Shoulder Shopping

The Dowbrigade’s local supermarket has been undergoing a major makeover, and it was as if, had we been a pre-super hunter gatherer, the bison herd had suddenly disappeared.

Despite completely reoutfitting and reorganizing the entire store, they managed to stay open 24-7 throughout, doing most of the dangerous, disruptive work late at night. For three months, we couldn’t find anything. It was like a black market, or a sidewalk sale, where the goods one was perusing could suddenly up and move to the next corner at the approach of a flatfoot.

Now that they’ve finished the work and reinagurated the branch (witnessed by a photo of the store manager and the regional manager posing around a frosted blue cake) things are barely better. Either the new layout is designed to confuse, or the Dowbrigade is getting too old to adjust our grazing patterns. Little things irritate us; the boxes of apple crisp are no longer on top of the apples and the Lactaid is now on a different aisle than the regular milk. How dare they!

But the worst is the fact that the newly expanded “Nature’s Choice” health food aisle has been relocated directly across from the snack food aisle. As we shamble down the aisle in our polyester Hawaiian shorts, fishnet tank top and fur-lined slippers, it is like we have a tiny angel on one shoulder and that damn little devil on the other.

“Oh, get the fat-free rice cakes. They make great snacks.”

“Forget that junk! We got candied macadamia nuts over here.”

“Well, if you must have something sweet, why not Granny Ruth’s Organic Granola with Carob?”

“Are you kidding? Grab some Nacho chips and Cheese-like Dip. They’re on sale!”

Our head rotates back and forth as though we were courtside at Wimbledon. Fearing whiplash, or worse, the dreaded 360 degree Exorcist headspin, we flee the premises. We may have to find another supermarket, where the food doesn’t talk to us.

About dowbrigade

Semi-retired academic from Harvard, Boston University, Fulbright Commission, Universidad Laica Eloy Alfaro de Manta, currently columnist for El Diario de Portoviejo and La Marea de Manta.
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