Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Pickle Jar

Grocery shopping is a full contact sport.  You have to push the cart through countless aisles and through those tiny gaps that every inconsiderate shopper leaves for you to get through.  Then, there is the desperate struggle at the deli counter, where invariably some older woman "forgets" to get her ticket, but insists that she should have your number.  And we won't discuss the produce section, which is the equivalent of the American Wild West, but with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Of course, I am assuming that one horse towns were not swimming in fresh tomatoes and apples, but could well be mistaken. 

So, amongst the other items I purchased at the grocery store yesterday was a jar of pickles.  A reasonable item to purchase at the grocery store and one of those items still sold in a glass jar.  So, shopping alone, I buy just enough items to use the express line and and get about four bags worth of items.  Uneventfully, I drive home after spending 45 minutes in the grocery store or about 5 minutes an item. 

Leaving the car, a mistake is made.  I hate carrying bags with my hands, since the bags can dig into your fingers and leave those creases.  To combat this phenomenon, the very ideal of a First World problem, I usually slide the bags up over my hands and use my wrists to carry.  For some reason, I decide to just grab the bags and head inside, a decision I would soon regret. 

Walking through the concrete floored parking garage, one of the bags shifts.  As it shifts, it occurs to me, "Self, you didn't secure the bags."  Now, I could drop the bag with the meat in it, soft and unlikely to explode or I could drop the jar with the thin-glassed pickle jar inside.  Since this isn't titled "The Meat Bag", you can guess which bag falls.

As the pickle jar bag falls and hits flat on the concrete, I hear a pop.  To this point in my life, I've never cut myself cleaning up broken glass.  A secret skill, which is a mixture of malleable skin and an overabundance of caution.  Looking at the pickle jar, I see a light green fluid start to move out, but the jar appears to be in the same shape as I left it, barrelesque.  So, I reach toward the back of the jar...the back of the jar, which unbeknownst to me just exploded into the bag.  Sharp edge protruding, I lightly nick my finger, the same finger I already cut this week slicing a cucumber. 

Expletive uttered, I slowly open the bag to see what else was in the bag.  Looking inside, the first thing I see is a tomato.  Tomato, I was leery about how pink you were when I purchased you, but once glass exploded near you, unprotected from the outside world or shattering glass, I wrote you off.  Behind the tomato was a pound of butter.  Factoring in both the box and additional level of wrapper, I decide the butter was safe and gently removed from the bag for further inspection upstairs.  Finally, we have the pudding cups. 

Wegmans makes a generic pre-made pudding using only whole milk.  Go to the grocery store and look at the rest of the pudding, skim milk, or white water if you prefer.  The pudding comes in sturdy plastic containers surrounded by a paper carrier.  The carrier was soaked with pickle brine, but the containers appeared unimpacted by the shattered glass.  So, I carried both the butter and pudding inside separately, where a thorough rinse and a cautious eye was provided to both before declaring them safe for my consumption. 

Of course, as I looked at the pickle jar one last time before tossing it into the dumpster, I realized I purchased the Polish pickle spears, rather than the Kosher pickle spears, which is the greatest insult of the story. 

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