The Grocery Store Police
We here at the Grocery Store Police are writing this letter to
warn you. You probably have never heard of us and didnít even know that we
existed. Yes, we do exist! It is our job to watch shoppers and to be sure that
no offenses are committed. You have grievously erred and are receiving this
friendly citation as your last and final warning.
Grocery shoppers are notorious for their offenses. We work
very hard on a daily basis. Produce is one of our most difficult beats, and it
is there that we first noticed you. You started at the apples and picked only
the very biggest and best. Do you not realize that when you choose the best
produce only the smaller and less quality items are left for our other
At the broccoli you actually reached over the wilted bunches
which we had carefully placed near the front and reached all the way to the back
to take crisp fresh broccoli. It served you right when the automatic produce
sprinklers came on. You thought that was an accident, didnít you? And the
bananas! You passed by the ripe ones and took the green ones! No one does that!
Just because they will ripen by the next day does not mean that you should buy
We saw you turn over a basket of strawberries to see if there
were green ones on the bottom. And you SQUEEZED a melon to see if it was ripe.
You were saved only by the fact that you put the melon in your basket after the
squeeze. Our swat team was ready to strike. You are very fortunate!
Moving along, we would like to cover a few other matters. We
no longer have butcher counters where the butcher can select meat and pass it
off -- er -- sell it without regard to quality. We saw you selecting the leaner
cuts of packaged meat and checking for excess fat. This, again, is not
permitted. Actually, these packages are all pretty much the same and poorer
quality items are hidden under the good stuff anyhow. Now that we are wise to
you, only the poor quality meat will be in the meat counter when you shop. You
may have suspected that we are doing this already.
In regular grocery items, our agents saw that when cans of
vegetables were three for a dollar, you were buying only two. When cans of
vegetables are three for a certain price, you have to buy them all whether you
need them or not. That is the rule. Never, ever, let us see you buying just what
you actually need.
What took place on the bread aisle is a true atrocity. You
squeezed several loaves to see if they were fresh before taking one. It is only
because our agents are so busy that you manage to get by with this week after
week. After all, if we took action against everyone squeezing bread, we would
get little else done. (By the way, those rules about squeezing toilet paper are
a fallacy. You are allowed to squeeze it. However, if your thumb goes
through the plastic, consider it purchased -- it is yours!)
There are many other violations that we did not cover at all:
the way you checked expiration dates on milk, instead of taking the jug in the
front, the way you passed over the non-grocery items thinking, no doubt, that
you could purchase them cheaper elsewhere. Do you not realize that these items
are carried as a convenience for our customers? If you fail to buy them, they
might be discontinued. Then what will you do when you need shampoo and donít
have time to go elsewhere? See how this works?
In the checkout lines, remember the "no talking
rule" and do not complain to your fellow shoppers about how long it takes
to get out of the store. Those little last minute candy items at the check out
lines are there to occupy you. Take advantage of the opportunity to run up your
bill a bit more while waiting.
Finally, remember we at the Grocery Store Police are always on
duty. You may look for our agents in overcoats and for cameras or mirrors in the
store, but you will never see us. Changing stores will not help -- we are
everywhere. We are taking notes and you are being observed. Consider this a
warning. Change your ways immediately or you may never eat again!
Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss