The Slowest Common Denominator

If the opponents of the theory of evolution truly want to destroy the discipline they have to go no further than their local grocery store. There is no way on earth the way we shop for food is a more highly evolved method than that of a Hunter/Gatherer. On the downside there isn’t much evidence of Intelligent Design, either. Applying science to grocery stores, shopping, or shoppers, may be no more successful than praying that it gets any better, anytime soon.


Now back in the day, when I was growing up, and no, it was not during the Hunter/Gatherer phase of humanity thank you, a bag boy would unload your cart, bag the groceries, take them out to your car, put them in the truck for you, and you wouldn’t touch your groceries, all in neat brown paper bags, until you got home. This was all before the day of bar codes so the cashier had to ring up each item individually. The cash registers were simple mechanical devices that could operate without electricity. Okay, so may I did come up right after the Hunter/Gatherer phase of humanity.


I don’t shop. I buy. I go into a store knowing what I need, I know where it is, and I go in and get it. I’m not interested in the specials, I am unconcerned about anything on sale, and I do not care about flashing lights or pretty colors. Food. Food and only food. Get it. Pay for it. Get out. What part of that seems difficult or challenging?


Yet there are those people who seem to be totally out of touch with this concept. They will graze each and every aisle, as if they are totally and blissfully unaware of what might be lurking in their cabinets back home.  Grocery stores have designed aisles these days so that two people cannot pass. I think they hope that while you’re waiting for the octogenarian shopper and the mother of four to pass slowly like ships in the night, you might decide to buy something found on that desert aisle. It never works on me.


Truth be told, the aisles in grocery stores today are little more than spaces defined by that distance that is an inch less wide than two shopping carts are when placed side by side. I consider them to be vertical speed bumps, as it were. If you are in a hurry, and you get behind someone who isn’t in a hurry, then your speed gets redefined, not the speed of the tortoise.


Once upon a time, yes, dammit, just a few years past the Hunter/Gatherer phase, I am so sorry I brought that up now, cashiers were capable of ringing up an order, holding onto the total if you had to go get something else, and moving on to the next customer.


At this point, those of you who are under the age of eighteen, those of you offended by profanity, and those of you who habitually leave a ton of groceries stranded at the check-out while you go to the very back of the store to get one last item you may want to leave now.


If there is any behavior known to the human species more annoying, less considerate, or more likely to result in homicidal rages with automatic rifles than stranding an entire line at the grocery store to go look for one more item, I am unaware of what that might be. Talking in theaters, talking to the screen in theaters, checking your email in theaters, and genocide come to mind, but those are merely candidates for second place.


For those of you idiots who habitually indulge yourself with this sort of behavior, do you not realize that other customers, the cashiers, the bagboys, and unknown internet writers are cursing your very soul to eighteen forms of hell found in seventeen different religious and a belief system? Chances are the help in that store is secretly slipping condoms, feminine products, and stool softener into your purchase without your knowledge, and adding it onto your bill whilst you are wander aisle six looking for vinegar. There are those of us who ram whole fingers into your loaves of bread while you are gone, remove the seals from your over the counter drugs, and if you my chance leave a child in that cart, we will draw facial hair onto that child with a red magic marker, and blame it on that last person who stranded us there.  While you’re trying to decide which brand of bleach you would like to buy, we’re teaching some five year old with a red beard words that would make a sailor blush.


All in all, modern grocery stores are a detriment to both evolution and most forms of religion. It is painfully obvious some people are incapable of gathering or hunting for themselves, and they barely make it through the checkout stand with their children uncolored. Worse, the amount of bad karma they generate cannot be calculated without a supercomputer and the amount of time lost, waiting for stranded lines to move again.


Take Care,


Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/21/2008 7:16:32 PM
Hi Penname! If you've got 20 kinds of milk in your store it's larger than the one I'm forced to frequent!!!

penname   penname wrote
on 5/21/2008 7:13:48 PM
amazing. now i see why when i go "perusing" the grocery store aka "super" market...i simply act as if it all isnt there and simply beeline for the milk (20 different kinds by the way from one cloned cow or goat, or heaven's knows what and try to decide if i want to pay 3.99, 4.29 or 4.89 for it) and then I hunt for the living breathing cashier in the 7 items or less lane to check me out so i wont have to go through the supercomputer ancient vax machine to use my bonus card, credit card and get my change and receipt...and fumble for the flimsy stuck together plastic bag it myself bags and leave disgusted wishing i had my own farm at home.

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/16/2008 7:17:00 PM
That is heaven, Victoria!!!!!!!!!!!!

vwhitlock   vwhitlock wrote
on 5/16/2008 12:43:01 PM
I have always wanted nothing more than for Greeneville, TN to have a drive thru grocery store. You call in your order. Pull up to a dock. You pay. They load. You drive away. No storefront needed...just a warehouse filled with groceries. No customers walking in and out...just workers filling orders. No carts, no specials, nobody with a bucket and a sign that reads "need work". Euphoria!

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 4/30/2008 5:04:27 AM
Wundrmom "What can you do?" Writer about it. It's cheaper than tequlia and washes off with soap and water.

Mike Firesmith
Special Interest
writing Mike Firesmith
I write
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A Rant, A Rave , A Little Crazed