Thursday, June 18, 2009

Artificially Sweet Sorrow

I was in my favorite grocery store tonight, planning to pick up my favorite non-caffeinated, diet soda. This soda is not a well-known brand, but I have come to know and enjoy it over the past few months. It comes in interesting flavors, is only six calories a serving, is manufactured in a charmingly old-timey glass bottle, and is delightful to sip on warm summer days.

I happened upon it months ago one day in the corner of the grocery store, on some kind of special sale, near the kosher meats. That day I picked up a four-pack and I never looked back. Among the child-infested, yuppie-scum-complainer-soaked aisles of the store, I grew to look forward to my detour to the corner of the store to pick up this special soda. Week after week during these miserable shopping trips I have visited that corner, and week after week I encounter the boxes of soda stacked up high, like a cardboard-and-glass lighthouse in a storm.

Today, I approached the familiar corner, prepared to scan and pick my favorite flavors, or perhaps flavors I hadn't tried yet, or flavors I thought Mike3550 would enjoy.

Once at the stack, I surveyed my options. Lo and behold, there was only one four-bottle pack remaining. The rest of the stack was composed of a different, inferior soda brand, and non-diet versions of the brand in question.

There are certain things you come to expect in life. Apparently not included on that list of things are a job that can take you to retirement if you perform satisfactorily, protection from predatory companies, fair presidential elections in a democracy, elected officials who make an effort to deliver on strong campaign promises, labor leaders who act in the interests of their members, managers who can go a day without treating their employees like animals, a phone that lasts more than two years, and not catching deadly diseases from barnyard animals.

To my mind, grocery items that are usually well-stocked in your friendly neighborhood store should be able to go on, and stay, on that list. With all the stupid, unpredictable crap going on, someone should at least put out a warning - "We are selling the last of our ____ soda stock. We hope you enjoy it while it lasts." Or, "Starting next week, we will no longer carry ___ soda. We apologize for the inconvenience." Or, if they are just running low, simply: "We are running low on ____ soda. We should be in stock next week."

Grocery stores should learn to capitalize on the marginal value of someone liking one frickin' iota of predictability! Just one! I was so angry I wrote a haiku about it:

eagerly await
the one bright spot in my day -
- no soda! - hopes dashed.

Oh, and all you santimonious "at least you don't live in ___"-ers out there : please don't put this in perspective for me. Please allow me to wallow like a little piglet in artificial self pity over my stupid, inconsequential soda loss. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

We "yuppy-scum-complainers" totally get the irony.

E. said...

I'm so glad the self-referential aspect of this post managed to shine through. :)

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