Doing my Monday shopping surrounded by zombies


I have become one of those dudes who does his grocery shopping on a Monday.

Yes, Monday.

Before anyone tells my boss, I get up and get going on my work before grabbing a quick shower and hitting the store. Why Monday? Because there is usually no time on the weekend and Monday is just a good day to get it done.

The grocery store on a Monday can be a strange place. Even at my age, I am usually the youngest person in the store who is not working there. I got behind a dude near the deli last week who was walking so slow I almost walked up beside him to check his pulse. He wasn’t pushing his cart as much as leaning on it and holding on.

If the zombie apocalypse ever happens when I am grocery shopping, I probably won’t be able to tell.

You have to start with the fruits and veggies first – always. Why? I have no idea but trust me on this. I generally go for some fresh fruit and load up on avocados. Ah, avocados. They can be pretty tough to get just right. You don’t want them mushy, and you don’t want them hard as a rock. Pro tip: Hard is better than mushy. Just leave them out for a couple of days and they will be ready. Pro tip No. 2: Grab one of those difficult to open plastic bags and put it over your hand to check the firmness of the avocado. Don’t use your grimy bare hand to touch them.

I work my way over to the deli to get some fresh ham and thin chicken breasts. We also use ground turkey a lot these days. My dad would laugh at that as I used to give him a very hard time about eating turkey burgers.

This is a high traffic area, and I usually must battle through a traffic jam of push and electric carts to grab what I need. I try to be friendly, but these people aren’t playing around. They will stand blocking the chicken for as long as they please, and don’t care that you need to finish shopping and get back to work.

I have learned to basically be an NFL running back and just barge through, trying not to break any hips on my way.

This is also about the area I run into my nemesis – the Instacart shopping woman. She shops for a living, so I always try to show my shopping prowess by beating her at her game. I can give you an example.

One time she was in the area with the sodas and water, and I heard her talking to herself about Diet Mountain Dew – something I like as well. It was not in the usual places, so I made a beeline for an area they sometimes have extra 12-packs. I beat her there – it is a long way from the soda area – and was walking away with the last 12-pack as she came around the corner.

Sweet victory.

Being Monday, I also must dodge everyone re-stocking the shelves. Honestly, it can be a real pain. You have to time the trip so that the shelves aren’t bare, but you are also not being blocked by the army of people filling shelves.

I seem to remember years ago they did this at night, so the shelves were full and ready the next day. Well, not anymore. But with my Olympic level shopping cart handling skills, I am able to juke and dodge my way through the store.

When I get to check out, I pretty much know everyone, and we banter a bit as I consider using or saving my reward dollars – save them for a big shopping day! – before I am out of there.

But I’ll be back next week to dodge the zombies and find the deals.