Thursday, May 25, 2006

Been Caught Stealing

Going shopping for groceries has got to be one of the most dreaded experiences in anyone's routine. It is in mine anyway. I'd consider some delivery service, but I wanna squeeze the buns before I purchase them. I wanna sniff the peaches before I buy them. I wanna... well, you get the point.

In this town, you gotta go to at least 3 different markets to get what you need: A good fresh fruit/veggies market, a huge corporate market for cheap stuff you buy at grocery stores but don't eat (garbage bags, toilet paper, etc.) and Trader Joe's for boxed-type-throw-it-in-the-toaster-oven-for-a-few-and-it's-ready-to-eat food. I loathe every single market.

I frequented the Safeway on Market Street for the longest time because it was the closest thing to one-stop-shopping nearby. But their lack of bagging help, seriously limp produce, and abundance of weirdo shoplifting meth-heads (or people who look like them) forced me to search elsewhere for groceries.

That led me to Trader Joe's, which has to be the most infuriating shopping experience start to finish. The parking lot is a fistfight waiting to happen, and getting through the door can be tougher than cramming on BART at rush hour. Even then you've only just entered the insanity.

The inside of Trader Joe's holds the biggest collection of intelli-righteous fucks in the world. You can almost hear their collective mantra in unison: "I'm saving the earth. I'm saving the earth. I'm saving the earth."
No, you're buying broccoli in a plastic tray wrapped in plastic. Go to Rainbow if you want to save the earth like the rest of the walking dead in there. And move your damn cart over please. I need to get some of that free coffee and hummus.

There are three types of people at Trader Joe's:

1. The tourist: Sips coffee while meandering through picking up an item here or there. No list, just grabs what appeals to him or her. Grocery shopping is less of a necessity than an all day event.

2. The racecart driver: Pushes cart at mach speed through every opening, list in a tight grip. Eyes locked ahead, misses your hip by about 5 centimeters while muttering the next item on the list.

3. The completely clueless one: Stands in the center of the aisle while slowly scanning every can of soup. Meanwhile their cart is in the middle of the aisle in cockeyed fashion as to block anything but a 3 year old from getting by. Doesn't look up when you stand patiently and "ahem" a few times hoping to pass.

I love it when you're checking out of Trader Joe's and the register/bagger person doesn't even attempt to bag your groceries. So you're forced to stare off into the distance or mess with your phone until they realize that it's their job. I play that game now after bagging my groceries dozens of times and not even getting a simple "thanks" from the employees. Luckily, Trader Joe's food lasts forever in the freezer so you don't have to go there very often.

I've already covered Rainbow Grocery, right? The walking dead? Yeah.

Now I just go to another big market chain that at least has decent parking (validated even), baggers who actually seem like they don't mind it, and decent produce. I'm not telling anybody where it is because I don't want it overrun with weirdo shoplifting meth-heads (or people who look like them).

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