Monday, June 10, 2013

A New Adventure

Not long after I moved to Austin, I realized I needed to know more than the fact that it has 80 zip codes, compared to the whopping ONE in the town where I grew up.  For one thing, I was going to need food at some point.  I was so overwhelmed, and lost, that I actually Googled grocery stores near my apartment.  The closest thing I had to my location was H. E. Butt Food.  I remember yelling out to my roommate that Texans were crazy.  Who goes to a store called Butt Food?  And I guess that’s why we know it only as HEB.  In any case, that is where I almost always do my shopping, and I guess that's why we're all here.

HEB and I have a very long, adventurous history.  If you’ve read all of my posts on Facebook, you’ll probably be bored seeing them all again, so I’m starting with one I’ve never written before.  (I have to be able to hook you somehow, right?) 

It seems like no matter how much I try to avoid an adventure or just think I’m “running in” for one quick item, something strange happens, but I still try to get through each trip unscathed.  One of my tactics is to use the self-checkout if at all possible.

I like to use the self-checkout for two reasons. 

Sometimes, I just can’t handle the dumb.  Sure, people say I have a lot of patience, but there are definitely times when I don’t suffer fools gladly.  Going through a regular checkout line is just an invitation for someone to ask me if people are colorblind like dogs are colorblind, if I knew that dog treats weren’t for people, or if rhubarb tastes red. 

More importantly, self-checkout makes me less self-conscious about the fact that I rarely buy anything that normal adults use for daily food consumption, and instead I’m just doing a quick run for 36 ounces of Baker’s chocolate, two pounds of butter, and a carton of heavy cream.  I don’t need to be on some list somewhere (Baker Today, Diabetic Tomorrow? I don’t know what it’s called, but I’m sure there’s a list.).  I don’t need judgment from the woman behind me who has only gluten-free, vegan items and a cart half-full of kale just because I haven’t figured out how to be an adult and only think of the grocery store as a place to stock up on my next baking adventure and green bananas.  And the last thing I need is to get to the front of the line and after the checker has scanned all of my items, have him look up at me slowly and say, “You bakin’ something?”  Because that’s when I can’t help but answer something along the lines of, “No, actually, I’ve discovered that chocolate chips in cream make a much more balanced breakfast than Cheerios in skim milk” and then go home feeling guilty for being unable to keep my cynical, sarcastic thoughts to myself.

Even with all this precaution, I’ve long suspected that HEB was keeping tabs on everything I was buying somehow.  As of today, all of my suspicions were confirmed when I hadn’t even finished checking out, and not one, but three of these babies printed in front of my very eyes.  

So, HEB, you win this round.  Or maybe…I win.

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