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Jul 26, 2012 07:35 AM

Funny scenes at the market

Have you seen something at the market that had you cracking up? Here’re a few scenes that get me every time.

People who eat samples from all the tasting stations and then proclaim, “Now I don’t have to buy lunch!”

Those darn carts! There’s an older man at one store who collects the shopping carts from the parking lot. He must be mad at them because when he brings them into the store, he’s tossing them around, and cussin’ and fussin’ like you wouldn’t believe. Better stay out of his way!

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  1. I always enjoy observing what people are buying and then try to envision their meals. I try not to be too judgemental. Last night, I was behind a man who was Mr. Veggie and Whole Grain, lots of produce, brown rice, some chicken breasts. He was behind Ms. Junk Food, chips, soda, hamburger helper, other packaged stuff. Watching HIM watching HER, tsking the entire time, was really fun.

    23 Replies
    1. re: tcamp

      There is almost nothing more stimulating than staring (discreetly) into other people's grocery carts and wondering... wondering. Of course, my cart is always full of WTF-stuff anyway, so I don't escape scrutiny. I don't tsk at anyone... I have a rather embarrassing Cheez-it problem myself.

      1. re: DuchessNukem

        I am most likely to do this if I have to pick up something quickly after work. During the regular weekly trip, I'm too busy unloading and organizing to pay attention. After work is when I see what looks like people buying for that night's dinner.

        Usually if I'm doing one of these after work stops it's for baking something last minute (or the last couple of weeks, stopping for yet more sugar for jam making). Someone looking at my stuff would think I am eating very, very badly. Lots of butter, sugar, chocolate.

        1. re: Sooeygun

          Because my veggies come from either my garden or my CSA, and my meat and eggs come from my CSA, anyone who observes me in the grocery store would think I have a horrible diet, or just subsist on wine. Wine, cat litter, maybe some vinegar or olive oil, occasionally some dried beans or the like... that's about it for my grocery cart. I look at other carts, and I'll admit it, pass judgement. But then I think about what I must look like.

          1. re: MelMM

            Depending on the market, my cart would look pretty bad too. I usually buy my produce and meat at a local, independent grocery store. My seafood I usually buy from the retail store at a major seafood exporter near my home. I go to a big national chain for things that aren't "fresh" - boxes goods, oils, junk,

            1. re: MelMM

              I think of this all the time - we buy our produce from the farmer's market, so our grocery cart usually consists of nothing but dairy, oil, and the occasional prepackaged treat.

              "Ms. Junk Food" above reminds me of an old bad joke: A man is standing behind a woman in line - she has a bag of grapes, a 2-liter of diet coke, a stack of Lean Cuisines, and an US magazine. He amiably comments, "You must be single." She replies, smiling, "What gave it away?" Him: "Because you're really unattractive!"

              1. re: MelMM

                Yes! I feel SO conspicuous at the grocery store, because I sell produce at the market, so of course I would like to project a healthy image to the people I am selling to in my small town. But every time I go to the grocery, I run into my regular customers while I am buying eight weeks worth of seltzer water and tortilla chips. I feel like I look like a hypocrite... "Hey, spend six bucks on my salad mix so I can go to the store for some crackers!"

                1. re: MelMM

                  wine and cat litter works for me. LOL

                  1. re: MelMM

                    It is recycling day and I just walked through the alley with my dogs. Passed a neighbor's house whose recycle bin contained 8 wine bottles, 2 selzer bottles, and 4 cat litter boxes. And nothing more. I'm not judging, though.

                    1. re: tcamp

                      Well, a few weeks ago, when I put out my recycling bin, I had 5 empties bottles of a Spanish grenache, a brandy bottle, and a Triple Sec bottle, 2 bottles of club soda, as well as one larger bottle of white wine, in addition to the paper/cardboard items and cat food cans.

                      Other than the white wine, EVERYTHING else was for 2 gallons of sangria I had made for a party. So perhaps.....

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        I hear you. Many's the day when my bin looks like an alcoholic's paradise! The slice of life you see when hanging out in alleys is fun.

                      2. re: tcamp

                        I had friends years ago when recycling was just staring who refused to do it because they didn't want people to see all their wine and beer bottles!

                        1. re: Terrie H.

                          We don't have curbside recycling, we need to haul it to designated municipal sites, which are open wacky hours. Our recycling tends to pile up, sometimes for months at a time.

                          One day my husband took it all to a site that is run by the boy scouts, who will unload it for you. They took one look at the back of the truck and proclaimed "gee Mr., you sure do drink a lot!"

                        2. re: tcamp

                          I remember my neighbor seeing me recycle a quart beer can (my brother's) and saying, That's not yours, is it? ;)

                          1. re: tcamp

                            "good for them. they must compost and use very little packaged goods." is one way of looking at it.

                            (replied to tcamp)

                    2. re: tcamp

                      Sometimes I do this too. Every now and then I see an item that reminds me of what I need to buy or want to try. Then I have to make a dash to retrieve it.

                      There's one cashier who comments on people's groceries as she rings them up. She also offers recipes. She'll say, "Oh, I love those ice cream bars." Or "You can grill those chicken breasts with a little oil and season salt and they're so good."

                      1. re: Spice_zing

                        Trader Joe's cashiers are notorious for this banter. "oh, aren't these amazing? have you tried so and so? i love X with the Y. No? Oh you HAVE TO try it!"

                      2. re: tcamp

                        I'm another one obsessed with checking out other people's carts. Last week I was in line and noticed the girl ahead of me was about 10 years younger than I was, buying red plastic cups, a gallon of cheap vodka, cigarettes, family sized bag of chips and an US Weekly. I was buying a bag of grapes, organic baby food and a pint of ice cream. The woman behind me, about 10 years older was buying tostinos pizza rolls, a romance novel and cat food. I thought we looked like the stages of man (or in this case woman) on a conveyor belt.

                          1. re: tcamp

                            And this is why I shop the produce aisle last. Nothing like a load of lettuce and apples to cover up those Triscuits and brown-sugar Pop-Tarts.

                          2. I've taken to entertaining myself in grocery stores and other stores that have shopping carts. I get really frustrated with other shoppers who (a) 'escort' their carts (that is, walk beside them instead of behind them) because they take up quite a bit more aisle space; and (b) leave their cart in the middle of heavy traffic areas while they peruse the wares on a nearby shelf. Both these kinds of shoppers act as if they're the only ones in the store, and I reward them by putting additional items in their carts when they're not looking. Yeah, it's juvenile. It's also funny.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: ricepad

                              I like your idea! Have you ever followed and of those cart pushers to check-out to see if they purchase your "rewards"?

                              I usually move these carts to the next aisle. The reactions of the of the cart-abandoners can be hillarious.

                              1. re: Vidute

                                No, I've never stuck around the scene of the crime. A couple of weeks ago, tho, I'm pretty sure my victim purchased my addition to her cart, but it may have sort of backfired on me, too. My addition to her cart was a case of instant ramen. A little while later, I saw her in the check-out line, and she had THREE cases of instant ramen in there. So she either intended to buy a lot of ramen, or she ticked off two other people!

                                I've moved carts, too...always fun, but easier to get caught. I had a roommate who used to 'take over' carts that were left behind, as if it was his stuff. Other times, he'd take stuff OUT of the cart and return it to the shelves.

                                1. re: ricepad

                         he's the one responsible for the "please check your carts" message crackling over the store's intercom.

                                  Hmmmmmm..... got me to thinking. I"m going to start exchanging national items for store brands. ;)

                                2. re: Vidute

                                  Is that why I can never find my cart?

                                3. re: ricepad

                                  That sounds like a fun way to vent the frustration of getting the aisles blocked by carts parked right in the middle!

                                  On the other hand, in the stores where I shop, the traffic jams are more often caused by poor design of the store itself. There is usually barely enough room for two of those gigantic carts to pass each another, and sometimes there is not enough space to get even one through because of merchandise on the floor waiting to be loaded onto the shelves. I often feel like a rat trapped in a maze, trying to find my way through as quickly as I can, the incentive being the desire to get away from the horrible music!

                                  Speaking of which, what I tend to do is to just park my cart at the end of the aisle, then walk through the aisle to get what I want and bring it back to the cart, move my cart to the next to the aisle and repeat. I enjoy zipping, dancing and slipping through the four or so shoppers, sans cart, who are stuck in the aisle with theirs, looking at each other and wondering what to do. I get a false sense of superiority that I am a faster and more efficient shopper!

                                  1. Once, while shopping kind of late at night, I saw a couple of college age men shuffling through the store with a case of soda and an open bag of Cheetos, heading down the cookie aisle. Both were wearing pajamas, and one had his bunny slippers on. The joys of living in a college town...

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: mpjmph

                                      I've seen people wearing pajamas too and other crazy outfits. Check this out. Unbelievable!(Warning: music is LOUD).


                                      1. re: mpjmph

                                        My apartment building in college was next door to a Whole Foods - you didn't even have to leave the overhang from the lobby to enter the market. I don't think I ever shopped in anything BUT my pj's and slippers! LOL

                                      2. The other night my husband and I were in the Superstore Walmart or whatever it's called. We observed the following argument (at full outside-voice volume in the middle of the store):

                                        Wife: You don't even want to talk to me!
                                        Husband (while pushing a baby in a stroller): Why would I? You're such a b****!
                                        Wife: Shut up! Help me put this in the cart (mini fridge).

                                        Needless to say some older folks had gathered around and were watching as if it were a TV show.

                                        One of my girlfriends in university who is a dancer often tap danced down the aisles of the grocery store. I'm sure that turned a few heads!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: ladooShoppe

                                          you've GOT to watch the video called "these are the people of walmart."

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            That was hilarious. My OCD son was totally freaked out about the used stick antiperspirant.

                                        2. Oh and I once saw a woman pick up a sealed tub of margarine, open the package stick her finger inside and lick her finger afterwards. She was tasting the margarine to see if it was "her brand". I only buy butter now.