In these troubling times, our local grocers are making important efforts to protect shoppers as they leave their homes for essential items like milk and arugula. One of the best solutions that has been implemented is placing arrows throughout the store so shoppers can only travel in one direction because it is impossible to catch COVID-19 from behind—at least that’s what my boyfriend tells me.
This is Supermarket Survivor. There are way more than ten contestants competing for a chance to pay for their own groceries, risking endangering their families and entire communities, or worse being featured in a viral video showing them using gloves wrong. Here is the play-by-play of my last challenge at the local grocery store:
And we are off!
She enters the store looking confident and quickly moving through bakery and produce, defying all arrows as if she does not even know they are there. The looks from other shoppers seem to be no deterrent for this erratic shopper.
Where is she?
There she is emerging from wine at a fast clip! Into meats! Still going the wrong way, right over the arrows!
Wait, a fellow shopper stops her and is pointing at the arrows.
She laughs and then looks like she might cry. She touches her face.
She turns her cart around. Twice. She is still going the same way!
She gets to the actual aisles. She is not ready.
She is looking up at the signs. There is a large X on a red sheet of paper printed out. She edges forward hesitantly, then she turns at the last second and goes the correct way down the next aisle!
She appears to have given up on frozen breakfast foods, but she is following the arrows!
Next, she is forced to go up the dog food aisle to get to the back of the store.
She is moving at record speed, then comes out at the back in dairy and wants to turn onto the international foods aisle but she can’t! Denied! It is the same way as dog food.
She hesitates. Looks at the wine in her cart. Almost loses it.
Then in a move nobody expected she swings all the way out to health and beauty, the instant replay footage reveals her giving a thumbs up to the ladies at the pharmacy as she speeds past, and now she is back to the front of the store and makes a sharp turn onto international foods.
This is the Hillary we saw in the Thanksgiving rush of 2016—the agility and speed that got her to this level.
She dodges a dad with a list, grabs both burrito size and soft taco size tortillas and runs the rest of the aisle with ease.
Now she finds herself in the back of the store, but she is clearly ready to check out. This could be a costly mistake. She jockeys her cart quickly around the Entenmann’s table and makes a run down the empty party supply aisle and pulls in at record time exactly six feet behind the man on register six.
Then out of nowhere, a cashier motions to her pointing to an empty register, so she swerves left and runs the final leg up to the checkout.
THE CROWD GOES WILD!