I have a love/hate relationship with food. I love to eat it, cook it, talk about it, learn about it and dream about it, but I hate shopping for it. Once a week my body cringes as I prepare my list and head off into the unknown. It’s not that I don’t get excited to replenish the fridge with tasty vittles; no, my hatred can be pinpointed to one cause: the grocery store.

I try to be all business, but it never seems to work. The pain sets in at the parking lot. Nine times out of 10 it’s complete chaos: killer carts on the loose, cars everywhere and people busy dreaming of that Ben & Jerry’s they just bought instead of watching for my crazy ass. All I want to do is park and get this crap over with, but you were lazy and left the cart in the only open spot, or it is taking you an hour to unload your 60 kids from the SUV (I’m stealing your support the troops ribbon magnet, punk!).

Once I find a spot two miles from the entrance, I make my way toward the mouth of the beast. The problems continue as I try to find a cart that doesn’t drive sideways. I have considered bringing my own wrench to fix the wheels on these pieces of shit, but I figure it would only mean that I am there longer. Even if I were to fix a cart, a homeless person would probably steal it anyway. In case you didn’t know, they have all the good carts. Advantage: homeless.

I tend to start off in the produce section; the fresh food makes me feel alive. Everything looks fresh and delicious until you get close. Why is half this crap beat to hell? Why even bother putting it out there? Is there some idiot who buys the apple with the worm hanging out of it? You could at least bury that funk at the bottom of the stack. But no, you put the good fruit down there so that I have to tangle with the precarious fruit mountain. When all the nectarines hit the floor and roll across the store, don’t look at me; after all, you stacked them. Please don’t take this to mean that you shouldn’t even bother. I get more pissed when you haven’t restocked. What kind of crappy grocery store runs out of oranges? Raley’s, I’m looking at you.

Produce can get me riled up, but my biggest pet peeve is the other shoppers. I feel obligated to tell everyone to go in there with a plan, make a list. Damn it people, you don’t have to look at everything and figure out how to cook it! We all know you are going to end up with twenty cans of tuna and some Lean Cuisines; so quit bullshittin’! If I get stuck behind one more person who is tortoising her way down the middle of the aisle, I may have to hit the beauty section for some razor blades. I have only slightly less anger for the people riding the mart carts. If you are handicapped, do your thing, I ain’t mad at ya; however, if you are just fat and lazy, get the hell out of my way. Maybe if you weren’t in the grocery store so much, you wouldn’t be in this predicament. At least look at this as a chance to get some exercise. Yes, you can shed pounds by pushing around that cart full of bacon, baked beans, beef, American cheese and Diet Coke.

In closing, to prevent me from killing you, I have made the following handy list of commonsense rules for you to follow: Don’t park your cart in the middle of the aisle while you figure out what kind of pasta to get; don’t get in the 15 items or less line with a whole cart full of shit (count dummy!); don’t order 15 pounds of fifteen different kinds of meat at the deli counter; and don’t ask me to donate money to some cause after you just charged me $70 for three bags of groceries. I hate you all.

Bocephus Chigger