This is the den of the devil; the pit of mass destruction. One better be prepared for all comers, else one perish. Octogenarians armed with canes and carts engaging in wheelies in the aisles. Single mothers attempting to corral escaping children with snot-filled noses with one hand, while tossing boxes of sugared cereal with the other. Women screaming obscenities at the deli counter along with their orders for roast turkey. God help the wait person who slices 12 pieces instead of 10! Scooter driving maniacs who are better suited for Daytona, than a residential grocery store and check-out staff whose faces bear the scars of verbal encounters in several languages. This is Darwinian shopping; shopping where meekness cannot be tolerated and only the strong survive.
I drip with perspiration at the very thought of my descending into the bowels of the beast. I psyche myself up for the task at hand, and I head out into the fray with a self-promise to stay patient and aware at all times. This will be the time that I survive intact. This will be the time that I don't get rammed from behind by an old lady hopped up on caffeine. This will be the time that I don't get pushed over by an obese, sweating man at the bakery counter. This is my time and my time is now! Armed with my list, (NEVER, EVER go to Publix without a list! It is like baking without a recipe. Disaster will certainly ensue!) my people and I headed out for our confrontation with the enemy. You all should have seen us! We were like a finally tuned offense. Three carts working in tandem. When one stopped, the others kept moving, scouting, looking for deals. When one needed to search for coupons, (the coupon fetish down here is a whole other post!) the others provided cover and shelter. When the old man brandishing his cane as a weapon shouted at me in a voice reminiscent of "The Shining", "MOVE!!", I silently complied so as to avoid a beating, all the while the other members of my team were loading up. We glided up and down the aisles with military precision; we took no shit and we took no prisoners. We were in a word-SPECTACULAR! Any of today's NFL playoff teams would have been left slack-jawed at our synchronicity. I felt like patting them all on their butts and giving them all a high-five. Way to go team!
I can't promise that my next trip into the lion's den will have as positive an outcome, but just for today I feel as though I have won the Super Bowl.