Okay, maybe that is exaggerating it a bit. But if there is one place on Earth that truly brings out the curmudgeon in me, it is a crowded supermarket. For me, that particular supermarket is Greenfield's Shoprite in Plainview.
It could just be my own biased perspective, but I cannot think of any place with such a concentration of self absorbed blockheads as Shoprite. You get one fat old lady who parks her shopping cart one one side of the aisle and then proceeds to place herself in the space between her cart and the row of shelves on the other side, while she spends an eternity trying to figure out which brand of pancake syrup she wants to buy. Then there is the clod who stops his cart in the space next to where another customer has parked her cart. Another customer blocks the entrance to the frozen aisle with her cart while she examines the ice cream freezer. Then there are the two housewives who haven't spoken in the last three weeks who decide that they are going to block the shampoo and toothpaste aisle so that they can swap neighborhood gossip for the next ten minutes. What is it with these people? Why doesn't it enter their thick skulls that there are other customers in the store who need to get their shopping done and don't have all day in which to do it? Any why do they have to constantly cling to their shopping carts as if they were personal appendages?
I must confess that sometimes I daydream about mowing these people down with an AK-47. Then reality sets in when I realize that if I did massacre these annoying customers, their bullet ridden corpses would just end up being obstacles that I could not get around with my own shopping cart. So, I usually deal with these idiots with passive-aggressive methods. My most common ploy is to stomp my feet loudly as I get closer and closer to the customer in front of me. That usually gets their attention and they pull out of my way or go faster than their previous snail's pace. Another tactic I use is to hum the theme to Jeopardy.
One of my biggest pet peeves in life, as you can probably tell from the paragraphs above, is when my freedom of movement is curtailed. For me, it is very important to be able to move about with speed and efficiency, and I try to extend the same courtesy to others. When I am at the supermarket, I often park my shopping cart in a spot where it does not get in the way of other customers, and then I go up and down nearby aisles to find the items on my list. I do not feel the need to constantly have my cart with me wherever I go. When I do have the cart with me and I pause to peruse the shelves, I make sure that I am leaving a sufficient enough space so that other customers can pass by me. I even bring my own bags with me and have them ready so that I can pack my groceries as soon as the register girl scans them.
Yeah, I know, there are worse things that one has to deal with in life than clueless morons at the supermarket. But I just felt the need to vent. Besides, it has been a while since my last post and I thought I needed to post at least something to demonstrate that I am still alive and kicking. I also wanted to at last do a post that was not about atheism or religion.
In a way, my supermarket experience is a metaphor for my philosophy of life. There are so many things in the world that anger or annoy us that we feel powerless to do anything about. I can't snap my fingers and cause the roughly 50% of the customers at Shoprite who are clueless assholes to suddenly change their annoying behavior. All I can do is be thoughtful and try not to get in the way of other customers when I am at the supermarket. As my motto goes, "If you want to make the world a better place, then don't add to its problems."