Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Who Squeezed the Charmin, Indeed!

Mr. Fairway reminded me that I needed to pick up some toilet paper.

Bags loaded into the trunk, I scooted through springtime raindrops to get home in time for Oprah. Well, really, I put the pedal to the metal because I had to pee. Unloaded the groceries, unburdened my bladder. So.

I forgot the TP.

Life was so much simpler when we lived in The City. Run out of margarine? The Little Market On The Corner had an ample supply. Need a dash of Tabasco? The Little Store On The Next Block always had the spicy condiment in stock.

The immigrant Korean merchants who run these establishments are thrifty. They know the demographic. They mark up their prices way beyond what the market should be able to bear. But they rake in the customers. They make money. They've carved out their niche. The name of the game is convenience.

In DC, my Quest for TP would have been NBD. I would have been out & back in my comfy living room faster than one could say, "Who squeezed the Charmin?"

With my duties done & my groceries put away, I began what we have come to know out here in the 'Burbs as The Suburban Shuffle. A little like the Hokey-Pokie, only not half as fun.

Car Keys? Check. Wallet? Check. Grocery Discount Card? Check. Cash? No problema. The bank is near the store, & they have a drive-up window.

After a 5-car backup & a jammed ATM, The Toilet Paper Patrol was ready to roll.

After a fuel-burning, engine-idling, global warming-causing, 22-minute parking space hunt, The TP Brigade prepared to launch.

After a mad dash through an every-increasing rainstorm, I grabbed my prey & headed to the checkout line. The cashier closed her register after the guy in front of me. 4 out of 5 of the self-serve lanes were "out of order."

A Good Samaritan let me sneak in front of her. After all, I had one item; she had six hundred and 43.

Sure, The City has crime. The City has poverty. Higher taxes, bad schools, a growing homeless population, rats as big as cats, irregular sanitation service.

But The City has Little Corner Stores. And they would never dream of thwarting a consumer's quest for TP.

Mr. Whipple would be proud.

Editor's Note: Mrs. Scribe penned this out of frustration & as part of her March contribution to the Random Complexity Writing Challenge. 385 words.

13 comments:

Lynda said...

I miss Mr. Whipple...the bears in the woods that Charmin uses now are, well, nasty. I think Mr. Whipple would be shocked.

Veggie Mom said...

Ah, Mr. Whipple. I remember the good old days, when we didn't have to drive EVERYWHERE, and commercials actually made me laugh...

Teri said...

I can't even begin to count the number of time I have come home with 15 bags of stuff...without the ONE item I intended to buy.

Susie said...

I lived "up north" for 5 years and that is one of the things that drove me back to the city: convenience (that and there wasn't anything to do but bowl and make babies:-).

LadyStyx said...

BTDT....get all the way home and remember that one item I needed to pick up and forgot and now I REALLY need it. I usually end up sending the husband out to fetch it.

Columbia Lily said...

I HATE that, when I have to get one thing at the store, so I go, get 27 things that WEREN'T on my list, and don't buy the one thing I really needed!

Tara R. said...

I'm forever forgetting the one thing I went to the store for. I'd make a list, but I'd leave that at home too.

MammaDawg said...

Don't you hate that? LOL - we've all done it. Gone out and got a number of items, forgetting the ONE thing that pushed us out to the store in the first place.

Man - if I could be do disciplined as to ONLY buy what's on my list, I'd probably save a lot more $$$!

HappyChyck said...

Cashier ringing up $100 worth of groceries: "Did you find everything you needed today?"

Me: "I don't know. I'll probably see you tomorrow."

They're counting on it. I live IN the city. Grocery stores are not everywhere in the inner city. CVS and Walgreens will be happy to sell you anything for double the price. But you can get a PedEgg while you're there...

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

Ha! The city does sound nice...

dkzody said...

You get frustrated too? I thought I might be the only crazed person writing out my frustrations on my blog with the daily living.

Marrdy said...

You are so funny! I really wish someday you would write a whole book! Glad you got the TP and made Mr. Whipple proud.

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