01 April 2011

Lost in the supermarket: featuring entirely too much product placement

I really struck out this week. I am down to my last sack of flour/pound of butter/block of cream cheese, and NONE of these items are currently on sale, nor were they the last time I shopped. Shoprite, why must you forsake me?

Although I’m not generally prone to chippy things, I am wild for sweet chili flavor Riceworks Brown Rice Crisps. I am quite disciplined about eating; even at the height of my college dope smoking years, I never once ate an entire sleeve of cookies/pizza/tub of ice cream or whatnot. And yet here I am, decidedly not high, consuming entire bags of these, and licking the lining for crumbs. Granted the bag is small(ish), but I’m not even going to try rationalizing that they are healthy, with them being made of baked brown rice, because they’re chips. I urge you to try them. Or maybe not.

I am looking for a new dish sponge. For years I’ve used Dobie pads, but it looks like we’re going to have to break up. I suspect they’ve been re-engineered for crap, because lately they are very sensitive; as soon as the mesh netting comes into contact with a sharp or abrasive surface  — which is their job — they acquire puncture wounds, spilling their innards in an unsightly fashion. I tried the generic brand, but they’re no better. O Cello makes a similar one, which holds up a little better, and comes in snappy colors like salmon and purple to boot, but I’ve only seen these at Target, and I only go there once a month at best. I’ve tried environmentally-friendly sponges and found them unpliable.  I just bought the kind with the scrubby top and the spongy bottom, but I’m skeptical, mainly because the top portion is reminiscent of pubic hair, and who wants to scrub their pots and pans with a merkin?

Please forward any recommendations my way.

Either there are a lot of home schoolers fulfilling a home ec requirement, or every elementary school in the vicinity was on a supermarket field trip yesterday. The market was teeming with children having spirited discussions of price points, and kids were seated at the aisle caps manning tables with homemade games — shell games, puzzles, brain teasers — giving the market a festive, carnival atmosphere. It was sweet, and it would have been nice to support their efforts, but every time I rounded the bend I was too unsettled by the sensation of my brain bobbing around in my skull to indulge them.    

Spotted in the produce aisle: individually shrink-wrapped baking potatoes, billed as microwavable. Let’s put aside the fact that microwavable potatoes are crap, and even so, I don’t think it’s necessary, or desirable to wrap them in plastic prior to cooking. Is it really too much to expect people to wrap their own?

Spotted today in the paper goods aisle: Marcal Small Steps, environmentally friendly paper towels. Baby steps: first, you move away from paper toweling made from the guts of freshly killed trees. With that transition successfully navigated, you may be ready to go cold turkey, and switch to rags. Or not. It’s a paper towel, not an existential crisis.  

Spotted in the hygiene aisle: Kotex pantiliners in festive multi-hued wrappers. (Is there a more odious word in the English language than panties?) I know a lot has been done to spice up condoms, what with flavored ones — does anyone actually fellate a latex-sheathed penis? — and colored ones, meant, I guess, to empower women. Maybe the pantiliners are brightly colored as well; I don’t really want to know. Menstruation is tedious business for sure, and I don’t think the most crack marketing team can do a thing about it. Are they intended to help newly mensing adolescents bridge the gap between girl and woman? If that’s the case, too late; Hello Kitty’s got you beat

Why not just call it esticles?

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