By Reagan Kaelle, TIWP Student
Boredom is a funny thing. Parasitical and corrupting in nature, it creeps into your life with malicious intent. It slips through daily routine and leaves insanity in its wake. It is this very insanity that has provoked my father and I to venture to Safeway.
Grocery shopping in this day and age closely resembles The Hunger Games. Just last week, my mom returned victorious with a missing tooth and a scrap of a woman’s chin dangling between her mangled fingers. Her only explanation, “the sour cream was restocked!” This outright war has fueled a fire in us that cannot be quelled and our naturally competitive nature has been exposed. Before leaving our thoroughly Cloroxed bunker, dad and I had to take necessary precautions. The surgical grade masks were shoved on and the slap of latex gloves was music to my ears. While we opted not to go full nuclear-explosion-grade hazmat, we took with us our trusty and unfailing Purell holsters. Coronavirus, we’re ready for you!
I must admit, the first step outside was rightfully terrifying. I had almost expected the virus to take a physical form, with luminous green blobs launching at us from all directions. But no—disappointing! Primed and ready for battle, we spend the fifteen-minute car ride blasting psyche-up songs and stretching to warm up our atrophying muscles. It was then that we arrived, the red Safeway logo warning of the blood about to be spilled. We carried a laminated copy of the grocery list and a map of the establishment with the pre-determined routes and back-up plans to optimize our efficiency. But as those sliding doors opened and a deranged woman came lurching out—swearing and missing a shoe—I knew that no amount of prep could have prepared us for what was to come.
I looked into my dad’s goggle-covered blue orbs. With the knowledge that turning back was not option, we stepped into the store. Immediately, I was blinded by the florescent light reflecting off industrial-grade white tiles. Using this to his advantage, a man hurtled at me with surprising speed. But he was no match for John Kaelle. In seconds, the attacker was thrown into the soup display and covered head to toe in signature cream of mushroom. We made haste to the cart area and chose our trusty steed. Of course, we went through an entire pack of Lysol wipes to ensure Corona protection. Then we made a beeline for aisle two, shoving fellow Orindans away with a vigor only surpassed by an Olympic athlete you will see in 2021.
We jetted through Safeway with only minor casualties and interruptions—until we hit the motherload. It was in the ice cream aisle that all hell broke loose. Already, there were two people fighting to the death over the last pint of Ben & Jerry’s. The internal debate was between my love for moose-tracks or my sense of self-preservation. Eventually, creamy, cold goodness won out and I launched myself into the fray.
All my life, I’ve trained for this! Sure enough, I emerged surrounded by unconscious victims and sporting a dislocated shoulder and a concussion, but clutching that precious morale-boost. With immeasurable pain, hurrying to the self-checkout line, we finally faced a true mission-ending issue. The line was eons long.
Summoning every last inch of strength, I realized that it was time for Plan B. So I let loose the worst stuff of everyone’s nightmares: a dry cough! It was as if I was in the bible and the waters had parted. We had reached the apocalypse but food, food is worth it!