A Proclamation and a Playlist: I Hate Grocery Shopping

Welcome to my nightmare.
Welcome to my nightmare.
Photo by BPhotography_

The list of things I'd prefer to do instead of grocery shopping is long and ends with stuff like "moonwalk naked over hot coals" and "chew pink fiberglass-flavored Bubblicious."

My son, the social conscience of our family, never fails to remind how lucky I am to be beleaguered by "first-world problems" like choosing between 40 different kinds of cereals when people everywhere else in the world can't even find a cold bowl of rice. But, dammit, I don't care -- I still hate doing the grocery shopping.

Deserving of her own wing in the Wife Hall of Fame, my better half usually takes on this obligation; but, occasionally, my guilt gets the better of me and I'll give her a break. Like the Astros' bullpen, my relief work is shoddy and I end up being benched for awhile. Seriously, who confuses parsley for cilantro?

To make it all more bearable, I wear earbuds and the iPod while I'm snaking my way through the market, which might be part of my problem. Stuff on the list never makes it to the basket. My math gets discombobulated when I'm paying more attention to the music than my budget.

Plus, some songs on my playlist probably just aren't right for the job. Songs like:

"Five Finger Discount," Choking Victim In which Stza, Ezra and the Crack Rock Steady crew walk into the store and see 15 aisles of "pretty, pretty packages staring back at me... to remove... and stick it in my pants."

A few years ago, supermarket trade magazine Progressive Grocer drew shoplifting statistics from 27 major grocery companies. They found that in a single year those companies apprehended 750,000 shoplifters. That's three-quarters of a million Americans attempting to steal from grocery stores in a 12-month period, and those were just the amateurs who got caught.

A 2012 ABC News story suggested cigarettes, pain relievers and baby formula are among the most lifted items. Yes, baby formula. Apparently, there's a black market for Infamil and Similac, which are stolen from stores and later sold on the cheap at flea markets and nefarious mom-and-pop convenience stores.

I don't condone shoplifting,... but when Choking Victim yells "Five Finger Discount!" mid-song, it's so punk rock it does kind of make you want to smuggle a Snickers bar in your buttcrack, I think.

"Free Bird," Lynyrd Skynyrd Presumably, you are going to the grocery store for more than beer, smokes and condoms. You could just stop at the Valero for those things.

As such, you have a list. If you're listening to "Free Bird" when you start your shopping trip and it's done before you've made it to the registers, your list is too long.

This is the song DJs used to throw on the radio when they needed to go burn one down or have a mid-shift burger. It built its rep on being the go-to song for gobbling up time. Not a good choice for your grocery excursion listening.


"Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell," Das Racist Part of the reason anyone shops at the grocery store at all is this notion that somehow buying foodstuff there and fixing it at home will be healthier on the body and the pocketbook. It's a good plan. Don't let it be derailed by this now-defunct Brooklyn rap outfit's shoutout to the Ninth Wonder of the World.

I don't need to be reminded there's crust-stuffed pizza and Doritos Tacos Locos down the street when I'm buying rice cakes and yogurt.

"Say Ten," Reel Big Fish When you go to the grocery store, the first place you visit is generally the produce section. They could put the melons and lettuce heads anyplace in there, but they put them right up front because shoppers choose the store they frequent by what this all-important area has to offer. In a 2011 Supervalu Inc. survey, 92 percent of respondents said fresh produce was the main factor for choosing a grocery store.

It's a cool place, but it's also populated by the vegans. I have nothing against folks who won't eat meat, but I do find it a little hypocritical (as Reel Big Fish points out) that they'll eat broccoli, which once was alive, but won't eat bacon, because, you know, it was once alive.

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul and it must be true. I wonder if vegans would eat carrots if their dead little eyeballs had once been scooped from their sockets before they were bagged and thrown under the water misters.

"Too Much Barbeque," Big Twist & The Mellow Fellows Larry Nolan, a.k.a Big Twist, was a towering Chicago bluesman who used to play Houston spots like Rockefeller's and Fitzgerald's way back when. He was known for his big, booming voice and his big, booming gut. He opened and closed his set with Willie Dixon's "300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy."

In this spookily prophetic tune, Twist is in the hospital. Fresh out of a fog, he's wondering why he's there, until the chorus, which is a call-and-response of sorts with the Mellow Fellows advising he's on bed rest and IV drips because of "too much barbeque."

I feel Big Twist's pain. I'll eat nearly anything that's been slow-smoked over coals and mesquite. But the food police are quick to point out that charred meats can produce carcinogens. And, all the animal fat found in porterhouse steaks and pork ribs can lead to Big Twist-like results.

In the song, he's merely hospitalized, but in real life, he died much too young of heart failure at the age of 53.

"Grocery Escape Plan," Psychostick This Tempe, Arizona band is a progenitor of "humorcore," which means it sounds like the bastard kid System of a Down and Bloodhound Gang jointly adopted and raised. The kid who hates grocery shopping.

Among the highlights: a metal recitation of items on the shopping list and disappointment over the store's lack of two-percent milk.

The song's machine gun rat-a-tat sets a dangerous musical tone for anything involving waiting for indecisive or inconsiderate people and spending a bunch of money. Lyrics like "Out of the way, old lady! Out of the way, I'm shopping!" could lead to the equivalent of road rage on aisle five.

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