Friday, April 06, 2007

Pinball Wizard

I was congratulating myself that this Mahket Basket trip would go smoothly and efficiently. I had told my brother about their shopping pattern. He accurately described it as a game of pinball. Not this time! Each Weeble had a list and each Weeble would work half the store. Ma would cover meat and produce, and Dad would take Dairy and the aisles.

Ma and I headed toward produce. Not the most logical way around the store, but at least we were headed in a direction. She spotted a table display of bananas on sale. She wanted bananas. I got to the display, reached to grab a hand of bananas. Suddenly, I’m slammed from behind.

“Get a big one!” she yells.

I’m bent over the banana table. “I did!” I roared “Back up!”

Pinball and the silver ball just tilted.

She backed up and roared around to the tomatoes. Big Boys were at a good price. She ordered me to get 3 pounds of the smallest size I could find. As I placed the tomatoes in the bag, I said a prayer for the Big Boy that lost its life at her hands two weeks before.

She went down her list, shouting the item, and I limped along, offered the item for her blessing or excommunication. Some of the prices went up, and she was not happy.

We hunted produce for a ten pound bag of potatoes. All we found were five pound bags of regular and organic potatoes. A worker was putting out bags of potatoes. She told him she wanted a ten pound bag. He told her they didn’t have any in ten pound bags. We circled produce again looking for ten pound bags. Ma asked the produce worker again for a ten pound bag. She kept telling him the store always carried ten pound bags. He told her to buy two five pound bags. She did not buy any.

We finished produce and blessed the meat. I glanced at my watch, smiled as we were making good time. I had spotted Dad a time or two, but he was no where in sight. I wished I had taken my brother’s advice to tie a balloon to Dad for an easy, inexpensive Joe-jack location device.

Ma began trolling the aisles. I winced at every corner she had to take envisioning Little Debbies cascading to the floor. She cruised at ramming speed and slammed a young man in the coffee can. She moved off, shrugging and making apologies. She reminded me of the late President Reagan, and his famous Ronnie shuffle for avoiding the press.

Dad caught up with us, but announced he needed to get pickles.

“You were over that side of the store an hour ago!”

He smiled sheepishly at me and shrugged his own version of the Ronnie shuffle. I decided it would be faster if I got the pickles. I was admonished to get them only if they were 99 cents. Did I find 99 cent pickles? No, found them for $1.19. Now, if this were my shopping, I would follow the Little Princess Method of Shopping. If I wanted the item, I would buy the item and most likely not glance at the price. I head back to where I left the Weebles, but they are no where to be found! Balloons, it would have been so simple.

The store is not large, but suddenly it was enormous. I needed to put out an APB. I went round and round, up the same aisles and down. I heard the pinball machine pinging crazily as I, the silver ball, banged the bumper. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. At this rate, I was destined for a replay.

Finally found them waiting in line at the deli. The department after dairy where Dad would have started his run. Those Weebles sure play a mean pinball.


Erica Vetsch said...

Balloons! LOLOL

Alesia said...

Ohmigod. I was reading this while listening to *my* mother going on-and-on about I-don't-know-what. It's hysterical but now I have a little pain between my eyes...

Donna Alice said...

This is hilarious!! I swear this would make a wonderful story--if the names were changed to protect the guilty.