By What's In Their Shopping Carts Shall Ye Know Them : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

By Oscar London - Medical Humorist, which I thought was an oxymoron but apparently isn't. -g-)

Nothing is more revealing of our psyche than the contents of our carts at the supermarket. For example, show me a cart containing black-eyed peas, blackstrap molasses, licorice whips, and blackberries, and I'll show you one depressed customer.

A slender vegan with orange skin and a distended abdomen piles her cart high with green, yellow and white substances as she glides down the produce aisle. A healthier-than-thou smirk is carved into her skinny pumpkin of a face. She's so full of gas from her roughage that she has to tether her fine-boned wrist to her cart lest she levitate to the ceiling.

A macho, middle-aged man in a tank top builds a food pyramid of steaks, pork loin, bacon and cheese in his cart as he tears around corners. Suffering from aisle rage, he collides in the deli section with a pale, wan by-pass survivor gently pushing a cart filled with food resembling wallpaper paste, laundry starch and spackle.

About 20 years ago, I happened to be standing in the express, check-out line of Berkeley's Co-op Market when, two carts ahead of me, I spotted an elderly internist whom I will call Dr. Waldo Margrave. Waldo was famous in Berkeley for his quick wit and Dickensian eccentricities. (He was one of my role models.)

He was dressed in his usual navy officer's cape, plaid slacks, white socks and Birkenstocks.

I couldn't help but notice that his grocery cart contained a bulging, Harvard book bag, a package of chicken wings, his gold-headed cane, and 15 Snickers bars.

(For the record, my cart held a box of Manischewitz Egg & Onion Matzos, a jar of kim chee, a tin of Portugese anchovies, a carton of Greek olives and a loaf of Russian rye bread. I was going through a mild identity crisis at the time.)

The young cashier, who looked as if he would doff his apron and don an SS uniform at day's end, glanced at the chicken wings and Snickers bars in my colleague's cart and announced, "Sir, you have 16 items in your cart and this line allows a maximum of 12 items. I must ask you to back out of my check-out lane at once!"

"Young man," said Dr. Margrave in a calm, patient voice, "I clearly have just two items: a Snickers bar collection and one package of chicken wings."

"Sorry, Gramps, you're way over the limit here and what the hell's in this bag?"

The cashier deftly untied the pull-string of the green Harvard book bag and Dr. Margrave's six-foot boa constrictor poked its head out and blinked.

"Easy does it, Randolph," said Dr. Margrave, trying to "rebag" his boa, "he's not going to hurt you."

"Security!" cried the cashier.

A uniformed woman in her 40s huffed up to the register, took one look at Randolph and ran screaming into the parking lot.

"There, there, Randolph," said Dr. Margrave, finally easing him back into his bag, "I'll give you a bar in the car, if this young man would be so kind as to check us out." (In his Boston accent, he actually said "bah in the cah.")

In a frenzy, the cashier began ringing up Waldo's items. I had never seen fingers fly so fast over keys since I watched a 1970 telecast of Vladimir Horowitz playing the last movement of Scriabin's Sonata #6.

In the parking lot, I buttonholed Dr. Margrave, as he slowly pushed his cart toward his an ancient Peugeot.

"Waldo, old friend," I said, exchanging smiles of greeting, "you're a positive disgrace to the medical profession."

"What do you mean, Oscar?" he said, squinting at me through his rimless glasses.

"Parading around in public with a shopping cart full of Snickers bars. For shame!"

"Oh, those are for Randolph. He vastly prefers them to live rats. The chicken wings are for me."

"Keep feeding him Snickers," I speculated, "and pretty soon Randolph will develop central obesity, hypertension and diabetes."

"Not so, Oscar, snakes are different. Take it from me, the only thing that causes central obesity in a snake is a three-rat dinner -- and it's temporary. By the way, did you notice? A boa constrictor commands more respect than a handgun. Every American should own one."

"Well, Waldo, I think you should hide your Snickers bars in a separate bag. What would one of your patients say if she caught you with a cart full of Snickers? How disgraceful!"

"Maybe you're right," he conceded. "But, Snickers aside, my cart positively honors the medical profession."

"How so?"

"Why, Oscar, it's as plain as the nose on your face," he said, pointing to the objects in his cart. "Can't you see? With my serpent, my staff and my wings, I have the fixings for a caduceus!"

I was left speechless in a blue-gray cloud of exhaust fumes as Dr. Waldo Margrave's Peugeot lurched out of the parking lot.

-- LunaC (, June 24, 2000


The glasses are shattering in the fireplace at Callahan's over that one, Luna. Most excellent.

-- Cash (, June 24, 2000.


FWIW, a big dog is almost as good as a handgun , too.

-- Sam (, June 24, 2000.

Spot-on, Cash. Spider would do well to work that piece into his next book.

Thanks Luna.

-- Bingo1 (, June 24, 2000.

Great has reminded me that I need to get a new jar of kim chee..

-- george (, June 24, 2000.

hahahaha cool =)

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), June 24, 2000.

LunaC, I am ROTFLMAO! That was great!

-- Dunno know who you (, June 24, 2000.

Good one, a refreshing change from most of the posts lately.

-- Will (, June 25, 2000.

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