Mr. Wrong By Joe MacLeod

Mr. Wrong: My shopping list of grievances with an unnamed supermarket in Baltimore

City Paper

I did a Bad Thing in a Supermarket, which will remain Nameless—the Supermarket, not the Bad Thing, I am getting ready to tell you the Bad Thing—but I am pretty sure what I did was an act of Consumer Protest and may possibly be covered by one of my Constitutionally Amended Rights, maybe.

So I was in an Unmentioned and Undisclosed Supermarket and I was trying to get to some stuff from a shelf that had some International food items on it, because I enjoy every now and then to sample the Foods of Other Lands, in this case, England, which speaks the same language as us, as in U.S., but they (The English and, to a lesser extent, The British) have many curious foodstuffs, and in my particular and not-named Supermarket, they have their own little area on a shelf in the middle of one of the aisles, but I couldn’t see all the items of possible gustatory interest because there was a Point of Purchase (POP) display blocking the shelf. A POP is one of those cardboard deals with some Product on it (in this case tasty snacks), and POPs are placed strategically to get you to become aware of a product and to maybe impulse-grab some of it, but the only Impulse they inspire in me is to reach out and smash, because more and more frequently, they are in the way of something I am already attempting to inspect for possible purchase, in this case, a 300-gram can of Batchelors® “Mushy Original,” which, it turns out, is “Processed Peas,” the uk’s no. 1 mushy pea, according to the label, which also reads “Ingredients as sold (greatest first) Peas (95%), Water, Sugar, Salt, Colours (E101, E133).” Mushy peas?!? Could this stuff be any good? To eat? “E101”? I mean, the English do not have the greatest rep in the world for Fine Cooking, but I think they are acknowledged World Champeens in Junk Food, eh? They eat fried fish outta newspapers! I wanted to Learn about this product! Get that damn POP outta my way!

Look, I understand a supermarket is a Business, it has to make money. I spend a lot of my Grocery Dollar on, uh, Groceries, at the Supermarket I frequent the most, which I patronize because it is right near my house and it is not Whole Foods. It’s tough for me to go to the Whole Foods, and walk past the luxurious Prepared Foods counter without wanting to buy all the perfect-looking pieces of fried chicken and various salad-type things that aren’t in the Salad Bar, where they even make all that quinoa and stuff look good enough to eat, but I ain’t livin’ like that, man, I’m on a Budget, I can’t be buying Previously Prepared, I gotta buy Ingredients! Meanwhile, an Unsolicited Shout out to the Whole Foods store-brand Multigrain Sandwich Bread, wowee, that stuff makes some crazy-good toast, I don’t wanna think about what’s in it, I know it’s Multigrain bread, but there must be Mayonnaise in it or something, seriously, it is the greatest thing since Sliced Bread. I like to think about food.

Anyway, I never woulda found out anything about those weirdo Mushy Peas from the United Kingdom if that POP had anything to do with it, sitting in the aisle, blocking the damn English Foods of Britain area. So, in order to get near the Mushy Peas, I was forced to shove the stupid POP out of the way, dislodging several doses of Product, and said Product (bags of Multigrain Ginger Snaps) fell upon the floor of the Supermarket The Name of Which I will Not Tell You, and I didn’t pick ’em up! Cleanup in the British Foods Aisle! I’m not doing it! I don’t care!

These fucking POPs, man, they are all over my particular market (Name Withheld), and they get in the way, man, all the time! They have genetic mutations of these POPs stacked two, three deep in front of every register! They have a fucking POP on the end cap of almost every goddamn aisle! I can’t turn the corner without smashing my shopping cart into another shopper or one of these POPs! They (The People At The Supermarket I won’t Ever Tell You What Its Name Is, Ever) have a goddamn POP of bananas (which belong in the Produce Dep’t), sitting in front of the shelf with Grits and Oatmeal and powdered breakfast-stuff! How many more fucking bananas are you gonna sell blocking the goddamn pancake mix? Meanwhile, in front of the Little Debbie crap, and the Devil Dogs, they have a Tastykake POP! You are blocking the Devil Dogs! Is the idea that I am gonna give up on my Dream of getting some Devil Dogs because you put a stupid Tastykake POP in my way? No! I will push that POP down every time to get to the Devil Dog! And what happened to the fucking Table Talk Pies? As long as I been shopping at this Market Which I Will Not Name, you put ’em in the very last aisle, the bread aisle, across from the milk and stuff, and you jammed ’em in the lowest part of the shelf, in a corner, AND YOU PUT A POINT OF PURCHASE DISPLAY IN FRONT OF IT, and those damn pies still sold out every week! Until you got rid of ’em! The mini pies! Nobody makes a better or more affordable Personal Pie than the Table Talk Pies of 120 Washington St., Worcester, MA 01610!

Unnamed Supermarket, which I will resist naming, except to say it is on 41st Street, and has the Initials “41st Street Giant,” I demand you simmer down with the POPs! And re-stock the tiny pies! Nobody wants those other poop-butt pies you put in there to replace ’em! Table Talk! Thank you. 


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