Today I discovered that my local grocery store has rearranged its inventory. I can tell from the underwhelmed
look on your face that you fail to grasp the significance of this portentious
event. I shall endeavor to explain. Be patient with me; the trauma
is still fresh.
I've been going to this particular grocery store for nigh upon two years now. I know, or rather knew, where everything is, or rather was. My grocery shopping trips were a model of efficiency, like freakin' surgical air strikes. Swoooosh! ka-boom! and I'm racing out the door, swinging my grocery bag about my head, howling, and cackling like a madman. Bwaahahaha! Who are all your base belong to now? With the advent of the modern miracle of U-Scan about a year ago, I never even have to speak to any of the store employees; I'm like one of those freakin' stealth bombers the government has, as seen on TV. They never saw me coming; they never saw me leave.
This shopping trip was like any other. I needed only a few things; it should be a quick trip. Or so I thought.
Picture, if you will, the scene. I am racing down the aisle at flank speed. Blindly, I stretch out my hand to the shelf where I knew, I knew without having to look, that the hot dog rolls would be waiting for me. I pull back my hand, and I find it holding, what? The hot dog rolls I crave? No, these are some sort of cookies or crackers or something. Imagine, imagine if you will, my anguish at my discovery. It was like some kind of sick, twisted joke, and I was the butt of it. I cried out in my torment, but there was nobody to hear. I wandered, lonely and afraid, in a supermarket I no longer understood, a supermarket gone mad.
It took me half an hour to find my precious hot dog rolls. Half an hour I will never see again. Half an hour closer to the day I must eventually die and moulder away beneath the earth.
Eventually, I trudged up to the U-Scan a broken, hollow shell of a man, and I reflected on how my life had changed this day. Oh, to be sure, I would get past this. Did not Nietzsche say, ``That which does not kill us makes us stronger?'' But shopping at the Harris Teter would never be the same. The bond of trust between us had been torn asunder, and I fear it is beyond any power to repair. I did not howl or cackle as I slunk out of the store this evening, and as I stir my store-brand deluxe maccaroni and cheese dinner, I weep silently for my lost innocence.