Lego Bag2

Lots of things kinked my Chi’ this week and I’m not happy about that. I aspire to be an easy going, “Que sera, sera” kind of a spirit most of the time, but this week there was a definite wrinkle in The Force that just turned too many things sideways for my comfort. I even went off on an apparent verbal tirade in the middle of HUNTED on Thursday night. Yeah, I know… it airs on CBS on Wednesdays, but we watch everything via DVR, so it’s a Thursday night feature for us. Anyway, something I said led to something else I said, which generated a follow up comment from one of the other voices in my head that got added to the conversation.

Soon, my wife is laughing hysterically about I know not what (I never know if it’s with me or at me… that part is confusing). I look at her in disbelief and ask the familiar question, “What? What’d I say???” Her response is always just a head shake and a quiet, “I don’t know about you.” Rarely does her explanation seem to justify the laughter and I’m usually left a bit confused, but I’m pleased that she finds humor in such moments.

This week has been a virtual team collapse of the spinning plates that pilot the gyroscope which normally provide a little stability and sanity in the world around me and on Wednesday, I was callously pushed off the ledge. As a result, I’ve been pecking away the plastic container of Sugar Cookies that someone left behind after the Super Bowl party as measured medication (Thank You to whoever did that). Let the record show that I’m eating more of the cookies than the container at this stage. Maybe I need therapy. Maybe these Saturday Morning Ramblings are therapy. One can only hope.

The cause of that final nudge is probably something that both people who read this blog encounter on a regular basis and give the soon-to-be-proposed calamity not a moment’s thought. For me though, it’s a flaunting of chaos and promotion of an all-out disregard for order. If nothing more, it’s rampant apathy regarding what should be second nature motor skills. I’m talking about bagging items at the grocery store, or any store for that matter, as my airtight case against this societal plague will demonstrate.

My first stop was Publix, a southern grocery chain that I favor above others. It’s not without fault, but it generally attempts to maintain higher standards than the local competitors and the employees are both pleasant and friendly. It’s easy to remember it as Wednesday, because that’s when I do the final round up on the advertised specials for the week. It’s the final day of the weekly ad and if items are out of stock, I can get a rain check to use at some point down the road. I know… I’m an old lady with 7 cats trapped in a middle-aged man’s body. I get it.

Last Wednesday, there were just a handful of target items on the list: Raisin Bran (which hardly ever goes on sale and happened to be BOGO), these flavored pretzel chip things (which I’ve grown fond of as a snack and were also BOGO), and some Italian Breadcrumbs (not on sale, but we were out).

I use vanity bags in Publix, because I generally bring home more than enough plastic bags from other shopping ventures. In this case, since my shopping list was short, everything should be able to fit easily into the same bag. I approached the register with 2 boxes of cereal, 4 bags of fancy pretzel snacks, and 1 canister of breadcrumbs. I watched in horror as the bag boy (actually a young man still in his teens) stuffed both boxes of cereal into the bag sideways, put the breadcrumbs off in a corner, and wedged the pretzel chips in to fill the cavernous nooks and crannies. The whole arrangement was just third-degree cattywampus.

Bag Combo 1

I couldn’t believe it. Had this young man never gotten the opportunity to play with blocks as a child? Were legos not allowed in his home? Did Tetris completely avoid his radar as a video game option? Wreck-It-Ralph was completely in rampage mode and I was going to be left cleaning up the debris. My expectations are fairly low when I know that I’ve put a mixture of loose fruits and veggies on the magical black conveyor belt. In those instances, I’m just happy that the heavy stuff ended up on bottom and the soft, squishy items (such as grapes) were layered in gently on top. This should have been a slam dunk though. Two rectangular boxes and a round canister… If you’re dumping those items out of a wheelbarrow from 20 feet, they’re going to land properly in the bag most of the time. -SMH-

My next stop was Wal-Mart. Granted, I’ve suspended all expectations when it comes to anticipation of encountering order on these adventures. About 25% of the items on the store shelves are not priced correctly, but the store faithfully balances that out by failing to make any attempt to price another 10% of items on the shelf at all. Needless to say, I have all of the store’s price scanning contraptions GPS’d on my phone. So, expectations are deservedly low, but there’s just got to be a floor somewhere, right???

Is it unreasonable to purchase a group of identically boxed items and think that, for the love of Pete, someone at the register might (even on accident) put them into the bag so that they fit nicely amongst the other items on the seat and stay together for the ride home. Yet another swing and miss, as you can see in the images below.

Bag Combo 2

There’s a reason that freshly raked Zen Gardens are peaceful and overturned board games that leave tokens, dice, and playing cards scattered all over the living room floor represent anarchy and mayhem. It has to do with order. Structure. The semblance of organization amidst chaos. There are certain things that should just be casually avoided whenever possible. Wedging square pegs into round holes just happens to be on my list.

Oh, and about that HUNTED program… NO! I do not have to “be straight with you,” if you’re questioning me about the whereabouts of my relative who’s attempting to avoid capture and win your game. Did you not read your own rules? Do you not watch your own show?  I’m going to randomly make stuff up to answer every single question you ask, and whenever possible engage you in frustrating conversation about Flat Earth Theory or Alien Abduction. I’m even going to Photoshop a recent picture of my daughter and her husband into the International Space Station and post it on Facebook with a time stamp of yesterday just to throw you off her trail. Maybe the dingo ate your baby for all I know, Rambo. Go knock on another door. Big Bang Theory is about to come on…

Quick Links to Mark’s Books on Amazon:

Mark D. Combs
Don’t Forget Your Cape
Mark D. Combs
Mark D. Combs

Comments are closed.