Archive for the 'Grocery shopping' Category

Seen Jamaica?

February 13, 2011

Andrew Hicks

I was shopping for groceries at Wal-Mart the other night around one in the morning, a time of the day which traditionally for me has been more prime-time than ungodly hour. I had to maneuver around a bunch of overnight shelf stockers in street clothes who were yelling over the aisles at their disembodied coworkers, but it was a quick, productive trip.

When my cart was sufficiently full, the only two lanes open were 10 Items or Less checkouts. I had 56 items in my cart. I became That Guy. You know who I’m talking about. When you’re just trying to dash in and out of the store and get a couple things, That Guy ends up in front of you with half a month’s shopping supplies, piling each purchase item into the square foot of space given to the express lane checker.

The checker was, I’d guess, in her late 70s. She was about halfway into the process of scanning my items when she looked to her right and realized there were eight people in line behind me, and none of them had more than six things to buy.

“Where’s Jamaica?” the elderly checker asked loudly. “I need Jamaica! Hey Susan, have you seen Jamaica?”
The other 10 Items or Less cashier replied that she had not seen Jamaica. Her line had like eight people in it, too.

At first, I figured Jamaica was the name of another checker who’d turned her light off and left her line unattended because it had been dead all night. Later, while loading the groceries into the car, I formulated a theory that visions of visiting or moving to Jamaica, the beautiful Caribbean island itself, might be the only thing keeping this lady going through this barrage of Wal-Mart checker graveyard shifts taking place in the twilight of her life.

Indeed, we all need to ask ourselves if we’ve seen Jamaica, or if we ever will. No, I’m not being serious right now.

Can anyone answer me this question, so I won’t look like an idiot to my 2 year old: What DOES the giraffe say?

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Early season batting average

September 9, 2010

I posted my first blog on here yesterday, and I’m sporting a 50% comment response rate per visitor, which is an astounding statistic for any blogger. Of course, so far I’ve only told two people – one of them my mother* – that I started this blog, so that 50% statistic translates into one comment. This brag-stat reminds me of being nine years old and obsessed with baseball statistics at the beginning of the season. I’d wonder how long anyone’s insane 1.000 or .750 or .667 batting average or 0.00 ERA could survive. The answer? Until Game 2.

Well, in Daddy Daytime world, today was Game 2, and Game 1 was some kind of crazy quadruple-header I wasn’t completely prepared for. Let’s review: 3 hours of sleep, 9 hours of baby-watching, 6 hours of bartending on a busy night, 3 hours of errands and unwinding, 2 more hours of baby watching, then 4 hours of sleep. Cue Game 2.

My first challenge this morning was 22-month-old Sarah wanting to have ice cream for breakfast. We have a firmly established breakfast ritual. We wake up, we get a sippy cup of whole milk, we watch a little PBS Kids, we get Sarah in her highchair, we section off some wheat toast with zero-calorie spray butter, we put some scrambled eggs on a plate, and we get ready for work.**

Well, now we’re in the stay-at-home world, which so far is slightly less structured. And Sarah’s one giant comment for the suggestion box is Ice Cream For Breakfast. She pronounces it “Ah-keem.” Which is cute. And makes me wonder, did we leave Coming to America on in the background one time too many? Because… well… you know… Eddie Murphy’s character*** in that movie… is named Akeem… it’s not a funny joke… but if I drag it out… one person… will…… laugh………. maybe…………

We have several moments like this each day, me and Sarah. She wants to play with something harmful. She doesn’t know it’s harmful. It looks like a fun thing. I weigh the pros and cons of taking it away from her. Usually it’s: PRO: She will live, CON: She will throw an enormous damn fit. Then I start to rationalize how dangerous the item in question actually is.

For instance, Sarah can reach for the spare toothbrush in the bathroom. She likes to pantomime brushing her teeth. She also likes to run around with it. Thanks to lots of gruesome ’80s horror movies, I can imagine random crazy impalements occuring at any time. Odds of this happening are low. I usually let her keep it under supervision. That’s just one example.

Anyway, I was dragging ass through the entire AM portion of Baby Watch because I overdid it the night before. Left work late, then straight to Shop-N-Save for a full-on grocery run. The way things have been, I’ve worked two jobs most days, and both are restaurant jobs. There’s lots of easily accessible fatty food around, most of which will not help you make it to your children’s high school graduation party, at which there will be lots of easily accessible fatty food around. With this change in routine, I’ll be at home most of my waking hours, so I’ll need food to also be at my home. Hopefully not so fatty. I’d like to outlive Methuselah if possible.

Putting away the groceries, I found Tupperware’d leftovers in all corners of the freezer and refrigerator. Mostly, I can track down the season of origin of these leftovers – e.g. winter, spring, summer or fall. If I wasn’t running into copyright and funding issues, Weird Al’s 1993 Aerosmith parody “Livin’ in the Fridge” would play while the imaginary montage of this paragraph played out dorkily.

During Game 2, the bulk of what I did was basic Game 2 maintenance while I recovered from Game 1. I succumbed (succame?) to what I call The Temptation Of The Nap. When you’re doing Daddy Daytime duty, you think about all the things you should and could get done, if only those little blessings would just go to sleep for awhile. Then you reach that point in the day where they finally both match up on the unconsciousness level, and you realize… holy crap… you’re so tired… and you have to get back up and do it again so soon.

That’s when you lie down. In a bed. All by yourself. And it’s so comfortable. That you have to just fall asleep. Until somebody starts crying again.

* = Oh, by the way, it wasn’t my mom who commented. It was the other person I told, Kate Hayes, a great old Christian school classmate who married another great old Christian school classmate, moved to Boston and started her own blog at http://www.adventuresinparenting.me. We’ve established that our blogs are not in direct competition, because mine is awesome. Kidding. Because mine is from the daddy perspective. And I think Kate has money.

** = We also placate her with the value bag of McDonald’s fries, so don’t think from the “zero-calorie spray butter” remark that we’re Holier Than Frickin Thou by any means.

*** = Eddie’s main character, that is. He also played Clarence, Randy Watson and Saul. I used to think Eddie also played Extremely Ugly Girl, but that was Arsenio Hall’s brilliant, tour de force acting.