Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shopping at the Piggly Wiggly

I haven't indulged my mean streak here in quite a while--a crazy thought considering that I originally started blogging to chronicle the adventures of a Cubanita in The South. Well, I won't disappoint, if only to document what I have seen this afternoon at the local grocery store.

Understand that I have shopped most of my adult life at Publix, Where Shopping is a Pleasure. Oh, I know I pay premium prices, mostly for a clean store, a variety of items, and the peace of mind that the bag boy won't assault me on the way to my car. Every once in a while, though, I feel compelled to patronize other establishments.

Walmart is always an interesting choice, especially on a weekend evening. Usually, that's when we happen to be out anyway, and John gets the wild hair to get a $400 grocery. Those trips are really classified as something other than shopping. It's more like a people watching extravaganza because over the years I have finely tuned my aversion to grocery shopping, so if the family wants to eat, they better figure out how to get the food in the pantry.

They leave me alone to wander the aisles in search of random items, and odd people. It's better than spending the afternoon in the Louvre (ok, maybe not, but in the absence of a ticket to Paris, it works for me).

Today I went to get a refill for my blood pressure medicine because I'm still eating crappy food, and the only exercise I get is wandering those Walmart aisles, and there was crowd at the pharmacy. I love my pharmacy. The pharmacist knows my name, asks about the family, jabbers on about Georgia Tech in a University of Georgia-infested region. I like to give them my business.

The locale is only marginally better than it was before. In fact, maybe not. Nevertheless, they are a breath of cleanliness in a strip mall that sports a Dollar General, a really seedy diner with pool tables, and the Piggly Wiggly.

I put in my refill and took a stroll down to the Piggly Wiggly, ostensibly in search of garbage bags. I was unsure of the availability of my brand, but hey, it's not like I'm brand loyal to garbage bags. For those of you interested, I did get my cinch bags, and for less than I pay at Publix.

Overall, it was a dingy store, with limited items, and a meat section that scared me. Really. For starters, I didn't recognize any of the meat--except the chicken. Even that wasn't very encouraging, because it was all gray. Now, I've heard that stores will use food coloring and such. Let me just say on the record that I'd like my meat to look fresh when I buy it. You don't have to kill the cow in front of me, but let me see some blood, even if it is pretend.

The real entertainment was in the check out line. I was standing in my heels, sweating in my pantyhose and trying to keep my blouse from revealing too much, when I spied the bag boy. Um. Bag man. Um. Man who might have been better off wearing a bag.

Imagine, if you will, Freddy Mercury at his cleanest cut--trimmed hair, trimmed mustache, usual overbite--and sock him into 2007. Wearing ridiculous amounts of bling. And tatoos on his neck.

This guy looked like the juxtaposition of Green Acres with Sanford and Sons. He took every negative stereotype about rural white folks and urban black folks and turned it into "his look."

I don't think he was making a social statement. No. I believe he thought he looked good.

I think I'll go back to my Publix, where I can get a free cup of coffee that I pay for at the register. Oh, and I know the bag boys. They are high school kids that call me Ms. J, not creepy middle aged men who evidently can't hold another kind of job.


Anonymous said...

LOL.....PUBLIX where shopping is a pleasure !!


Anonymous said...

I do prefer the Walmart because the prices are considerably lower than the other places. Plus when we go late(like 1:00am late) I can do 2 buggys worth of groceries and be in the car in less than an hour. It is even more entertaining when I have the "Flo & Deb Show" with me, while we are 'efforting' to get all the things we think we need quickly, while at the same time observing the local fauna!

Mary said...

Ha, just kicked Anna off the computer for a few minutes to read this, so funny and so true! Publix is my store too, but like you I sometimes venture to others just to verify my love for Publix. Love your blog. Anna enjoying chatting with you. Thanks!