Express lane of the apocalypse

By: 
Mel Anderson
S-E Staff reporter

I almost died on Friday. I was almost murdered.

Grocery shopping.

My grocery bill is basically birth control. Thinking of having a large family? Step this way! Only two dollars for a sneak peek at my receipt. Guaranteed to make the ovaries of any sane woman shrivel up into tiny little raisins, with no medical side effects, except sudden bouts of severe depression and some random sobbing about retirement accounts and college savings and such.
I’m sure there are ways to spend less, but, unfortunately, my children like to eat on a regular basis. They’re picky like that.

I have to grocery shop strategically. First, I attack non-perishables in boxes and cans. That fills up one cart to overflowing in itself. I pay, load, then go back in for refrigerated items and produce. Another overflowing cart. Pay. Load. Back in for frozen foods and meats. It takes three to four hours on top of an evening of menu making, weeping, looking up laws for selling children on e-bay, deciding it’s definitely frowned upon socially, and finally creating a grocery list that’s three pages long.

This last time I started at 6:30 and was ready with my first cart at 7:30.

Only one lane was open.

The express lane.

Now, I am a conscientious person. I looked at the time and understood straight off that the people in the store just before eight in the morning were probably quickly grabbing something before heading to work and not, like me, trying to feed hordes of hungry locusts who would devour me alive if I didn’t offer up sacrificial cheese and crackers after school.

I asked the manager. I pointed out my very large cart of groceries and let her know that my life would be in jeopardy if I went anywhere near the express lane.

The manager said to just go ahead and use that lane.

She clearly wanted me to die a slow and agonizing death.

I fully expected that if I used the express lane for my three-hundred items, the little old ladies in the grocery store would meet me in the parking lot armed with brass knuckles and nail-studded bats. The police would find my body the next day with a ransom note sign clipped on that said: “fifteen items or less, sucka’.”

I went to the express lane and muttered I’msorrythisisn’tmyfault in one long string over and over again and waited for the killer old ladies. The respectable elderly women of the area must have been getting ready for the craft show that morning because they didn’t appear with nunchucks or sniper rifles and I didn’t get shot in the parking lot.

When I went in for carts two and three, another lane was open, so instead of fearing for my life, I only got sideward glances and a kind stranger who said, “Got the whole brood for Christmas, eh?” and I explained that I have the whole brood every day of the year.

I blame this whole situation on my husband. If he weren’t so attractive we wouldn’t have fifty million children.

To reach Mel Anderson, email mel@statesmanexaminer.com.

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