Grocery Store War – Fight the Nonpareils

As you age, do you notice the things you eat seem to show up under your skin quicker and are harder to lose? After one serving of bread pudding, I become disgusted as I brush my teeth before bedtime, watching my belly jiggle in the mirror. I resolve to do twenty minutes of cardio the next day to lose to wobble and proceed to create another food tumor instead.

My struggle begins in the grocery store. I try to follow that squeaky clean coloned showoff, Dr. Oz, and his recommendations regarding avoiding the middle aisles. I also grab a handbasket instead of a cart, hoping to limit the damage to my bone bag and my wallet.

  • Enter store.
  • Head to the right while holding breath as to avoid inhaling freshly baked butter bread fumes.
  • Stop in front of peanut butter and debate the merits of natural versus super crunch and wind up selecting creamy version with honey because I’m weak.
  • Stare at almonds. Almonds are good for me. Buy seven-dollar almonds to offset what’s next.
  • Non-fucking-pareils. NO!
  • I see bagels. I need something to spread peanut butter on because eating it off index finger is disturbing. They have squished bagels with lower carbs. Do it.
  • Ignore Twizzlers, Good N Fruity (the candy, not that dude from Glee), and Raisinettes.
  • Turn the corner and observe meat shelves. Try not to think about where it came from. Can’t. Oh, shit: Bacon! Fuck Porky. Must … have … bacon.
  • Remembering nonpareils. Be strong!
  • Stroll down condiments aisle. Nothing bad for me there. How about a jar of spicy pickles? Done.
  • Hear cats’ voices in head as I pass the canned tuna. “Daddy, please buy us tuna. You love us and we love tuna. Tuna helps us resist the urge to shred toilet paper and scratch leather. Six cans should do.”
  • Would rather not go down cereal aisle, but it’s the shortest path to eggs. Maybe if I go quickly and keep my head down. Oh … no: Cap’n Crunch brings back childhood memories. I wasn’t a fat kid and I ate buckets of it. Justified. Must have it. Will use low-fat almond milk. No! Wait. Blueberry Pop-Tarts. Fuck me. Get in my basket and shut up.
  • Ah, eggs are protein goodness. Open carton to appear to be skilled shopper. Some eggs have freckles. Some women have freckles. It’s all good.
  • I must eats me spinach, toot toot.
  • Damn, this basket is getting heavy. Technically, then, this is also a workout. I’m doing grocery curls. Worker doing price checks is staring at me. She looks frightened.
  • I wonder how many calories are in a single nonpareil.
  • That’s enough! Skip rest of food aisles and go through housewares, cleaners, and bath stuff–zero calories and it’s where the women hang. Cat box smells. Need Plug-In refill. Fuck me, six dollars. Will spray old cologne on litter instead.
  • I saved six dollars and the nonpareils are $4.99. If I buy them I net one dollar and a penny. Hm.
  • OK, one more aisle to go: fresh fruit and produce. Looks like work to me. Nah.
  • Time to check out before shoulder is dislocated by heavy basket. How interesting: I must pass the nonpareils to get to register. If I don’t buy them someone else will and what if it raises his cholesterol to dangerous levels and he dies before the ball drops? That would be awful. I’ll buy the nonpareils and save his life.
  • Other people in checkout line are staring at my food and judging me. I don’t like people much.
  • Checkout clerk is too bubbly. She needs a nose honk. No, I’ll be arrested. Offer a fake smile instead.
  • No, I don’t need help loading my car. Jesus!
  • On the way home, half the stuff jumps out of bags and rolls around floor of Jeep. Maybe I should take the turns a bit more slowly.
  • Get home, carry bags inside, flop them on top of unopened bills on counter, shoo annoying cats giving me begging stares, unload bags, wonder why deodorant was bagged with spinach, do my part to recycle by assigning bags to cat litter duty.
  • Stare at nonpareils. It’s dinnertime. Wait until after dinner. Can’t. Just one. OK. Open container, pop one in mouth, resist urge to bite it, let it melt, that’s enough, bite it, nearly orgasm. Feel fat. Eat another. Forget about dinner. Eat another. Almost orgasm again. Hate myself. Masturbate. Orgasm. Feel sad. Eat another. Vow not to eat any more until after dinner. Eat another while cooking dinner. More hate. Giving up.
  • Eating another while writing about it.

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Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.


  1. Hilarious!

    I blame my grocery transgressions on cats and coupons. I’m currently testing the theory that I can live on discounted Dove chocolate and clementines, but reading this reminded me that there are chocolate covered cranberries stashed in the candy hiding place. I may have to expand my diet to include them.

  2. This KILLED me! I look like someone with OCD when shopping. Pick it up – decide it’s bad for me – put it back down. Repeat. Decide life’s too short not to enjoy Oreos smothered in chocolate and buy them anyway. Oddly enough, I never struggle with the Vodka purchase.

  3. Oh… I haven’t tried nonpariels yet. But the baking aisle gets me. Did you know the Guittard Real Semisweet Chocolate Chips are creamier and more chocolatey than the Ghiradelli Semisweet Chocolate chips?

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