Mink – Proper Attire For The Frozen Food Aisle


Went home last night with the vague intention of stopping off at Dominick’s (acually, a former Byerly’s location) to pick up something for stir fry.

There’s often solid entertainment value to be had at a large grocery store, but usually it’s to do with parents behaving badly, or head-on collisions between those toddler-friendly grocery carts tricked out to look like little cars.

Nope, last night it was a woman in a mink coat and her controlling boyfriend – they were either the poster couple for adult ADD, or a pair of crack smoking weasels. Or both.

Ever look at somebody’s shopping cart when you’re waiting in the cashier line and try to figure out what they’re having for dinner? Well, these folks were evidently planning on being skinny old people on a sugar high.

Somebody might look in my cart and see some ingredients for maybe one or two meals, based on either shrimp or beef. They might wonder why there was a jug of orange juice but also just one fresh orange. The asparagus was a good deal, might could do something with that. Some soft drinks. Some Lime Doritos.

“Ah!!” you think. “Yuppie couple grazing on snack food before preparing a vaguely Asian stirfry with orange and maybe asparagus,” and you wold be pretty close. I planned to add orange zest to whatever generic “beef stir fry” recipe I found, with plenty garleek, plenty ginger, a glug of Soy Vay, a dollop of orange-flavored honey, some wine, and whatever else seemed likely. I had a plan in mind – a vague one, but a plan.

And in the other cart? A case of Ensure, a case of Slim Fast, a weird assortment of snack products grabbed at random, packaged in bright “hey kids, buy me!” colors, one (1) Atkins-friendly package of instant cup-a-soup, no vegetables, no beverages, no household products.

They first caught my eye when I heard the woman babbling about “Oh, but I want that! And I want that, too!” while her boyfriend tried to veto everything. She had tossed a mink coat carelessly into the cart and was pilling stuff on top of it. They both tacked around a bit unsteadily – she was in high-heeled boots, he just looked like he had a slight list to the left. They looked normal at a distance, but closer up they were just… odd. He had some rather provocative piercings for a guy his age, and something told me he was acquainted with Prince Albert, but not the kind you let out of the can.

She was just… funny, like the overstimulated 3 – year – old that wants it all and has to be dragged out of stores after a meltdown.

They kept up a running commentary all through the unloading of the cart.

Prince Albert: “Here’s your old-lady food.”

Mink Lady: “Yakkety giggle giggle teeter sway teeter yakkety buy buy buy.”

PA: “Here’s your ‘I-don’t-wanna-get-fat’ food.”

(unloading, giggling, oddly inappropriate touching)

PA: “Here’s all your ‘I’m-gonna-get fat-anyway’ food – oh, now put that crap back.”

ML: “I need that, I want that, that’s new… this looks good… let go of me… oh, we didn’t see this before… oh, wait, there’s something…”

PA: “No, we’re gonna get through this goddam line.”

Checker: “That’ll be 130.00.”

PA, ML: “Whaaaa-aaat? Oh.” (sheepless shifting of weight)

The rest of us stood around and waited patiently for them to negotiate their purchases into the cart and roll it on out.

Sheesh, what a performance.

My vague idea of orange-ginger-beef stirfry, although lacking in spicy heat called for in the core recipe, was an otherwise damn fine plan.

I wonder how their meal of Ensure and Slim-Fast went?

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