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Mike Tasos: Shopping at a big grocery store is not for me
Mike Tasos

The grocery store (right there, you know I’ve been around awhile; I’ve never said: “I’m off to the supermarket.”) is having a great time with us.

With a motto “Where shopping is a pleasure,” leaves me asking: Whose pleasure are they talking about?

Surely not mine.

I do the grocery shopping about as often as I wait in line for a sale on drills at Home Depot. But I do try to help out. Besides, I just might return home with “good stuff,” that Vicki doesn’t approve of.

We’re talking monoglycerides, red dye and something that has preservative contraband listed on its label. 

The ingredients mostly don’t bother me because the print is so small it’s hard to read. I do know that sugar and carbs are bad. Anything else is pretty much fair game.

Good thing Vicki doesn’t give me the grocery list very often. If she did, the nutrition police would arrest me.

The folks at Publix need to do me a favor: Quit moving stuff around.

With items moved to parts unknown — a professional wrestling term that means “the guy wearing the mask is probably your mailman during the day” — I need a map.

It was grilling time and chilidogs were on the menu. I searched the entire store looking for a can of Hormel. It was nowhere to be found.

I searched the soup aisle, beans section, and even looked in the gastro distressed meds aisle, hoping a manager might have had some vision and been forward thinking, aiming for one-stop shopping.

I wondered if I had been transported to another place. Maybe I wasn’t in the market. Perhaps I had stumbled into an auto parts store.

It’s a well-known fact that we guys hate to ask for directions.We will argue with the GPS.

“That’s not the right way. I’ve been making this drive for 20 years. Wait a minute, what happened to the street where I used to turn?

“Someone has spent too much time in Europe. What in tarnation is a roundabout? Do they expect me to drive on the wrong side too?

“Rats! That GPS lady is such a know-it-all. I wonder what she looks like? I bet she has a semi-Sam Elliott moustache.”

This is a conversation I have with myself rather than believe a mustachioed lady resides in my phone or car dashboard.

When I asked if there was something devious behind moving items to new locations, a female store clerk with a great sense of humor joked that one source of amusement for store employees to confuse us with a new layout.

That has to be behind the move to re-locate chili to, are you ready, the International aisle. 

Huh? Hormel chili has gone international? I guess that’s progress. I felt like Magellan running ashore while dodging poison darts when the can was in my buggy. Lots of time in the South has made me forget about using a basket.

And where in the name of pigs-in-a-blanket are all the free samples? And I’m not talking about snitching a grape.

The dear-departed Harry’s Farmers Market used to have practically a free sample buffet. You could meander for hours and dine on most of the food groups.

The abundance of free morsels might have played a role in Harry’s going grits-up.

Nevertheless, I fear I might need to attend a seminar on properly opening a loaf of bread. Once a bag is on your counter, begging to play an integral part of that weekend lunch/ballgame, I always have to hit pause.

Those twisty ties, before the bread’s coming out party, seem to have no rhyme or reason as to how they were installed. Back-and-forth, forth-and-back.

Anyone ever ripped the bag and used a Ziploc? Me too.

A good homemade sandwich is a blessing. Even more so with chips, a pickle and iced tea.

A better solution to this confusion is to avoid the big store and confine my shopping duties to familiar spots.

Give me Ferguson’s any day. No panic when I’m standing in front of a row of ribeyes and filets.

Mike Tasos’ column is published every other Sunday.  It’s Fathers’ Day next Sunday. I’m taking a page out of Papa Kenny’s playbook. My Traeger is about to be delivered. Thank heavens for Cheech. He’ll assemble it in less time that it takes to make a sandwich and there will be no leftover parts. Comments can be sent to He is also on Facebook.