement;  hold on to whatever is good."   So, good for the media maven - she's got her picture in a national magazine!  That's about all I know that is true, for sure.

When most people say they don't want to judge...they're totally judging.  I see this said in a passive-aggressive tone a lot.  So, in an effort to avoid judging, or discerning, you're going subconsciously, full-on hateful?  How can you get mad at someone you don't know anything about?  And why are you mad right now, in the grocery store?  You're ahead of me in line, isn't that a reason to be pleased?

And to think - I just want to buy some lunch meat, and here you are judging all over the place.  Do not let that get on my highly processed meat.  Ew.

"The employees need to be taught a little respect.  They're all idiots." (Problems with a debit card.)   Cart contents, irrelevant.  Self explanatory sin-onym.   P.S.  Guess who won't be called on to teach that lesson on respect?


  1. I'm afraid our budding friendship has come to an abrupt end, Cherdo, and I'm going to have to make a citizen's arrest. I'm hauling you in for plotting to kill germs in your bathroom! Your observations about the "psychodramas and the traumas" (song lyrics) that unfold as you wait in the checkout line of a supermarket are spot-on. I become agitated when I look across the store and see dark, empty lanes with no staffing - cobwebs on the cash register and tumbleweed blowing through - telltale signs of abandonment - and only one lane in the entire market manned (womanned) by a clerk. Invariably the cashier is supported by a team of baggers, ostensibly there to "speed things along." I love how they always ask the same questions they were taught in training. "Did you find everything alright?" (to which I always answer, "No, I couldn't located the free items.") "Can I help you out to your car with this?" (to which I always answer, "Yes, and then you can follow me home, unload the car, carry the groceries into my house, cook the meal, and even eat it for me!")

    We have another match. I drink almond milk, but from now on I will do so consumed with guilt, thinking about the poor almonds that had to lose their lives to satisfy my selfish urge.

  2. Oh, Shady, I don't know what to do to make amends - 'cause, brother, those germs gotta go. In other words, they can't go where I go.

    For the sake of our friendship, I am willing to send them to your house. Please supply your address and promise to open the box with gloves. After opening, never ever let someone clean your bathroom, or as I shall call it, the E.Coli DisneyWorld (with a Pennsylvania Dutch twist).

    I do have a "Get Out of Jail" card...

    Wearing Earplugs at the Grocery,


Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo