Quick trivia question: How do 89%* of all people get to and from the grocery store? Hot air balloons? Horseback? Pogo sticks? Time’s up! The answer is in cars. And assuming the people driving these cars have to have a driver’s license (one would hope, at least), this means that, in theory, these people have to follow the same rules of the road so as not to drive into a ditch. Right?  *OK, I made that number up, but I’m sure it’s a big percentage.

grocery cart
The grocery store mode of transportation

There are many similarities when you’re on the road, or in the grocery store. When you’re inside the store, how do you carry all of your selections of Slim Jims, jars of kale jelly, and flavored water? Maybe in a basket. Maybe in your hands. But it’s probably in a grocery cart. Carts have four wheels, and so do cars. You have to “drive” the cart to get from point A to point B in the store, just like a car on the road. Similar rules should apply in both cases, right? Well, let me tell you something—people are more likely to drive like clueless idiots in the grocery store than on the roads (and here in Texas, that is saying something!).

I am one of those odd people that actually likes going to the grocery store. There is order in it. There is a sense of the “hunter and gatherer” mentality collecting items to sustain yourself and your family. You serpentine up and down the aisles, checking things off of your carefully-prepared list.  You know where everything is, and you know which order you will find items in each aisle.  And if stupid people don’t block the aisles, run into the back of you, let their kids jump from cart-to-cart, or shove your cart out of the way so that they can get that 4th bag of pork rinds going to the grocery store can be therapeutic, even zen.   Ooohhhhmmmmm…

Bonus: Since there is no recipe attached to this rant, extra points for anyone who comes up with an interesting recipe incorporating pork rinds into a dish!

But NOOOOOOOO. In this day and age, if you are stuck having to make the trek to the grocery store during peak hours (which nowadays with 24-hour everything, could be any time at all), you are doomed to a parade of stupidity, rude behavior, and just plain ignorance that boggles the mind. How these people don’t fall down more—or get pushed down by people like me—is a miracle.

On a recent trip to the store for 15 or so items (OK, so it turned into 34, so what??), I was amazed at the long lines just to get INTO an aisle. Yes, I had to stand in a cue just to get into the cereal aisle. Paired with people who were more interested in catching up with acquaintances in the middle of the canned food row, those too busy texting or talking on their phones to notice that they were blocking the entrance to the cheese section (that’s dangerous with someone like me who loves her cheese), or my favorite, pondering the 18 varieties of freekeh with their cart parked horizontally across the aisle, and I almost got taken out of there in handcuffs.

Abandoned carts
Where did they all go??

Like when I am driving, I can be going happily along my merry way until someone does something stupid and then I lose all sense of decorum and clean language. Unlike when I am driving, I cannot start yelling at people when I’m standing in the frozen food section. When I’m in my car, others can’t hear me telling them that they are a douchenozzle (new favorite word—feel free to use it), but I feel better having blown off that immediate head of steam. Pointing out with colorful language the stupidity of the woman throwing cans of candied yams into her cart from 5 feet away—over my head—will likely get me b*&$#-slapped, or in Texas, shot.

Grocery Store Lanes
Stay in your lane!

So… For everyone’s sake, sanity and safety, I think the new rules of the grocery store should be like when you are driving your car.

1.  Stay to the right side of the aisle unless passing a parked cart.
2. Do not park your cart horizontally, blocking the aisle.
3. If you have to leave your cart to go in search of an item, park it in front of something that no one cares about, like rice cakes.
4. If you see me coming, don’t make eye contact, and just remember the rules of the road.

This has been a public service announcement. If you need me, I’ll be in the wine section of the grocery store with a screw top bottle of wine and a large straw.

Screw Top Wine
Where’s my straw?
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