Mountain Musings


Queen of the supermarket


The recent storms of Biblical proportion are a welcome relief from California’s prolonged drought. And it snowed like the dickens (no offense meant to Charles… Dickens, that is) as the first wave of snow struck on Thanksgiving and the second wave moved through in December, only to be followed by a third wave of tepid snow last week.


Speaking of snow, there’s a mysterious, weather-related phenomenon that occurs every time there’s a hint of snow in the atmosphere. Okay, so it’s not so mysterious; it’s something I like to call PANIC SHOPPING! Have you ever noticed how every time a winter storm is bearing down upon us, everybody and their brother (or sister) flocks to the local supermarket to wreak havoc as they race down the aisles, pushing and shoving and grabbing everything in sight? Just then, something grabbed my attention at the end of the aisle.


“With my shopping cart I move through the heart of a sea of fools so blissfully unaware that they’re in the presence of something wonderful. And the way she moves behind the counter, beneath her white apron her secret remains hers, as she bags the groceries, her eyes so bored…” (“Queen of the Supermarket – Bruce Springsteen – 2009)


This local phenomenon occurred once again preceding last week’s “Mother of All Storms.” And, of course, I was caught right in the middle of it as the local supermarket once again took on the appearance of Grand Central Station.


First to disappear from the shelves was the pizza… “Oh, no, not the pizza!” Next was the popcorn… “Arrgh!” I grunted as the last package of microwave popcorn disappeared from sight. Then it was the beer… “No, that’s my beer!” I screamed, pulling and tugging at the last carton of Stella, as it was wrestled away from me.


Heartbroken, I continued up and down the aisles of empty shelves, save for the broccoli and Brussels sprouts (Yuck!) that no one else wanted. Then I spotted her at the end of aisle two…


“There’s a wonderful world where all you desire and everything you’ve longed for is at your fingertips. At the end of each working day she’s waiting there. I’m in love with the Queen of the Supermarket. As the evening sky turns blue, a dream awaits in aisle number two.”


The next morning began with a loud “Thud!” as my wife nudged me awake, inquiring as to what was going on at the end of aisle two. “Oh, nothing, dear, it was just a dream,” I moaned, as I drifted back into slumberland.


With even more storms on the horizon, Nova Scotia’s frenetic weathercaster Frankie McDonald warns all Californians to get their flashlights and candles ready and to order their pizzas beforehand.


As for me, I’m heading back to the supermarket to stock up on more beer and pizza before the next storm arrives and all the other panic shoppers clean the place out.


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott