Archive for the ‘Grocery Stores’ Category


Overthinking the checkout chit-chat

January 15, 2017

The scene: I am buying groceries from Ryan [not the clerk’s actual name] at Albertsons [not the store’s actual name].

Ryan: Blackberries, eh?

Me [aloud]: Yup.

Ryan [struggling to scan the package]: This UPC code is way too small. I’d like to strangle whoever thought this was a good idea.

Me [internally]: I know you’re kidding, but jeez! Even facetious talk of violence makes me kind of queasy these days. Are you aware that a lot of marginalized people feel as though they’re walking around with bull’s-eyes on their backs? On the other hand, you didn’t say that you would actually strangle somebody, just that you felt like doing so. Maybe it’s healthy for you to acknowledge your frustration without intending to act upon it?

Ryan: I could commit murder, but do it with style.

Me [internally]: What? Can we please talk about something else? Or about nothing? Somehow I must register disapproval, however mildly…

Me [aloud]: You know, Ryan, I don’t think that’s possible.

Ryan: That’s true. I’m not British.

Me [aloud]: [polite chuckle]

Ryan: The French could never pull it off. They’d have to make it into a big drama.

Me [internally]: Oh, great, more stereotypes. Yes, let’s pick on the French. Or maybe you’re COMPLIMENTING the French on their inability to kill casually — they know that life is precious — and slamming the British for making murder look cool? What is your heritage, anyway? Is it OK to make fun of one’s own tribe?

Me [aloud]: Did you already scan my card? I can’t remember.

Me [internally]: All this talk of homicide has been slightly distracting, you see…

Ryan: I can’t remember either. I’ll scan it again just in case. Don’t worry, I’ll be normal once I get my second cup of coffee. Have a great day!

Me [aloud]: You too!

Me [internally]: Try not to strangle anyone.

Where it all began
Here’s where it all began.


Soup deniers must be confronted

January 2, 2013

Perhaps I’m just grouchy due to grant-writing pressure and a cold, but today I got very upset at the fact that Nissin’s slogan for its Cup Noodles is: “MUCH MORE THAN A SOUP.”

A cup of Cup Noodles contains lots of ramen noodles and a few peas, kernels of corn, bits of meat, etc. floating in a salty broth. It is, in a word, soup. It so perfectly embodies the concept of soup that no word other than “soup” really applies.

I recognize that making Cup Noodles sound exciting is a significant marketing challenge. But why use a slogan that is the exact opposite of the truth?

Please, Nissin — it’s time to bring your years of denial to a close. Your product is indisputably a soup, a whole soup, and nothing but a soup. The sooner you can swallow that, the better.

[Related: Much more than a soup! by VicimusGegan]


Caution: statements of the obvious ahead

December 2, 2012

In the spirit of The most ridiculous caution signs ever, here’s one we saw tonight in the Fred Meyer parking lot while the rain poured down.

Fred is all wet


Fred Meyer’s ever-increasing generosity

September 15, 2012

a bargain at Fred Meyer

An automatic but imperceptible price reduction. Maybe the savings are in the third decimal place?


Customer appreciation

March 26, 2012

I like the Ballard Fred Meyer for many reasons. You can buy eggs, jeans for your 5-year-old, and mirrors all in one place; the supervised holding pen for kids is nice too. What I like most, though, is the greeting message from John Mayer.

Welcome! We’re glad you’re here. Making you feel welcomed, important, and appreciated every time you shop is our number one priority. Please talk to me if you are not completely satisfied with any product or service. We hope to see you again soon. P.S. Your body is a wonderland!


An ethics lesson from my son

July 2, 2011

We had gotten out of the Rainier Valley Safeway and were standing at our car when we discovered that Phil was still holding two packages of yeast and one packet of Italian dressing mix. In other words, we hadn’t paid for them.

“What should we do?” Liz asked.

We were running late. We had to get home and make dinner to bring to our friends’ house. The stowaway items were collectively worth less than $6 — not much compared to the $100 we spent at this store every week. I had been up since 3 AM and had spent the afternoon hacking away at blackberry bushes in our back yard. “Oh, let’s just get going,” I muttered.

At this Phil spoke up. “We’re going to steal?” he asked. His mind was not cluttered with my many unspoken rationalizations; all he knew was that we were about to take some things we hadn’t bought.

I turned briskly away from our car and headed back inside the store.


An excerpt from the product locator chart at our local Safeway

May 27, 2007

“Family planning…….Aisle 13.”

Now that’s what I call a full-service grocery store.

Next time I’ll definitely visit Aisle 13 to see what sorts of counselors and fertility experts are stationed there. Maybe I’ll pick up a few informational brochures as well.