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Assorted Stupidity

The other day I went to the grocery store.  All this time I have been under the impression that the grocery store was the place one went to do grocery shopping.  Apparently that is no longer so.  Now the thing to do is go to the grocery store, push around an empty cart  and stand in the way of as many people as possible while talking on your cell phone.

How did people manage to cook dinner in the days before cell phones made intense four and five party calls possible so everyone could provide their preferences and opinions on what’s to eat?  I am all for bringing back the days of, “eat what I cooked or go hungry.”

Go out and talk on your cell phone while driving your car.  Just get the flip out of my way in the grocery store!

~ : ~

Speaking of cell phones — I called T-Mobile the other day with a question about my bill.  As long as I had the rep on the line, I asked her how my contract would be effected if I wanted to move somewhere else — like say, Hawaii — and wanted to change my phone number.  She said the good news was that T-Mobile did provide service in Hawaii, and I could keep my current contract and plan.  The bad news, however, is that since I would no longer be in the the United States, I would have to buy a different sim card.

So, when did Hawaii secede from the Union?  And how did I miss that bit of news?

 ~ : ~

And you’d think in these days when most drive-thru employees carry bachelor’s degrees in Fine and Performing Arts or Philosophy, that they’d have enough sense to hand their customer the biggie soda first, and the ice cream cone second.  Nope.  They pass you the cone, which obviously can’t be put down, then extend the diet-soda which cannot possibly be grasped by only one small hand.  Hello?  Soda first.  That I can put down.

~ : ~

And last but not least is my drunk neighbor — the one I take shopping every week, not the one who plays the same record for days on end.  The drunk I take shopping is in her mid-sixties and does not have a car.  Out of the kindness of my heart I take her grocery shopping with me on Saturdays.  I’ve never asked for, nor do I expect, payment;  however a little courtesy woudn’t be amiss.  (Come to think of it, a little courtesy is what I get — very little.)

Saturday, as she stepped into my car, she started complaining about the fact that I wouldn’t be coming the following Saturday, and how much time she spent on her grocery list and how she most certainly hoped she wouldn’t run out of anything important before the two whole weeks passed and I once again had time for her.

I sat there for a moment in silence before I started the car.  Not long enough for her to add more, but longer than would have been expected of a casual reply, then I said, “You know, just because I’m not taking you doesn’t mean they won’t let you in the store.”

Wisely, she changed the subject, but not for long.  When we got to the store — Wal-Mart, the only place she will shop so I go there specifically for her — I turn toward the produce isle.  She says,  “I don’t need any produce.  We’re going to skip this part.”  I told her that I did need produce, and I proceeded to shop for it.  Several times she whined, “I don’t need anything from this isle.”  I ignored her.

Next I moved to the meat counter.  She said, “I bought plenty of meat last week.  I don’t need anything here.”  I told her I did, and picked up a package of chicken.  We both always shop every week.  We don’t always need things from the same part of the store.  I don’t whine when she drags me out to the garden center, even though I don’t own my yard so I don’t buy plants for it.  She snapped, “Just how much shopping do you have to do?”

Again I paused and stared at her for several seconds before responding.  “You know,” I said, “You are free to shop whatever aisle you please.  There’s no need to follow me around.”

“Well,” she said, huffy, “if we separate, how will you know when I’m ready to leave?”

I smiled.  “You wouldn’t really have to worry about that since the bus comes by every fifteen minutes.”

After that she was quite patient while I shopped — and she didn’t drag me out to the garden center.





Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Quilly… have you broken it to her that you’re MOVING yet? Hmmm?

    I do have a suggestion for the soda debacle. Don’t buy BIGGIES! 😉 …. or forgo the ice cream??? … nah! MEDIUM soda it is!

    I LOVE my grocery store! I don’t get cell service IN there!!! hehehe!!!

  2. Melli — speaking of stupidity — the medium soda is $1.49; the biggie soda is 99 cents. I get the biggie and toss about half away. And that small ice cream was huge! I almost felt guilty for ordering it. Sure tasted good, though.

  3. Rusty Nails has a rant today about cell phones in public places. And yeah, what gives? When Hawaii became a state, it became a STATE. Sheesh!

  4. Gawpo — I suppose the young, blonde airhead (here my prejudice shows, it was a phone call) doesn’t know the difference between the continent and the country — which is a shame since there are other countries on the continent. (Oh, I’m American. I’m not supposed to admit that am I? We claim the entire continent as our identity.)

    AND, while you were commenting here, I was over at your place watching, Young Frankenstein.

  5. Quilly, do you really want EVERYONE to know about Hawaii??? Clearly there are advantages (for Hawaiians) if the dumbest parts of society remain oblivious.

  6. I don’t own a cell phone. It still astrounds me that people walk around in stores talking on them. I don’t even like the intrusion of the regular phone. It sounds like you have been a good neighbor. People do begin to take things for granted. You should tell her your leaving so she could learn to take the bus.

  7. Brian — when I move I plan to have a roommate. He doesn’t drink and doesn’t want a third roommate who does — and neither do I!

    Morgan — did you just imply I was one of the dumbest parts of society? Or that my readers are, if they’re hearing it here last ….. And aren’t you one of my readers?

    Dr. John — she knows I am leaving. Every week she asks me if I’ve broken up with my “internet fella” yet. She also knows the reason I won’t be taking her shopping next weekend is because my “internet fella” will be in town. She often challenges my tongue to be silent. Her actions remind me that discipleship isn’t mean to be easy or pleasant. I figure she’ll appreciate me more after I’ve gone.

    Mike — I am reasonably certain that mowing her down with a cart will only increase her whining. Besides, no offense, but I’ve learned through reading your blog that any suggestion from you is really best not followed to it’s natural conclusion unless one enjoys natural disasters.

  8. I am VERY surprised there isn’t an entry in this post about friends that say they are going to blog more, but don’t. I’m sure that is irritating as well. LOL

    This made me laugh almost as much as your comment on my last blog did.

  9. Ha ha….had a good laugh today with your post. Perhaps your neighbor is nasty because she knows you are leaving and she is angry about it. I wish I had your wit.

  10. Donna — I visit your blog at least three times per week. That’s a lot of time to stare at the same dang post. Especially a post meant to be inspirational. It’s umph has worn off.

    Lori — I figure that’s what’s effecting her mood. As to wit: my sister, Caryl, once commented that she wished she had half my wit. I earnestly assured her that she indeed did. Somehow, that didn’t cheer her.

  11. It may not be true anywhere else, but in my house, ““eat what I cooked or go hungry” still stands. I even do it with my husband. I tell him, if I am in charge of the grocery list and I have to cook it, you can eat it, or you can get in the car and drive 8 hours so your momma will fix you the meal of your choosing. lol

    Hawaii didn’t secede from the Union. Knowledge of basic U.S. history might have.

    Perhaps you could do your shopping on the way home from work some night. One or two weeks might be enough to remind her that you are doing her a favor. This may be the brat in me talking, but acts of charity and kindness aren’t necessary for those who mistake them for obligation.

  12. Brig — actually, “eat what I cooked” is probably still alive and well in many homes. It just didn’t seem like it the other day!

    And should that read, “knowledge of US History” or just “knowledge” in general?

    And technically, Joan is not my next-door neighbor anymore. She moved about a mile away. If I’d truly wanted to i could have quit taking her shopping then. As a rule I don’t mind taking her, I do it for God anyway. My first two years here i did not have a car, and when I could finally afford one I thanked God, and promised myself I would use it to help others (within reason) who didn’t have cars. A little old lady walking to the store every week in Vegas’ extreme weather conditions seemed like a “within reason” place to help.

  13. “And should that read, ‘knowledge of US History’ or just ‘knowledge’ in general?”

    This question depends on whether you are talking to customer service or not. 😀

  14. Must have been the drink talking.

    Oh, and I bet that cell phone rep meant to say continental US and just forgot the continental part. At least I hope so!

  15. Brig — customer service is an oxymornon.

    Silver — yes, she did reek of whisky and whiskey and belligerence often travel hand-in-hand. And I thought that’s what the rep meant to say, too, but when I jokingly corrected her she didn’t get it. Just kept repeating, “Hawaii isn’t in the U.S.”

  16. i’ve known a few people who thought they were the one doing you a favour when you helped them with something. seems universal…

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