I read this funny article in the Boston Globe last week, written by Globe Columnist Sam Allis, called Grocery gridlock: Stuck at the intersection of storm panic and holiday stress about grocery shopping in December, on a weekend, right before a snowstorm.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Inside, the place was teeming with grown men and women dashing around the store like road runners, emitting stress every step of the way. They carried a sense of urgency reminiscent of the Running of the Brides at Filene's Basement. If they didn't get out fast, they reasoned, the authorities would find their bleached bones in the spring.
I vectored over to the deli section. This is the heart of the matter. This is where people in line watch their lives dribble away. This is where you find out whether any of that Zen stuff about acceptance is worth one Tic Tac.
The crowd was patient but tense. Men shifted their weight from one leg to the other. It was unnervingly quiet.
I noticed a guy named Bob Boynton reading a tabloid he had spread across a shelf of cheese nearby. I asked him how long he had been there, and he said close to 15 minutes. I glanced at his ticket for the deli. It read 307. I looked up at the electronic scoreboard on the deli wall and saw 281.
A lunatic friend of mine was also there Friday morning, I learned. In a separate countdown, his ticket read 337 when the scoreboard read 275. Let's be clear here. There is nothing in the deli section worth waiting that long for. You come home empty-handed, claim they ran out of the potato salad, and hunker down for Defcon 1 if that doesn't fly.
Bob informed me this was not the worst jam he'd faced there. That would be a Saturday after Thanksgiving some time ago. A chill came over him as he said, voice rising: "I'll never go again. Never."
If you have the time, check out Grocery gridlock. It is quite amusing.
This article brings back memories of my shopping excursion the morning of Hurricane Iniki years ago. I woke up that morning to the sound of sirens blaring. It was my birthday. When I first heard that all schools were canceled, I was thrilled. That feeling only lasted a few seconds as the next thing announced was that a hurricane was headed our way and was set to hit later in the day.
I was sent to the store by friends I was staying with while they got the house prepared and filled containers of water. There was barely any food left on the shelves by the time I arrived. The lines were so long that they started at the back of the store. I was amazed at how many people I ran into that I knew that morning. It was one shopping experience I will never forget and hopefully one I will not have to repeat.
Have you ever had a crazy grocery shopping experience?