Never Been Butter

When I go to the grocery store I am interested in one thing- getting out. I want to race through and hit the road. It never happens. Yesterday I went to the frozen pizza case. Gone. Not the pizzas. The whole frozen food section. The store is “remodeling.” That’s what they call it. I call it “let’s move everything around so no one can find it.” Everything was moved. I slowly walked down the end of the aisles, reading the new signs.

Who decided this arrangement?

Aisle 1- Bread, Mops, Toilet Paper, Cooking Utensils

Aisle 2- Vitamins, Coffee, Sandwich Meat, Flea Powder

Aisle 3- Pickles, Magazines, Lettuce, Film

Aisle 4- Meat, Guns, Computer Games, Incense Aisles

5-12 Butter and Margarine I’ve never seen so much butter and margarine in my life. Regular butter, light butter, extra light butter, “I can’t even believe it’s NOT butter” non-butter. There are little hockey puck size containers and middle sized bowls and large tubs. At the end of one aisle they had Land O Lakes “Wheelbarrow O’ Butter.”

So now I’m wasting time figuring out the new layout. I consulted one of the store maps “designed to make your shopping experience easier.” I gave up trying to read it and spent the next 20 minutes trying to refold it. It refused to fold flat and ended up looking like a little volleyball. I served it over the top of one of the butter aisles and yelled “Service!”

Since I live in California, where people play volleyball in their cribs, a surfer looking dude dove down to bump the balled-up map in the air. A store employee stopped pricing butter tubs and spread his hands out and made a beautiful “set” shot. Then a little old lady leaped out of her support shoes 6 feet in the air and spiked it back in my aisle. Lucky for her, it was just in.

I needed milk and found the display. I looked down to see they sold two separate gallon of milk containers connected with a plastic handle. They looked like dumbbells made with milk containers. This thought had occurred to the store manager as well because just past the milk case he had installed a whole workout room with weights made of food items. In the corner a muscle bound guy was bench pressing a side of beef. Along one side was a series of weight machines made of cans of food. “What a day!” a huge muscle bound guy said. “I did 250 military presses of creamed corn, 250 bicep curls of baked beans and a speed set of ab crunches holding two cans of French green beans.”

I finally found all my stuff and went to the checkout. Now, this is the most critical decision you can make to save time: checker selection. I know if I blow this I just added 30 minutes to my shopping experience. Fortunately, I make it a point to always go to the same store. I know the people. I know who the good checkers are. I avoid these people:

–Mr. Happy – Hey, I like friendly people as much as the next person (except anytime 5a-12 noon). But Mr. Happy is REALLY happy. “Hi! And how are we today?” he chirps. Mr. Happy is slow because he gets too many details from shoppers, “Oh, really, Mrs. James, your husband joined the Viagara-of-the-month club? Swell!”

–Ms. Sedation – The opposite of Mr. Happy is Ms. Sedation. Ms. Sedation is using her entire employee discount at the store pharmacy. She is hard to spot because she works steadily but once in line you soon realize you’ve read every article in the National Enquirer and you’ve moved up one spot in two hours. I picked a good checker and we were moving pretty good until it happened. The lady in front of me PULLED OUT HER COUPONS! I quickly grabbed a Zippo lighter off the display and set her coupons on fire. When she dropped them and started stomping on the blaze, I jumped in front of her.

I wondered if there was a better way to shop for groceries. The Internet allows you to order groceries on-line which are then delivered to your house. This sounds good until we find out eBay has started on-line auctions for groceries:

Wheelbarrow O’ Butter Item #33959530303


Starts at $55.00 First Bid $55.00 Quantity 1 # of bids 0 (bid history) (with emails)

Time Left 6 days, 21 hours


Seller Land O’ Lakes

High Bid Payment Money Order, Cashier’s Checks

Shipping Buyer pays actual shipping


Seller assumes all responsibility for listing this item. You should contact the seller to resolve any questions before bidding. Currency is dollar ($) unless otherwise noted.

I finally got though the line and made my way out the door. There is always the same dog sitting there. He is waiting for his owner to return. He has a sad look on his face. When people come out of the store, his tail begins to wag real slow as he checks to see if it his owner. When he realizes it isn’t, he sits down again. I think his owner went in there to pick up some things he forgot for a USC /UCLA tailgate party last year and got lost in the butter aisles and hasn’t been heard of since.

About Joe Ditzel

Joe Ditzel is a keynote speaker, humor writer, and really bad golfer. You can reach him via email at [email protected] as well as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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