Clean-up on Aisle Five!

7 12 2015

Last week at the grocery store, I was trying to pick out a fresh loaf of bread. I pressed gently on several loaves until I found what I thought was the freshest. This particular loaf had been pulled out and replaced, backwards, with its open end pushed in first. So, as I grabbed the end of the loaf and pulled it from the shelf, all of the bread in the bag fell onto the floor, leaving me holding an empty bag. Or, as they say in Iowa…empty beg. Some jerk had, apparently, removed the twist-tie and put the loaf back on the shelf, leaving it for the unsuspecting victim…in this case, me. I gathered up all the loose slices and handed them to a nearby employee, explaining what had happened. He thanked me. I had no idea at the time this was a prelude to coming events.


Yesterday, I was doing my weekly grocery shopping, minding my own business, pushing my cart down the canned goods aisle and humming, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, while I looked over my list. As I turned the corner at the end of the aisle, still looking down at my list, my cart happened to catch the corner of one of those temporary, cardboard displays. This particular display held boxes of cookies. Not just boxes of cookies, but boxes and boxes and more boxes of cookies. It appeared to be about 100 boxes, or so, until I knocked the display over and saw all the boxes spread across the floor. At that point, it looked more like 10,000 boxes.


It was like a scene in a movie. You’ve seen it where a character in the movie knocks over a display and the items seem to keep on falling until the character is knee-deep in cans of ravioli. This display appeared to be moving in slow motion as it fell forward, dumping every single box of cookies. I tried, in vain, to grab it, but I felt like I, too, was moving in slow motion and there was nothing I could do to save it. In the aftermath, the pile of cookie boxes in front of me looked like the Pyramids of Giza while I looked like Chevy Chase in a clumsy moment.


My first thought was to steer my cart around the avalanche and pretend I didn’t know anything about it; but, there were two eyewitnesses, I mean ladies, standing across the aisle laughing. So, I began to pick up the mess and a store manager and another of the store’s employees came rushing over and told me they would take care of it.


It wasn’t until I was on my way home that it occurred to me that I should have pulled out my cell phone and shot a picture. Maybe next time. I’m pretty sure there will be one.




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