Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why I Hate Schnucks

One of my most distressing errands is when I am dispatched by the wife to the Schnucks supermarket on Union Avenue. Why is there still some sort of snob appeal going on with this rank, inferior deployer of edible goods? Try at any time to drive into the postage stamp-size parking lot and see if you are not met by someone driving out the wrong way. Go inside and the first thing you will hear is the overly loud talking (and usually complaining) of the employees, none of whom seems to actually be from Memphis, especially those strange, misshapen white ones. Where do they import them from? The Deliverance equivalent of the white trash Yankee north? God forfend if you should ask a question because no telling what type of speech impediment you will get in return.

I have been at Schnucks at just about every hour of the day or night and I have yet to see the aisles cleared of boxes being opened and goods being stocked. Being blocked in is a way of life at Schnucks. This morning I was hemmed in by three different ladies with their baskets all jammed in one intersection, daring anyone to speak to them, and damned if they would move their baskets. I myself, as a form of urban protest, refused to budge. Finally they untangled themselves, no word of apology was spoken, and Tom Graves, the Colossus of Cowden Avenue with black smoke curling above his head, went about his grocering.

The old white ladies are the ones who make me want to relive a Sam Peckinpah slow motion death swath. I have noticed that with old age myopia apparently is a given because old white ladies can never see anything except what they WANT to see. Leggo my Eggos is on their mind -- forget that they are blocking ten other shoppers as they dig through the frozen foods for the package that is most perfect or might have a penny less on the sticker price.

The check out. Why is it that the card machine never has a diagram showing you how to swipe the card? Why is it that women NEVER get out their checkbook until all the groceries are rung up and the line stretches back to the deli? Why is it the gay guys always look so damn happy in that store? Have they found a grocery the rest of us are not aware of -- something in the cucumber family perhaps? (Not that there's anything wrong with it.)

I would go to the Piggly Wiggly but I would have to share the store with every single midtown derelict and welfare cheat, and contend with the stockyard smell and third world look of the place. I take that back. That is insulting to third world markets. Piggly Wiggly, in case no one has noticed, is even more expensive than Schnucks. Forty bucks will buy you a box of Triscuits, a loaf of generic bread, a bucket of gizzards (they have a section all their own), and that's about it.

The next closest store is the Kroger Poplar Plaza, home to all the purse snatchers who have been run out of Hickory Hill. One good thing about Kroger is that there is no way you will not know about each and every bargain. The clientele there is sure to be discussing each and every one as you glide down the aisle. You couldn't miss a word if you had air traffic ear protectors on.

Now, Aldi, there is a supermarket. But it is in Cordova, the sixth circle of hell. The traffic out there is like the Schnucks parking lot on a Jumbotron scale. But my, oh my, what fifty bucks will buy you there.