Grocery Shoppers

Posted: November 25, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Other than watching the garbage truck flip the trash into its top in front of my house on Saturday mornings, going grocery shopping was the highlight of my life. When you’re young grocery shopping is amazing, mostly because it’s not your money. I used to find going grocery shopping therapeutic before I was the one paying for survival. Now whenever I go shopping I get pissed off knowing if I don’t do it I’ll die. I yearn for those older days when grocery shopping was a treat. Take a journey with me back to those days will ya?

The most unusual thing when I was a kid when it comes to grocery shopping is that my family didn’t stick with one specific store. There was Shop Rite, Acme, and Marazzo’s. All three were very different stores. All three had their charm. Shop Rite was gigantic and always had movies playing near the register. I remember my dad stopping for a smoke outside Shop Rite once and I went running into the street because I was so impatient. Somewhere out there this could have made a great anti-smoking campaign. Acme was the newer one to come around. What was great about Acme was it was opened 24 hours a day. When I was older I would never go shopping before midnight there. It was always 2 or 3 in the morning. I loved seeing creepy people buy middle of the night cheesecakes. Finally there was Marazzo’s which was more localized. It was owned by Sam Marazzo who once nearly screwed up my birthday because the cake my family ordered was not made. He did eventually come through and I’ve had fantastic birthdays ever since.

(I spent this last year alone watching the Snow White movie and eating fruit. You be the judge if I’m sarcastic saying it was fantastic)

It never mattered which store I was at, I always managed to cause mayhem. Going with the garbage truck theme, one game I would play with my sister was called garbage man. We would hang on the side of the shopping cart like a garbage man does to a garbage truck and jump off and grab food. Why was I obsessed with garbage when I was a little kid? Is this why I don’t own anything nice and everything I buy is used?

Another game I played had no name. It was simply grabbing large sticks of pepperoni from a barrel and sneaking it into the cart then hoping my dad didn’t see until we got to the check-out. A few times he didn’t and he’d laugh and buy the pepperoni. It was weird how obsessed with pepperoni I was when I was a kid. I remember eating it almost every day. I would also bite my coat collars a lot. When coat collar was bitten so often it actually smelt like pepperoni for years after. I wish this was not true.

(Who would ever need to buy this much pepperoni? This is why people are fat)

The only intrusive thing I ever did that would annoy me if I saw a kid doing today was running down the aisles and sliding on my knees. Remember though, this was back in the early 90s. People were still smoking in grocery stores so running and sliding without wheezing was seen as a miracle. Once I almost slid into the evil lunch aide from my elementary school, Mrs. Casa. She was a Spanish woman who for some reason spoke like an Austrian S.S. Officer. “Lunch is over. Please close your lunchboxes” was her catchphrase the children would all repeat. I think Mrs. Casa was smoking a cigar when I saw her in Shop Rite. I’m probably mistaken because my young racist mind always assumed she was related to Fidel Castro.

I think my sister was the one who ruined the grocery shopping fun. Once during a race at Acme I took a commanding lead. I turned the corner then looked back expecting to see her there. She wasn’t. I heard a crash then went to investigate. I looked down the aisle and saw her standing above a broken pickle jar. Glass was everywhere. Pickle spears fluttered on the ground or whatever it is pickle spears do. The manager came over and did managerial things and my sister has been so afraid of pickles ever since that she’s a lesbian now.

(Penis joke)

Now the most fun I ever have at the grocery store is finding something I like on sale. Why does it always come down to money to have a good time?

Share with me, do you have any fun stories about grocery shopping as a kid? Or did you have some other special place like the dump your parents would take you to for fun?

  1. I still try to sneak things into the shopping cart when my wife isn’t looking.
    What the hell is a pickle chair? And if I still like pickles, does that mean I am gay?

  2. robpixaday says:

    So much to enjoy here!

    Mrs. Casa sounds more than a little scary.
    Pepperoni and pickles. It’s a trend, hunh?

    Never been to Shop-Rite, but Acme? Oh, yes. I’ll be there tomorrow morning — well, my Acme.

    You bit your coat collars? Wow.
    The garbage truck game sounds like fun. I’d do it (if the carts were tall enough).

    No childhood supermarket memories I can share here, but I was asked to be Customer of the Month at my Acme a few weeks ago. I declined. Fame has its perils.

    • Mooselicker says:

      Mrs. Casa was the worst. I guarantee everyone I went to elementary school with still remembers how evil she was.

      I didn’t know Acme gave out customer of the month awards. How do I get that award? Acme has always been my go-to shopping market no matter where I live. I don’t go there as much as I used to, but if I need to stop in quick for something it’s always there. Never for pepperoni though.

      • robpixaday says:

        Well, mine does. They take a picture (which the deal-breaker for me) and give you some free stuff, then put your picture up – BIG – in the entryway. I told them no thank you bec they’re not in great financial shape (I’ve heard — maybe not be true) and I don’t want to scare people away with my face right where people come in. Who needs that? If they ever close I’ll have to start shopping at Giant.

        If you go there often enough and ask them enough questions and pester them about prices and rain checks enough, they might make you Customer of the Month. If they do ask you I guarantee it’ll be on the day you don’t want them to.

      • Mooselicker says:

        Oh yeah who would want a picture of themselves hanging up at Acme like they’re a Communist dictator? I know I wouldn’t. Maybe I would if there was a number below where cute girls could call. Hmmm I’m going to go there tonight and bother them then ask them if I can put my own little message to potential female suitors. With self-checkout they pretty much all stand around anyway. They might hear me out.

  3. Seb says:

    I used to play your pepperoni game, only with Space Food Sticks!

  4. Lily says:

    I love the garbage man game. That’s amazing. My brother and I were just too obsessed with food to even think about playing games. Most of the time I was trying not to get lost in fear that some other family would take me home.
    I love that you had a grocery store called Acme. Could you relate to all of the Warner Bros. cartoon characters ordering things from Acme?

    • Mooselicker says:

      Oh child, you clearly never lived in NJ, PA, or DE (that’s Delaware, yeah there’s a state called Delaware, I just found out). I still go to the Acme by where I live now. They’re all over the place here. I used to think the same thing too about Looney Tunes. I don’t think they sell dynamite or anvils though.

  5. When I was a kid, my parents did all they could to suck the fun out of eating (ie, we rarely had any sugary treats at home and when my mom DID make cookies, they weren’t very good), so grocery shopping with them was just an extension of that. The instant my brother and I tried to put something edible like Cap’N Crunch in the cart, my parents would replace it with apples or milk. Eww.

    • Mooselicker says:

      My dad was the complete opposite, still is. He’d smack me if I tried buying apples. Even when he’d do grocery shopping for me when I was trying to eat healthier he’d buy a bunch of sugary crap and I’d look at him wondering why he’d bring that into my household. He buys sugary stuff for himself now even though he’s diabetic. He’s confusing. Why are parents lame in either one direction or the other?

  6. Addie says:

    Bud always tried to sneak in a hunk of pepperoni into the weekly shopping cart. One year, I gave him his very own pepperoni stick for Christmas, and he was thrilled. Must be a boy thing.

    I still love to do my shopping at 2AM–no one is around, I can talk to myself, the selections aren’t being picked over and I get a close in parking space. Win/Win

    • Mooselicker says:

      That’s interesting you boy had a pepperoni love too. I think it reminds us of pizza.

      I have a 24-hour Super Walmart near me. I haven’t shopped there late ever even though it’s in a really nice neighborhood. I think once you stop shopping at 2AM it’s hard to go back. I feel like all the monsters will call me a traitor.

  7. Grocery shopping in Kuwait was an event. My parents loved looking at flyers to see all the sales. And then we would spend ALL DAY going from one store to another to buy sale items. At the most we would save like $10.00. Most people say that $10.00 would have been spent on gas going to store to store. But in Kuwait, gas is cheaper than water, so really $10.00 was an actual saving.

    My dad would let me buy Sunkist orange juice and a small chocolate pie to eat on the car ride between stores. I wish my childhood grocery store adventures involved sliding down aisles. Maybe then I’d have better memories of Kuwait as an adult now.

    • Mooselicker says:

      Shopping seems like it would have been fun as a little kid, but as an adult to take up the entire day would be so annoying.

      Orange juice and chocolate pie? I’m not sure if those go well together. I still feel tempted to try.

      • It was fun. Its different when you are an adult. If you have a family of 7, then I can see how going from store to store could actually save you money. But when you’re single and without a car, the most you will save is a buck on Tropicana. I have just avoided drinking Tropicana altogether.

        OJ and chocolate pie aren’t the best combo, but who cares? Its a chocolate pie. And its tangy orange juice. I used to be an oblivious food loving kid.

  8. I didn’t have any really exciting grocery shopping experiences when I was a kid. I liked sitting in the shopping cart, though. And I had a tendency to steal grapes. Also, there was an area where they had candies that you could buy by the pound, and I’d eat those too. Aside from that I don’t think I caused too much trouble.

    • Mooselicker says:

      I totally forgot about those candy by the pound things. I used to do that too. It was never anything all too good available in there either was there? Wow you brought back a good childhood memory. Isn’t anything involving food a good memory though? Suddenly I feel like eating gummy worms. I don’t think I’ve had those since I was 7.

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