Saturday, May 22, 2010

Publix: Where Shopping is a Pleasure. right?

You would think you'd find the more bizarre people in local dive bars, tourist traps, maybe even loitering outside of liquor stores. But, you'd be wrong. At least if you live in south Florida. In that case, all you have to do is go grocery shopping.

I call BS.

Don't get me wrong, the people who work at Publix are always really friendly and helpful; it's the creepy people you find there on random Wednesday afternoons that you have to look out for. 


I could probably describe numerous awkward encounters I've had at Publix, I feel like it's a daily occurrence. If you go to the Tallahassee Publix right near our apartment, it's ALL college students, and so Christina and I lovingly call it Club Pub. If you go to the one right around the corner from my house, however, you get the buses from the retirement community, Century Village. The name of the community says it all: I'm convinced that that's how long the people who exit said bus have been on this planet.

"Why yes Milton, I DID find the laxatives!"

They're fine to shop's really only a problem when this same group of ancient Magellans are trying to navigate their way around the Publix parking lot, when the same bus that brought them there is (still) waiting for them RIGHT OUTSIDE THE STORE. Again, funny to watch, but not an issue until I'm trying to drive out of the shopping center and I have to dodge them like pot holes. But, I digress.

Two days ago, I was pushing an abnormally hefty cart, and it was one of those carts where one of the wheels blatantly just doesn't move. So I was ineptly trying to lift the cart around a turn into the coffee aisle, actually sweating at this point, when this 30-something man in a preppy-looking outfit stopped and looked at me for what felt like 10 minutes. Then, he dropped this incredible nugget of knowledge and, might I say, informative wisdom from his lips:

"Heavy cart there, eh?"

Heavy cart? Noooo silly, it's not HEAVY! I just like to lift my shopping carts around the corners like a spaz to confuse my fellow shoppers!

I would have just considered this your run-of-the-mill-thank-you-Captain-Obvious comment if he hadn't creepily, full-on winked after he said it. Was there a sexual innuendo that I was missing here? Was "cart" a euphamism for something else? More importantly, was he going to help me with my cart since I was clearly struggling? Either way, I felt awkward, so I quickly pushed/lifted/carried/ran into small children with/ my heavy cart to the check-out line like Sisyphus pushing his rock up the mountain.

Unfortunately, my new friend was RIGHT behind me in this check-out line.

And I don't mean figuratively, I mean literally, RIGHT behind me. Breathing down my neck and at least 3 inches within my personal space bubble.

"Shopping really is a pleasure, eh?"

I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck standing up, (or maybe it was just his awful hot breath that was just simply making them move). But it took the woman in front of me (clearly one of the Century Village candidates) about 4 hours to give the cashier exact change, and finally move her cart forward. While the lyrics to "Don't Stand So Close to Me" reverberated in my head, I had to keep shifting my weight, pretend to look at magazines, check my watch, look for any and all EXIT signs in case of emergency, etc. And still, the close-breather did. not. move. If anything, I'm convinced he got closer, until the woman in front of me finally moved. I purchased my items and BOLTED out of Publix. Well, not really bolted, but methodically lifted and pushed my cart as fast as I could until I got to my car.

This is just a cautionary tale: if you think your personal space is invaded in a bar, or even a club, you haven't seen anything until you've shopped at Club Pub.

1 comment:

A.A.B.B. said...

Hilarious! Get your butt out here and check out a midwest Walmart!