Monday, March 17, 2008

RED ALERT! Some etiquette at the market, please?

Shopping at Whole Foods yesterday for organic vegetables, I noticed what has become a recurring pattern in our urban society.

It's called rudeness and lack of consideration... and nowhere is it more apparent than at the market these days.

In some ways, I see it as a reflection of the downward spiral of our society in general... everyone out for themselves... nobody willing to compromise and work together for the greater good.

Does that sound like a primary election that we're having? Could it be that the hornet's nest demeanor of the market mirrors our political landscape? Can it be? How can it be? Wow!!! (yelling out loud, with jaw wide open for at least 5 seconds, like the scary screaming face on the Pink Floyd - The Wall poster)

I blame it in its parts to a reaction to more compact urban spaces, general selfishness, lack of awareness and social skills, pure stupidity, more lack of agility and fat folks, and a general inability to see the larger picture of how "working together, we both succeed."

Let me repeat: "Working together, we both succeed."

One more time: "Working together, we both succeed."

Just to be annoying: "Working together, we both succeed." Theeeere you go... now, all you dummies, go off to market and find your success!!!

...but not without some general rules of etiquette for you to follow... just in case you forget my catch-all phrase of the day.

Rules at the supermarket:
  1. Plan what you want to get BEFORE going to the market... it will go a long way. Thank you.
  2. Say "pardon me" or "excuse me." Take a chance, it might actually work... and at the same time start a "pay it forward" chain reaction. Thank you.
  3. Try a little awareness of your surroundings... if you can move your cart to the side and out of the way, PLEASE do so. Thank you.
  4. Whenever possible, try shopping in a tandem of two, and consider actually using it to your advantage... one person should "drive" and commit all their attention to cart etiquette while the other "fetches" the goods. Thank you.
  5. Get familiar with your market layout... and do it quickly. It's totally worth your time and will eliminate future annoyances for everyone, including yourself. When moving to a new area and seeing which stores you'll be going to, it might even make sense to go on a "scouting mission" to get familiar with the layout. Thank you.
  6. To the effect of the prior point; venture through the market aisle to aisle in an organized manner; running to and fro will only make you that much more annoying to others. The ONE exception to that hard and steadfast rule: the frozen section, which is typically the last one you hit, right before approaching the register... That's the home stretch... there's a reason the frozen section is where it is. Thank you.
  7. When running into others you know; if a conversation ensues (what I refer to as a "tea party"), step to the side of the aisle, preferably in a place that's out of the way... or if the conversation gets really involved, decide to meet for coffee afterwards... or at a motel room... whatever works. Thank you.
  8. If the thought of adhering to ANY of these rules and guidelines makes you seethe at the teeth, I'd consider going to the market during non-peak hours, when nobody else is around... that might be a healthy thing for ALL OF US. Thank you.
  9. Or, if you're simply too busy, "market shy," don't like people in general, are teetering on the edge of shooting up a place, or if I've convinced you to avoid the market and you have now decided to poo-poo the idea of going anymore --- you can avoid the whole shebang by having your groceries delivered. Stores do it now for a modest fee, and they'll even bring them into your house... they won't eat them for you however; that's up to you. Thank you.
  10. Try this phrase: "Thank you." It produces pleasant and interesting results. Thank you.
ANY violation of these rules, perceived or real, may result in one of the following, or a combination thereof, occurring around you, at you, or on you... henceforth:
  1. Hearing "excuse me" or "pardon me" directed at you excessively... that means you've caught the market on an unusually "good day," and YOU are the aisle annoyance for everyone else.
  2. To the effect of the prior statement, if later at home you feel stomach pain or other body pain... that means other shoppers made a voodoo doll of you and are poking you with needles or other devices of torture.
  3. A banana being jammed into your ear.
  4. A rutabaga being thrown at your head.
  5. A random stranger sneaking up behind you and pissing in your pocket.
  6. A lasso and dragging around the grocery store by the Lone Ranger of your "tea party" if you and yours are blocking the aisle.
  7. A shopping cart crashing into your cart that's in the way (or YOU, if you're in the GODDAM WAY [chances are is hasn't been the first time, either.])
  8. Lots of dirty looks from passers by if you haven't planned in advance, and are holdng up the vegetable aisle "debating" between the Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
  9. Excessive staff questions like "Can I help you find anything?" or "May I pick that up for you?" if you're turning the aisle into a train wreck.
  10. Or no help from the staff at all... or perhaps when you ask where the water chestnuts are, they'll point you to the chopped liver aisle just to "get even" with you.
Good day, and good luck...

One more time... "Working together, we both succeed."

(bowing to a KeyArena crowd of 21,000) Thank you! Thank you... Thank you very much. Thanks so much. Thank you! You're too much! Thank you. My oh my, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. S


Anonymous said...

People have zero perspective-taking abilities these days. They can't see past the end of their own nose and it's not getting any better with each subsequent generation. See my similar though not nearly as articulate and amusing rant at

Sweva said...

Thank you Susie for your kind remarks... I'm glad you're enjoying yourself in the P-patch!

Feel free to post anytime, and please spread the word... as this garden party has it's lonely moments... I can't choke down all the contents of this keg alone!