Walmart Gear Solid: Groceries of the Patriots


When I was single, grocery shopping was so much easier. Without having to think about a budget or two other human beings, I could basically buy whatever I wanted (like Chocolate Covered Chocolate Bites). The only downside of this was… well… I could buy whatever I wanted (New and Improved Chocolate Covered Chocolate Bites… now with more chocolate!). Also, since I wasn’t really what one might call a “skilled cook” I had to get stuff that was easy to make. Stuff that required no more than some water (or milk) and, if I was feeling particularly driven and motivated that day, some heat. Usually my shopping lists looked something like this:

1. Cereal

2. Frozen pizza

3. Frozen tv dinner

4. Cheese puffs

5. Chocolate

6. New Megadeth CD

I took my time back then. I’d swing around to the video game and DVD section, perhaps stop at the magazines and pick up a new issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly. Grocery shopping was not a “task” it was just something fun to do. It’s different now. Grocery shipping is a MISSION. You know, like in Metal Gear Solid. Get in, extract groceries, get out. Extra points for not killing anyone.

These days my grocery shopping trips are coordinated with laser precision. I have already scoped the kitchen out for the items we need. I have the list made up ahead of time. Not only that but I have shopped in my head and made the list to match the layout of the store. With a little luck I can get in and acquire the data groceries, without alerting the guards my wife to any sales.

That’s why all this preparation is necessary. My wife still thinks grocery shopping is some fun adventure where a prize is given out for the most lollygagging. My daughter is no better. Without my planning I will have a cart full of clothes, dolls, books, crayons, pajamas, but nothing to eat. If I take my beautiful ladies grocery shopping they will, without fail, come to me with some extraneous doodad they want to buy. Sometimes this is a point of friction in our marriage. She just doesn’t understand how not following the list kills your end game ranking budget. Sometimes my wife will suggest that treating grocery shopping like a military operation is maybe not the best idea. Sometimes I even listen to her.

She might be on to something. I find myself having to resist the temptation to strangle and/or CQC (close quarters combat) throw someone to the ground because they are in front of the cereal and refuse to move. Don’t they know how important Honey Nut Cheerios are to the mission?! Sometimes it’s not one, but two people roadblocking the isle while they chat about their intestinal polyps or whatever people chat about at the grocery store. And I just stand there, patiently waiting for Meemaw and Aunt Elma to finish their dissertations on diarrhea, because I am far too polite to tranquilize them with my trusty M9 and move on.

I suppose if I treated grocery shopping more like happy adventure time I wouldn’t get so annoyed. Then again, I’m afraid if I don’t we’ll spend a thousand dollars a week. So perhaps I’ll try to back off a bit. But I’ll still keep my M9 handy just in case.


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