I had a Very Strange experience today that leads me to believe I have crossed the threshold from ‘slightly intolerant left-leaning hippie-type” to “rest home fodder”.
After a quick jaunt to the bank to make a deposit, and having to wait 20 minutes for the bank to open, even though I was there at a *perfectly respectable hour*, I decided to get some lunch-ish items for work. I went to a grocery store. Nay; I went to the Big Green Store.
Now, I’m sure you know this, but the last time I was in that particular brand of store, I was, as Road Rage puts it “all hepped up on goofballs”. Actually, I don’t think she’s ever said that. I had a “few extra beans in my coffee”, if you will. I was out of my gourd on LSD, in other words. *blush* Oh, those crazy 90s, right? Let me just tell you: NEVER DO THAT. [[shudder]]
Okay, so I enter the Megalomart and stand there, agape. There are *no groceries* in this store. Usually when you enter a market or a supermarket even, there is a whole section of produce basically right in front of you (at least, that is the case in all the markets I frequent). OR at least crackers. I have just walked in to a display of tropical plants, buffeted by a display of snow shovels, and confronted with a display of pillows. I begin to walk around. Lightbulbs, caustic chemical cleaning agents, more pillows, towels, dustbins, mops…flatware and silverware, CDs, batteries, electronics…I am beginning to wonder if I’m not in the wrong store. Then I see it. AN ENTIRE WALL OF CHEESE!
“Oh joy!” I think to myself. “Cheese! I love cheese! I’ll get cheese for lunch!”
But all the cheese is in pre-cut slices. Or it’s a funny colour, like bright orange (not ‘cheddar’ orange; ‘nuclear fallout klaxon’ orange, and that’s not a normal colour for cheese). I look around again. Pre-packaged food. Sandwiches made on light and fluffy bread the colour of a virgin’s breasts, hermetically sealed in stuff that will never break down in nature. The glorious trays of seal meat and shrimp, packaged together with orange hummus (what IS it with orange-coloured food? What in nature is…oh wait. Okay, um. What in nature that isn’t a fruit or vegetable is orange? You know what? Never mind the question). Or beige spinach dip (which is guaranteed to taste nothing like the mana from heaven that Snoozy used to make).
I’m dazed; the wind has been knocked out of me by the strange place that I have just walked in to. I envision I feel like those children felt, walking in to Willy Wonka’s candy factory. It was marvellous and horrible all at the same time. I was at once terrified and full of wonder. Disgusted and amazed.
And the people! Oh Lord, the people! They were all pushing their carts and scowling and grabbing things and racing to get the next bunch of lettuce because there *clearly* weren’t enough bunches of lettuce to go around. The Produce was wayyy the hell and gone at the other end of the store, which made me very confused. And most of the produce was either things like nuts and chocolates or it was rotting fruit and brown vegetables.
I stood and looked at the people picking over fruit grown in Some Other Country far, far away, and I thought, “what a lot of waste”. What’s going to happen when the food is actually going ‘off’? Do they just dump it? Do they give it to the food bank before it goes bad? Because I’m pretty sure that even if every person who lives in this city went to one of the Big Green Stores and bought one apple, there would STILL be too many.
Then I started to think about what would happen if a kid got separated from its parents in there. You wouldn’t find each other for WEEKS.
Is it just me, or have these places grown and become more and more annoying? Really. I got seriously freaked out by that place, and by how impersonal it is. The checkout person didn’t greet me or thank me or chat me up (do you know how ODD that is?). Nobody said “hello!” in the aisle. They looked at me really funny when I said “Excuse me, please,” if I had to walk in front of them.