Friday, June 17, 2005

Elder Abuse

Grocery shopping is something that just about every person does, and not wanting to be labeled as a Heretic of Commerce, I do it, too. Now, the supermarket at which I regularly shop seems to be a bit particular as to who is allowed to shop there and bottleneck the checkout stands. This market allows ugly women with barbaric children, men named "Gordon", out-of-town fools who don’t know any better, and senior citizens. (My family and I were able to get an exemption.)

Before I proceed, I just wanted to say that I have nothing against senior citizens. I have many a family friend and relative who rank among the Seniors, and I will be one some day sooner than I think. My only objection is that they shouldn’t be allowed to congregate in one place in groups of three or more. They get dangerous and somewhat obstreperous.

Now, take my local supermarket as an example. You can be heading down the paper towel aisle without a care in the world, but once you round the corner into the dairy section, you can kiss the rest of your day goodbye. There are more senior citizens in that one tiny aisle than there are in an entire concert hall hosting a Frank Sinatra show. The reason I say they’re dangerous and somewhat obstreperous is that they think there is something written in the United States Constitution stating that it is their inalienable right to make the dairy section (and the tuna fish aisle) their homestead. And if you try to get around their cart or ask them to please move, forget about it or else you’re asking for the business end of an onslaught of canes and walkers. I saw it happen to one of those ugly women I was talking about earlier, and these people had no shame concerning her barbaric child. They just gagged him with a low-fat, no-cholesterol cheese and stuck him between the cottage cheese and sour cream.

Well, if you’re smart enough to avoid the dairy section and the tuna fish aisle altogether, you still have to face the checkout stands. I’ve seen more organization at a 10-car pile-up during rush hour in Los Angeles. This is not wholly the fault of the seniors. It doesn’t help when the cashiers don’t know the difference between produce and cat food or how to type "$2.19" into the cash register. Back to the seniors: It doesn’t help, though, when they’re in the middle of the line and suddenly remember that they need some Efferdent.

The reason I am so harsh on these people is that I think they plan it. They take turns staking out the dairy and tuna sections while the others stand in the lines continually forgetting something. They have community meetings for this. We all think they get together to plan trips to Atlantic City or Las Vegas. Wrong. They get together and schedule who’ll work what sections of the supermarket and at what time.

They group together and rally for more dairy sections and write letters to Bumble Bee and Starkist complaining that there’s not enough cans of tuna being produced. They do this. I saw it in a movie once.

People, beware! Keep your elderly loved ones as far away as possible from other elderly people. It’s like adding too much fiber to someone’s diet: things can get very messy.

I can see it now: "OK, Edna. You and the Geritol Gals take dairy, and Bernie and I will take tuna. The Efferdent Gang will be on checkout stand duty. And remember, never say ‘die’."

1 comment:

Diana Rudolph said...

OK Grant, that was funny! You forgot to mention one of the reasons why they take so long at the checkout counter is because they have to write checks...every time! Can you say ATM or charge? Geez!