Tuesday, August 09, 2005

my apples are [Lost in the Supermarket]

Blogger erroneously deleted my entry of grocery-store woes last week, and as last evening proved equally abominable, a revisit seems apropos.

Last weeks' trip to Jewel featured a cart-thief who absconded with my apples and grapes and left me 5lbs of tomatoes and a loaf of rye bread in exchange.... which were both quickly adjusted upon their discovery at checkout.

It's not entirely surprising that this transpired, as the Wrigleyville Jewel is SO bloody crowded! To plow through the swarm, I had resorted to dumping my cart at the end of an aisle and swooshing down for items, before returning to deposit them. Guess that's a sign to the other shoppers to pilfer and interchange at will!

I'd been dreading going back until now, if the store is not swamped, its shelves are empty of whatever you want or is on special.... attempting something so futile takes a certain mindset.

To alleviate some of my dread, I biked over to Trader Joe’s to complete the majority of my list before succumbing to Jewel for produce and household gear. I love TJ's and the only downside is they are now 3 miles away by bike instead of just scampering down the block like I used to. This trip was quite fruitful, and after a brief unloading I was really to strike out for the remainder of my list at the big conglomerate.

There was even a chicken leg up for me; friend K had advised me to try another Jewel location slightly further north to avoid the congestion, and paltry pickings. Feeling rosy, I had high hopes for a completed list and peaceful evening. Ha! What do we have for our loser Bob?

Well, Jack.... we have a lack of zucchini, grapes & water chestnuts, the inability to drive a cart down any given aisle due to throngs of shoppers and even a line infringer who tried to block an aisle to cut in at the checkout.

So much for a new solution to shopping! The evening’s misadventures even drove me to look into Peapod, which happens to be Bosco's favorite band-aid to this rather mundane task. This is a VERY tempting alternative and only a few strings (sparse employment and good weather) are keeping me from plunging right in.

I'm not a grocery-shopping "purist": I won't especially miss squeezing the fruit, or taking out every packet of eggs to get the one with the latest expiration date (yes, I am one of THOSE people), the personal interaction with the cashiers or untold joy at picking the most perfect plum...yea, can give me those 2-3hours back for $6-8 in delivery fees? Sold!

One minor gripe, I did notice when test-driving the service was its lack of a proper spell-checker. After a missed keystroke, the built-in search engine unfortunately does not return a handy list of clues:

"Hey, did you know there is no such thing as a 'Chiclin Breath'?....Could you perhaps have meant 'Chicken Breast'? or maybe 'Chiclets'? how about some Chitlins?

As a member of Ortographobics Anonymous (wow, there IS a word for this!?), the last place I need to be taunted about my lack of spelling dexterity is from an online grocer; nor, do I want my diet to become one monosyllabic food group as a consequence.

All in all, it's an interesting option, although still a little weak...guess I'm just over expectant having been coddled by Apple and Adobe with revolutionary computing products; lackluster electronics have no place in my world...MicroCenter makes me hunger for new toys; why can't Peapod make me crave to order groceries? Step up already fellas!


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