(There probably won't be a part two...but I'm covering my bases.)
It all started at Whole Foods Market...
Some of you might not have a Whole Foods where you live. Or, it may be called something different like Cunderson's Cupboard or Kelmier's Kitchen or Nature's Basket or Hoolihertans or Mary Ebberly's Fresh N' Healthy. Maybe Granola City or Colonic Land.
Whole Foods is an upscale grocery store that sells upscaly kinda food. You know....organic, free range...earth friendly detergents. That sorta thing.
There's a Whole Foods close to our house and I went there a few days ago to pick up some things. Anyway, I was in the checkout line. Now I've been to this market a bunch of times but I've never really paid attention to what stuff costs. I slide my ATM card...press enter and walk away with my food. But THIS time...maybe it's the economy and the fact that I'm not working and may never again...THIS time I actually paid attention when the wafer thin, protein deficient girl with the tongue stud and picture of Che on her t-shirt said..."Did you find everything okay?"
I looked at her. "I did. I found everything okay. All by myself, too." I was trying to be funny. But I think her lack of protein might have made her slow in regards to comedic banter.
She then said, "That'll be 32 dollars and 53 cents."
I looked at what I had bought. A gallon of milk and a bag of fat-free pretzels. I've purchased these same two items at least 200 times in the past eight years. Like I said, I've never really paid attention to what things costs but 32 dollars and 53 cents seemed a great deal of money for a gallon of milk and a bag of fat free pretzels. I don't think I made that much for my first script at Warner Brothers.
"Excuse me," I said. "That seems a little expensive."
She looked at the pretzels. "They're free range pretzels."
"Still, " said I. "It seems like that's too much. I don't want to pay that."
"Then we'll have Kirk put them back," she said.
"No. I want them. I'm just not going to pay that much," I said. I did some quick thinking. "I'll pay 4 dollars. That seems fair."
There was a long line behind me and people started getting upset. The checkout girl said she couldn't do anything about it and if I didn't pay the 32 dollars and 53 cents then I couldn't have the milk and fat free pretzels.
Now, I'm not a very confrontational person. Not even a little. We have three separate gardeners because I didn't have the guts to fire the other two. They come on different days and I buy leafs and throw them around so the yard looks messy. I have a pool guy who is so lousy I have to vacuum the pool and sanitize it immediately after he leaves. And yet...I continue to pay him.
So, what came over me at that moment was quite surprising. I grabbed the pretzels and yelled...NOOOOOOO!
It was perhaps the loudest shout ever heard in a Whole Foods Market where things are generally so quiet and pleasant and grainy. My shout was so loud and unusual that the wine guy...a guy that they pay to stand in the wine aisle to help you make your choices and make you feel stupid...he dropped a case of wine. The noise was deafening. Everyone in the store paused. And over that quiet everyone heard me yell, "I WANT MY PRETZELS AND MILK BUT THAT IS TOO EXPENSIVE."
Suddenly, as if they had all been woken from a dream, all the other shoppers began looking at what they were buying. A woman down one of the aisle screamed. "I was about to pay 27.50 for artisanal bread! And I don't even know what that means! It always sounded nice! BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!!!!!"
A man nearby shouted, "I was about to pay 15 bucks for a gluten free meat stick!"
Another woman screamed, "8 dollars for pre-chewed baby food! I NEVER REALIZED"
In one horrifying moment, all the shoppers came to grips with their excessive spending of the past 10 years! "I COULD HAVE BOUGHT A BMW!" The man who shouted this then collapsed into the organic bananas and began to beat himself.
The place broke out in a riot. Everyone went nuts. The staff tried to stop the carnage but they were all protein deficient and couldn't have wrestled a rat to the floor.
WE WENT NUTS! Emotion drove our reckless destruction. We destroyed the gluten free bakery shelves. We demolished the 7 grain cereal aisle. We all converged on the organic cheese cases and did things I am ashamed of. Some of it with cheese.
We then all ran out of the store. One man actually went right through the window. He screamed in pain but yelled, "I'm alive! I'M ALIVE!" Unfortunately he ran into the parking lot and was hit by a deadly silent Prius.
My group...three of us...dashed into a nearby Burger King. We were being chased by Whole Foods employees on their Segways. We ran into the kitchen of the Burger King. The staff looked at the fright in our faces and gave us refuge...hiding us behind the fryer.
The whole foods employees on the Segways came in. (This had taken about 15 minutes because they couldn't figure out how to get their Segways through the door. But they did...)
As I hid with my group...we quietly introduced ourselves. "I'm Chuck," said the man I was hiding with. "I'm a director of photography. I haven't worked in a while."
The elderly woman next to us took a cigarette out of her purse. "I'm gonna smoke. I'm gonna smoke and smoke and smoke."
Chuck and I didn't understand. But, hey. It's a free country. We all fell immediately silent. The Whole Foods guys on their Segways were slowly rolling by. So close. So close...
END PART ONE