we adjust our daily schedules to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic,
many families are suffering from acute boredom. Students are suspending
their homeschool teachers without pay for excessive grouchiness, children
are traumatizing their pets by repeatedly dressing them in Superman
and ballerina outfits, and adults are resorting to binge-watching
Tiger King on Netflix-again. One necessary diversion from this "new
normal" is a trip to the supermarket, which has transformed from a
mundane activity into a full-contact version of Guy's Grocery Games.
What follows are a few tips for shoppers hoping to survive this ordeal
and make it home with enough supplies to avoid another day of gorging
on Little Debbie products and then ordering Taco Bell.
First, parents of teenagers should resist sending them to do the grocery
shopping. My wife and I made this mistake when we grew tired of all
the chronically dramatic sighing and dispatched our two eldest daughters
to Target for a few staple items. You can imagine how relieved we
were when they arrived back home with a four-pack of canned Starbucks
Double Shot Espresso, a family size bag of salt and vinegar potato
chips, and three pints of Bluebell cookie dough ice cream. Thank goodness
they remembered the essentials.
Before you leave on your shopping trip, it's important to wear the
proper attire. If you're like me, you've been spending your entire
shelter-in-place period sporting pants that feature a drawstring.
Naturally, you'll want to dress a bit more formally out in public,
unless you're planning to brave the hordes at Walmart-where pajamas
are the norm and pants are optional. Also, be sure to wear something
you can strip off immediately and disinfect upon your arrival home.
Your spouse's bathrobe or a full-body Chewbacca costume should do
Next, if you have delusions of finding the supermarket well-supplied
with luxury items like bread or milk, put those fanciful thoughts
aside. Instead, we all need to become acquainted with the wonderful
world of semi-fresh produce, which always seems to be fully in stock.
Sure, fruits and vegetables don't have trans-fats, sodium nitrate,
and all the other wonderful things we love about processed foods,
but at least they lack flavor. And it's high time that Americans start
following the American government's official dietary guidelines, which
remind us to avoid ingesting anything that tastes good. So try to
forget about your favorite bagels, and pretend that cauliflower is
Finally, it's important to practice good hygiene and social distancing
while wistfully wandering through empty aisles that were packed with
Ultra Soft Charmin, Lysol spray and ramen noodles back in the good
ol' days of late February. Patience is key as you wait in line for
the complimentary hand sanitizer at the store's entrance while the
lady in front of you attempts to use it as a therapeutic body mask.
Speaking of hand sanitizer, if you have trouble judging whether you're
at least six feet away from other shoppers, just remember that if
you can smell their Purell, you're too close. And you really have
to put on the social brakes when you reach the liquor aisle and see
all of your fellow homeschool faculty members.
When you arrive home to restock your pantry with whatever the grocery
store had left, like unsalted peanut butter, the odd eggplant and
other stuff you'll only serve once you've devoured all of your houseplants,
remember that past generations have survived much worse-like leisure
suits and disco.
If we all stand together-at six feet apart-we can get through this,
especially with some help from Little Debbie and Taco Bell.