OK, so I am talking about the real Hell, not that cliche fiery pit you think of, not Beelzebub's lair. I am talking about Market Basket, on a Saturday morning, with a blizzard watch for that day. Yes, my friends...true, living hell. Now I know there are 9 circles of Hell, and I believe deep in my core that the 7th Circle (Violent) of Hell is the Salem, MA Basket. Even though the one I go to now is much more rural it is still within the hellish realm.
So why am I here? The typical pre-storm bread and milk run? Loading up on comfort food? Nope. I was running out of dog shampoo. So my faithful blog readers know what that means. For you newbies let me fill you in...at times life gets away from me. The laundry might pile up and on occasion I have been known to use a table cloth or blanket to dry off post shower when no towels were available. Many times both Chuck and I thank our walking upright God we got a dog. Not for the typical reasons; companionship, protection and life lessons for our children. Nope. With a dog comes dog shampoo! You know what that translates to? Buying a few extra days of not having to go to the store when you run out of people shampoo. Yeah, I've done it. I have used Mary Alice's Hartz puppy shampoo. And guess what? I have done it more than once and I make absolutely NO apologizes about it. So I know I am fortunate and only work 3 days a week and I probably could have fit in a Basket run before the predicted blizzard but I haven't really been watching the news too much. Not even my beloved Anderson Cooper, who by the way I will be seeing live in person in 64 days!! I just can't watch the news anymore without screaming obscenities at the TV regarding the state of our country. So needless to say, I was ignorant of the blizzard heading our way when I took full advantage of 2 childless hours and took a much needed nap. I have not been getting much sleep since I found out I was pregnant... With Sara...Ten years ago. Sara has been ending up in my bed a lot lately. She is a small, wiry child. However, when she sleeps she spreads out like friggin' Christ on the cross. I am relegated to about a 1 square foot patch of the bed. Not compatible with sleep. So long story, long....that is how I find myself in hell on this glorious morning.
So here I am wandering about amidst the countless number of larks and hoverounds tearing ass down the aisles wondering why I bothered to put clean, matching clothes on. The clientele of Market Basket can be described in many ways but for this piece I am going to go with-- consistent. True Basketeers know that the scooter rider to walking customer ratio is consistently disproportionate. Now I am not an ableist by any stretch of the imagination, one of the main reasons I shop at the Basket is because they hire people with differing abilities and I want to support that, however, many of their able bodied customers take full advantage of the plethora of free scooters they have available and since they are not really scooter users they don't know the rules of the road per say. I have gotten a scooter basket up my ass on more than one occasion from an unruly teen who thinks it would be funny to shop for their munchies while seated. Also, the MB shoppers are consistent in their attire. The official uniform of the citizens of the People's Republic of Market Basket is lounge wear chic. Otherwise known as the clothes one has slept in for a fortnight. For some ungodly reason I actually used up a dollop of puppy shampoo and a clean table cloth for this shopping trip. What a waste of resources.
So I somehow manage to get a full shopping done without committing felony murder and settle into line. Now, I am no merchandising expert, but, with a store as busy as Market Basket and with a clientele so volatile the idea of a fellow shopper shanking you in Aisle 3 as other shoppers step over you as you bleed out, is a thought never far from your mind, I would design the checkout area a bit differently. I would actually leave room for lines to form. The Basket is famous for crowding up the checkout area with bin upon bin of sale items. Truckloads of pilaf and wafer cookies surround you as you try to successfully negotiate the unbelievably process of paying for your groceries. I make it into the inner sanctity of the check out belt area. I load all of my stuff onto the conveyor and just as the girl is finishing up with the person in front of me I realize I forgot my ATM card. Oh for f*ck;s sake! I have to reload my cart with all my groceries and try to back my way out of the line. Let's just say that was as well received as a fart in church by the people in line behind me. I pull over by the customer service area and call home. Thank God that for once I actually had my cell phone with me and miracle upon miracle it was charged! I call home and tell my betrothed my plight. His love for me is so deep he was thrilled to pack up all 3 kids and drive 20 minutes to drop off my card only to turn around and drive 20 minutes right back home. Yeah right. My desperate cries for help were met with a very long, very audible sigh. Turns out the 3 beautiful children that I birthed, the 3 children my every breath I breathe is for, wanted absolutely no part in coming to rescue me. If I understand correctly I think there may have been some bribery involved in getting them to actually agree to come to my rescue.
20 minutes later my knight in a shining minivan shows up, rolls down the window, hands me my card and drives away. You could have cut the "love" with a knife! I head back in, retrieve my carriage and settle in for another round of check-out line Frogger. A lady behind me realizes she forgot a bag of tortellini and asks if I mind holding her space. Forgot some tortellini I snort? Amateur! Try forgetting any and all forms of payment. When I tell my dad this story he causally says, "why didn't the cashier just take you next after Chuck dropped your card off? They usually let you jump right back in line". Oh, bless his little heart! My dad has obviously never been to a Market Basket. If you even think about jumping back in line you are literally asking for a beat down. This isn't Shaw's for Christ's sake!
I kept my head down, did my time in the second round of lines and made it out with my life just as the first flakes were falling. Lessons learned...oh who am I kidding? I could say I learned to be more aware of the forecast, or to always check to make sure my ATM card is in my purse but we all know this is just a typical day for me! Market Basket for life!!