The Perfect Shopping Storm

You know how it goes because everybody, and I mean everybody, experiences the perfect shopping storm. At least once or twice every year.

It starts with a roll of paper towels running out. You go to your garage and realize that you don’t have any more rolls.

You decide to do laundry later that day. And, you use the rest of the detergent. And the rest of the stain remover. And the rest of the bleach.

Later that evening, you look under the sink and grab the last roll of toilet paper. “I’ve gotta get to the store tomorrow,” you tell yourself.

The next morning, before your shopping trip, your deodorant runs out. You have no more sticks.

If you’re a bachelor like me, you use the last of your paper plates for the last of your toaster strudel.

You’re eating toaster strudel because all of your good food is gone.

And somehow the only canned food you have left is stuff you’d only wish on your worst enemy, or your local food bank.

You’ve run out of tissues. You’re about to run out of toothpaste. Your vitamins and supplements won’t survive the week. You need more shampoo.

This all, of course, leads to the perfect shopping storm.

You go to the store. You clasp hard around the shopping cart with anxiety, and you begin.

Because you’re out of everything, and you know it, you mosey down every aisle of the grocery store, looking at every product. You don’t want to miss anything. Your cart begins filling. You soon realize you are out of a lot more consumables than you thought. You need more salt. You need more cereal. You need more floor cleaner. You need more Q-tips.

Halfway through the store your cart is full. And yet you push on. You remember you need more dog food. You need more printer paper. You need more… more… more… more…

Soon you’ve crammed the space beneath your cart full of stuff. You’re balancing stuff on top. You’re wedging smaller items anywhere they’ll wedge. You’re walking along, constantly catching stuff before it can fall out.

Eventually, with an impossibly full cart you make your way to checkout. Everyone in front of you looks at you and takes a big sigh of relief. Everyone behind you moans and groans.

You approach the checker. She looks at her watch, well aware that her lunch break will now be delayed, and she starts beeping.




You watch the screen. Item after item after item.




The terror. The horror.

Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop.

You try to make small talk to all the people who are glaring you down.

No one responds. So you try not to look at the escalating total and you let the checker finish in silence.

Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop.
Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop.
Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop.
Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop.
Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop.
Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop. Boop.
Boop. Boop.

Eventually she scans the last item. The bagger was unable to replicate your Tetris skills, and has divided your items into two carts.

You swallow hard as the checker punches a few buttons and tells you your total.

“That will be $517.25,” she says.

You start to try and humorously tell everyone how bad it sucks when everything runs out at the same time. Nobody wants to hear it. So you swipe your card, offer a moment of silence to your bank account that felt more secure only moments before, and you tell the bagger, “This way.”

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. How often do you experience “the perfect shopping storm?” Did I nail it pretty good or is it different for you?

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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