Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Meijer and the quick sale

just like the typical capitalistic american, I like deals. if there is a way for me to make my grocery dollar stretch, I'll do it. handing over coupons at the end of my Meijer purchasing experience does not make me feel like the miserly, crotchety scrooge, just the opposite--whoever the opposite of scrooge is.

there are a myriad of ways Meijer gets me into their store. buy 1 get 1 free, 4 for $1, buy one get $.50 off per gallon gas (jackpot!), and the mother-lode of all sales, buy 1 get 2 free! a dedicated sales shopper like me gets a tingly-smug sensation when three bags of sub-par wavy Meijer chips sit proudly in the cart.

now having said all that, I feel obliged to put the brakes on all this penny-pinching whimsy before it goes too far. you see, recently I have discovered my proverbial line in the sand that I will not cross for the good deal. if my no-crossing-over "line" in the sand were words, they would spell out, "reduced for quick sale." for me, "reduced for quick sale" is just a marketing scheme to coerce buyers to shell out good money for ptomaine poisoning. but apparently, not all Meijer shoppers are savvy to the wiles of the Meijer marketing machine.

a few months ago I stumbled upon the truly ugly side of human nature in the produce section. minding my own business, I wander through the produce area knowing my final destination is the adjacent wall where all the cheese is displayed. lost in thought of baby carrots, bamboo shoots (how do you use those? raw? cooked?) I notice a small representation of the world mulling about in a group.

a bit of background info for you: Michigan is the US melting pot. we are a mix of chinese, japanese, indian, arabic, polish, russian, and german. in fact, when the polish president visited pres. Bush a few years ago, they took a trip to Michigan for him to meet with the other poland. true! and I'm very sure that if pres. Kalam of India visited Michigan and developed a hankerin' for aloo gobi and mint naan, he wouldn't go hungry.

so, here I am staring at what seems to be a quiet UN meeting near the green peppers. and that's when it happened, the towering, squeaky-wheeled, multi-shelved, reduced for quick sale produce cart gets wheeled out. showing remarkable fore-thought, Meijer sends out a very large statured man to push out the goods (or bads if you feel like me). he comes out face stern, giving the intimidating eye to the crowd, he knows not to show fear. like a knee-jerk response my UN council starts jockeying for positions. as if watching a train wreck, I am unable to divert my eyes. "let's get ready to rummm-bllllllle!" reverberates in my head.

hands flying, seven or eight languages spewing curses, shelves toppling, Meijer-sacrificial-lamb-guy shouting, "let me through, let me through." cart swaying, women in lovely silk saris snatching nearly putrid cilantro, ahhhh the horrorrr!

"forget the cheese," I think to myself as I whisk my cart away from the melee. somehow the green bananas that I snubbed earlier look pretty good.

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