Tag Archives: food

A Serenity Prayer for the Grocery Store

serenityprayer

As I walk through the automatic door, I will be calm and choose a grocery cart that will sufficiently carry my goods—not the small one that some other people jam to the brim on both levels because choosing a larger cart seemed too cumbersome.

I will gently wipe the handle with the provided disinfecting wipe, place it in the trash can and not on the floor with the others and proceed to the produce section.

Hmm…the wheel is wonky and OH MY GOD I JUST VEERED INTO A DISPLAY OF TRISCUITS AND EVERYONE IS LOOKING!

Deep breath.

Accept that they’re Triscuits and most likely already dry, smashed wheat in the box and remember it could have been worse, like glass jars or pop. I will courageously continue my journey, taking more time to pick out a head of broccoli and asparagus than I took to pick out my shirt, and then proceed to the rest of the store.

Great. This idiot is barreling down the middle of the aisle like a linebacker and refuses to obey the conventional commandments of a civilized grocery society. But some people never learn, and while I’m not above throwing a shoulder or putting my best foot forward to trip him, instead I will move to the side.

Karma doesn’t have an expiration date, my friend.

However, this container of hummus in my cart does and every second that I’m stuck behind this woman examining cans of soup like they’re a treasure map is a second that I’m nearing the date on my hummus. I’ll just swerve around and…of course. The other side is blocked by an employee with a cart full of boxes that he needs to stock.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Everything in good time, and by “everything,” of course I mean hummus.

My cart sufficiently filled with items that I can remember from the list I left at home on the counter-minus the three things they didn’t have in stock even though they’re on sale-I will make my way to one of the two open checkout lanes and hope I can break my streak of picking the one with the latest cashier-in-training.

Look at that! I’m second in line…behind a woman with 42 cans of cat food that need to be individually rung up and a variety of Lean Cuisine meals, all defrosting and blocking the UPC code to be scanned.  

That’s okay. No big deal.

I’ll distract myself with the magazines conveniently placed in the lane so I can flip through and not actually buy them. Let’s see: How to lose weight and gain friends, how to make recipes that will help you lose weight and gain friends, what celebrities have lost weight and gained friends. Oh yes, and Reader’s Digest.

Just breathe and don’t allow the incessant beeping of the 42 cans of cat food being scanned sear my brain and instead look to the other side of the lane—batteries, dog treats, lip balm and aspirin.

I think I might need that last one, because seriously? This woman is now debating two expired coupons and I’m about to just give her the 50 cents she would have saved in order to move this along. And is that…a checkbook? Now she’s going to write up a check?

Deep breath.

See? Now your groceries are being rung up and bagged and the light is at the end of the tunnel. Swipe the card, thank the cashier, grab the receipt and all 300 extra pieces of paper that get pumped out of the printer with it and head for the doors. Just steer your cart toward the car and…where the hell did I park?  

SERENITY NOW!

Well. at least there’s hummus.

For that, I’ll give an “amen.”

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Must-See Movies for Winter…Kind Of

Back in September I introduced you to eight “new” movies that I felt you should be watching that fall. (I hear “It’s the Great Pumpkin Spice Latte, Charlie Brown,” was a big hit among the 18-34 crowd.)

Well, now that we’re well into a bitter cold winter, it’s time once again to remember that among the new releases with attractive people doing unrealistic things in situations that are resolved in two hours topping the charts, there are some other films being shown this winter that if given a chance, I’m sure would be a great hit.

Unbroken 2

No, this isn’t the epic tale of the Olympic track star who survived a plane crash in World War II, only to fight for his life against nature and eventually as a prisoner of war. 

This film instead follows a woman who unknowingly keeps several impressive streaks unbroken as she goes through her everyday life, such as picking out the grocery cart with the wonky wheel that will inevitably veer into a display of Triscuits, having the keys in the opposite pocket of the hand she has free and spilling something on the white shirt she attempted to wear.

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Will she eventually pick out a functional cart? Hit all the green lights while driving home with a full bladder? Join her for her epic adventures and see how she deals with adversity.

Why Waldo?

In this philosophical film, “Waldo” battles his social anxiety disorder and tries to find a reason for his existence.

In search of this answer, he makes public appearances, but only discreetly surfaces in large crowds of people and insists on wearing the same clothes each day—thick, black-framed glasses, red and white striped shirt, red and white cap. Eventually he becomes paranoid that people are constantly looking for him and wonders, “Why am I here? Why are they here? Why does low-fat peanut butter exist?”

The Belle Jar

In this dark Plath-meets-Disney film, Belle, a girl who is dissatisfied with life in a small provincial French town, becomes mentally unstable and develops delusional tendencies and troubling urges towards bestiality after her father is imprisoned.

Some of her best friends are household appliances that spend a majority of their time singing and dancing, and she is faced with the internal struggle of if she should marry and live a conventional domestic life or attempt to satisfy her ambition with a man under a spell because he couldn’t love.

Will she regain a tenuous grasp on sanity or will the “Belle” jar of her madness descend again at any time?

The Hundred Food Journey

While “The Hundred Foot Journey,” showcased the family of a talented cook who has a life filled with both culinary delights and profound loss, this tale is about a mediocre cook who has a life filled with hundreds of foods to help cope with her own journey of loss.

In order to procure said culinary delights, she must brave the grocery store multiple times a week, perfect her “serious” face when trying to sneak an expired coupon past the cashier and avoid the checkout line with the customer who insists on using every single square inch of personal space past the plastic divider, creeping up closer to her with their cart and sighing so heavily at the apparent lack of cashier expediency that it blows her coupons off the checkout stand.

After checking out, will she make the journey home without bruising her bananas? It’s a culinary “Choose Your Own Adventure” for the whole family.

Mild

In the sequel to “Wild,” in which Cheryl Strayed hiked the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail by herself in an effort to recover from a recent life crisis, a 33-year-old unemployed writer trying to recover from her own life crisis faces a series of her own challenges.

While Strayed dealt with creating fire for meals and wild animals popping out unexpectedly, our protagonist risks life and limb to reignite the pilot light on her stove, the expected yet jolting release of the toast from the toaster, accidentally hitting the switch for the garbage disposal instead of the light and getting stuck in the neck of her sweatshirt.

 This inspiring tale proves we all have our own battles to fight.

Gone Girl

This is just me walking away really quickly any time someone calls my name out in public. It’s going straight to DVD.

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Let’s Set Lofty Goals!

The New Year is quickly approaching, which means we’ll soon be subjected to hearing about everyone’s lofty goals for the upcoming year.

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, mostly because I figure I don’t need to wait until January 1 to try and change whatever it is that needs changing—unless it’s the furnace filter, in which I stick to a stringent “every three months” schedule.

But in the spirit of self-improvement and goal-setting, I have decided to share a few of my more “reasonable” resolutions for the upcoming year with you guys. Of course, this is excluding the biggest most stressful goal—finding a job—but I can multi-task here (quickly adds that one to her resume.)

shampoo

Throw a plastic bottle into the recycling bag without it bouncing back up and out of the bin and onto the floor.  

Rip bananas off the bunch at the store without feeling like I’m ripping them away from their little banana family, and then returning home without having bruised the bananas.

Take off  my winter boots without also taking off my socks, and if accomplished, step out of my winter boots without stepping directly into a piece of snow that fell on the floor.

Catch the pasta in between al dente and overcooked, which is approximately .84 seconds.

Not only remember to take my reusable grocery bags to the store, but also remember to actually take them into the store before I’m standing in line.

After brushing off my snowy car, open the car door without snow still falling in on the seat somehow.

Put the laundry away the same day that it’s actually washed and dried.

Successfully switch from one phone call to the one on call waiting without hanging up on either of the calls.

Find the right lid to a Tupperware container in less than three attempts.

Alphabetize something without needing to sing the alphabet song in order to actually alphabetize something.

Catch something as it falls off the table without knocking something else off the table.

Open a plastic produce bag in under 10 seconds at the store.

Pump gas and stop on the exact dollar amount instead of spending an extra $10 trying to get it to stop on an even dollar amount.

Try to find the good in every situation. Wait, that was a typo. I meant “food.” Try to find the food in every situation.


I think that last one is most certainly one I can accomplish (said as she walks by the laundry basket full of clean clothes for the third time today.)

Your turn. What’s one “reasonable” goal for 2015, other than not reading about anyone’s goals for 2015? 

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Snackin’ Around the Christmas Tree

It’s been a while since I’ve serenaded vegan food in song or questionable rhymes, so I figured a seasonal selection of holiday hymns were in order. So fa-la-la and bon appetite!

songs

Oh Broccoli Tree

(Sung to O Christmas Tree)

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

I steam you every dinner.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Not only green when summer’s here,

But also when it’s cold and drear.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

Such flavor do you bring me!

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

Such pleasure do you bring me!

Each fresh floret,

Each diced up crown.

Completes a meal I want to down.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Pizza Pie Rocks

(Sung to “Jingle Bell Rock”)

Pizza pie, pizza pie, pizza pie rocks.

Pizza with cheese or the toppings you please.

Turn on the oven to preheat the fun,

Now the pizza love has begun.

Pizza pie, pizza pie, pizza pie rocks.

Pizza’s sublime at just any time.

Cooking and smelling the oregano there,

Wafting through the air.

What a bright time, it’s the right time,

To snack the night away.

Pizza pie time is a swell time,

To go eating and improve on your day.

Hurry-up, oven, come and pick up the pace.

I want to stuff my face.

Put on yoga pants and kick up my feet.Because pizza pie,

Because pizza pie,

Because pizza pie rocks.

Hummus Night

(Sung to “Silent Night”)

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

You’re so smooth, and so light.

Round yon chickpeas and tahini paste,

Add some garlic for that perfect taste.

Eat it any way you please.

Eat it any way you please.

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

Any time, is pure delight.

Eaten in salad or slathered on grains,

Pita or crackers or just spooned up plain.

Hummus, you do no wrong.

Hummus, you do no wrong.

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

Taste buds quake, at the sight.

Glories stream from X above

Those who eat it know it tastes like love.

A snacking savior is born.

A snacking savoir is born.

Have Yourself a Perfect Avocado

(Sung to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”)

Have yourself a perfect avocado,

That is ripe and right.

Not too dark,

but also not too hard and light.

Have yourself a perfect avocado,

Make a wrap or dips,

Smashed on bread,

or served along with healthy chips.

Here we are in the grocery store,

Choosing our new fruit and more.

Faithful foods that are dear to us

Will come home with us once more.

Through the years our tastes may change a little,

But I must avow.

An avocado is a food I’ll keep somehow.

So have yourself a perfect avocado now.

Snackin’ Around the Christmas Tree

(Sung to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”)

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree

At the Christmas party hop,

Tables of food that you can see,

And at which you have to stop.

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree,

Let the Christmas “spirits” ring,

We’ll have a glass of red and white,

And screw the caroling.

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear,

Voices singing, “Let’s be merry!”

Look! There’s bread and cake with berries.

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree,

Have a happy holiday.

Everyone eating merrily,

In the true food lovers way!

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The 10 Commandments of Grocery Shopping

Given the fact that the employees at my local grocery store see me more than my own family does, it’s safe to say that I have quite a bit of experience pushing a full cart around.

While I generally enjoy the experience because a) I love finding and checking things off of a list and b) food, there are a few simple things that would make it better for all those involved.

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Thou shall not leave your cart in an empty parking spot.

As I’ve said before, there are two kinds of people in this world: 1) those who return carts to the cart corral and 2) a-holes. Leaving a cart to find it’s own way home often results in the cart camping out in a parking spot someone will inevitably pull halfway into before realizing the cart is there and angrily backing out, pissing off people behind them. The carts have a home. Help them find their home.

Thou shall not walk down the center aisle of the parking lot

You do not have super-human pedestrian powers that override people in their cars trying to get past or around you. Pick a side—any side—and no one gets hurt.

Thou shall travel up and down the aisle like a civilized person

Up one side, down the other. If you’re barreling down the middle or the wrong side like a linebacker and clip my cart, I am not above throwing a shoulder. Also, try to refrain from doing a 180 halfway down a jam-packed aisle only to amble along as if you’re taking in the sights of the Louvre. It’s soup. Not the Sistine Chapel.

Thou shall obey the express line rules

The sign says 15 items or less. It does not say, “Everything you can stick in the small-ass cart you chose instead of regular cart.” That does not refer to the number of item types, but the actual item count. For example, those 75 cans of soup that took you 15 minutes to pick out does not count as a single item. You are not a special snowflake. If everybody ignored this rule, it would just be a regular line.

Thou shalt not decide against the frozen pizza you picked up in the frozen foods section and then place it on the shelf next to the shampoo

Really? Come on now, people.

Thou shall respect the invisible checkout line bubble of personal space

Regardless of how close you creep up or how many items you throw on the belt, you will be next—after me. If you continue to creep up, I will pretend to go through my coupon keeper for an extraordinary amount of time and chit chat with the cashier…unless you would like to pay for my produce. In that case, you have a deal.

Thou shall treat the cashier with respect

This means not chatting on your phone while she’s ringing up your groceries or getting ticked when she won’t accept the four expired coupons you thought she’d ignore. If you get caught trying to sneak in an expired coupon, just let it go. It’s 35-cents off of dish soap. You’ll survive.

Thou shall not stop at the exit to go over your receipt

Once given your receipt and all 300 extra pieces of paper that get pumped out of the printer with it, do not stop and read the receipt like it’s a treasure map. There is nothing on that paper that is that important that you need to throw on the brakes and cause a backup. Move it along.

Thou shall reconsider the self-checkout

Know your limits. Can you find a bar code on a product? Match the picture of bananas on the screen to the bananas in your cart? Flatten paper money to insert into a slot? If you answered “no” to any of those questions, don’t be a hero. Go through the normal checkout.

Thou shall not stalk for a parking spot

Finally, do not slowly drive behind me at 5 mph impatiently waiting for my parking spot that is often only two down from another available spot. Unless you’re going to get out and help me unload my groceries into the back, your insistence on sitting there, impatiently revving the engine on your minivan, will force me to do a full vehicle check—interior and exterior—before getting back in and leaving 5 minutes later.

Thank you for shopping with us.

Have a nice day.

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Different Soaks for Different Folks

Some of you faithful readers might remember that last year I applied to a local Craigslist ad to be a naked sushi model.

I was hesitant at first, but the fact that they offered to cover my “goodies” with bamboo was a nice gesture. And what really sold me was that not only did the ad say it would be “awesome,” but heck! I could take the leftover sushi home with me!

Unfortunately, I never heard back and my dreams were dashed with sushi silence.

However, my friend Cadry alerted me to a listing in New Yorkunder “talent gigs,” no less— that has been floating around the Internet. Since the whole “being naked and used as a table” thing didn’t work out, I decided to give it a shot.

(Reprinted exactly as listed, despite grammatical errors and lack of punctuation that make me twitchy. But again, with fate one can’t be picky!)

I will pay you $175 to sit in my bath tub full of ramen noodles wearing a bathing suit

I will not be home, nor will anyone else while you do this.

I will give you the keys while we meet, and you will go to my apartment thereafter.

It will require a 30 minute soak.

The noodles will be cooked and therefore slippery.

Do not bring any sauce. I will season the sauce after I get home prior to dinner.

Again, I was a bit hesitant when I first read this and had some concerns. However, it is a $175 paycheck—or cash, I would assume—and I wouldn’t even have to taste good, per se. As the ad notes, the poster would season the sauce himself prior to dinner.

So I applied with a few requests of my own to throw my hat into the ring—or the bathtub, so to speak.

To whom it may concern:

I am applying for the position of bathing beauty/soaking seasoning that you have listed on Craigslist. While bathing in a tub of noodles is a rather unusual employment opportunity, I’m excited to explore the “pastabilities!”

(See what I did there? Dinner and a show!)

Anyway, the gig sounds clear enough, but there are a few questions I have and so I did a little research.

What I found out is that if one were to eat ramen every day for one year for three meals a day, it would amount to a mere $142 (and severe hypertension.)

Given that you are willing to offer $175 for one tub of slippery, unsauced noodles leads me to believe that you are one classy dude and totally aren’t plotting to murder me and cook my body in the broth!

But there is a little concern on my end as to what I am supposed to do for 30 minutes alone wearing a bathing suit in a strange person’s tub of noodles. Do you have a DVD player? Wi-fi? Maybe a crossword puzzle or two?

Second, what flavor noodles will I be soaking in and what kind of sauce will you be adding post-soak? I realize this might not be relevant, but even though I’ve never eaten them I‘ve been told that most taste like loneliness and poverty.

I have my pride and am a vegan, so I would prefer that a “classy” flavor be selected. Something like mushroom, perhaps?

At any rate, I think this will be beneficial for both of us. You get your female flavoring and due to the artificial ingredients and shit ton of salt in the ramen, my skin will stay preserved for the next 50 years.

It’s a bit odd, but as they say, different soaks for different folks!

Thanks so much and I hope to hear from you soon.

Abby

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Discount Double Check

A majority of my purchases can be rationalized with the phrase, “It was on sale and I had a coupon.”

someecardgrocery

Every. Single. Time

I love Sundays because the new grocery ad and coupon books arrive in the paper, (and because I don’t work and usually don’t wash my hair or do much of anything productive, which is why I usually don’t wash my hair. That would be productive.)

My only true ad interest is in the produce section and my “staple” items, as many of my specialty food purchases rarely go on sale. Boo hiss.

But seeing as I do the grocery shopping for my mom and uncle as well, I clip the coupons and organize them in my little coupon keeper. Every Sunday I weed out the old and add in the new, but sometimes an old one gets missed.

This is where I run into a minor coupon conundrum.

Most likely the old coupon will be the one I want to use on the grocery trip one day after it expired. Seeing as this wasn’t discovered until I’m already in the checkout line, I’m forced to make a decision—try and sneak it through or throw it away? Unless I know the cashier is a badass who’ll bust me, who are we kidding? Of course I’ll try and still use it.

In fact, I should try my hand at high stakes poker because of how good I am at keeping a straight face when knowingly using an expired coupon.

I usually make sure to sandwich the expired one in between two “valid” ones, if those are also being used. In my demented way of thinking, I believe the cashier is going to think, “She’s using two good coupons, so this probably slipped in by mistake! Of course I’ll give her 50 cents off of this cereal! She’s practically a saint, for god’s sake!”

When passing over the expired offender, I also try and busy myself with the rest of my bags and coupons while she tries to scan it in.

Some don’t care and figure the machine is just being funny. Others immediately get all CSI: Coupon and check the expiration date that I forgot to “accidentally” clip off with the scissors.

Again, I assume the internal dialogue of the cashier is running along the lines of, “This coupon is expired, but she looks really busy rearranging the bags I just filled with her stuff—pulling things out to examine them before glancing back up and then rearranging the bags yet again. She needs to save $1 on two cans of chickpeas.”

Of course the situation occasionally arises when I am busted, at which point I put on an Oscar-worthy performance of feigned ignorance about what the date is.

To be fair, I usually don’t ever know what date is, so it’s really not much of a stretch.

But I act surprised, tell her to toss it—as if she’s going to keep it for her own collection or something if I don’t—and after paying, raise my head high and push the squeaky-wheeled grocery cart out to the car.

You can’t put a price on pride, my friends, but I wouldn’t pass up on that coupon.

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Desperado for Avocado

Ladies and gentlemen, “Veginem” will be back with an Ode to Asparagus in a couple of posts. But today we are going to honor the amazing avocado with a song I ask be sung to the “Eagles” tune “Desperado”).

Avocado, why don’t you come to your ripeness?
You’ve been out on my counter for so long now.

Oh, you’re a hard one,
I know that you got your reasons
But this isn’t pleasin’ me,
So get ripe right now.

Don’t you want to be enjoyed by me?
I’ll eat you if I’m able,
I know the sandwich route is always my best bet.

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Now it seems to me, some other things
Have been laid upon my table
But I only want the ones that I can’t get.

Avocado, oh, I ain’t gettin’ no younger.
My pain and my hunger, they’re drivin’ me mad.
And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’
Your purpose is being part of the food that I had.

Don’t you want to be used at my dinner time?
I’ll smash you up and make your flavors shine.
It’s hard to do when you aren’t ripe today.

I’m feeling all the hunger pangs.
And this feeling, it won’t ever go away.

Avocado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from my counter, get on my plate.

It may be scary, when there’s a knife poised above you,
But you better let somebody eat you, before it’s too late.

Side note: If you do want to hurry along the “ripening” process, you can stick an avocado in a brown paper bag. I can vouch for that one.

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A Toast

I’ve long held the belief that there’s not much that smells better than bread, specifically toast of any kind.

Right now I own two toasters—a cheap one that I got from Walgreens six years ago that still browns my bread to perfection, and one that I received for my birthday that brands the bread with the logo of my beloved Detroit Tigers.

I thought the Tiger toaster was very cool and clever.

With that said, there are some things I just don’t want on my toast. Sunflower seed butter? Bring it on. Vegan margarine? I can’t get enough. The image of genitalia?

Excuse me, but what?

Head on over In the Powder Room to read how with the push of a lever, you can have a pornographic piece of toasted treat, served just for you, and I’ll see you back here later this week.

powder-room.jpg

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Citizen’s Arrest

Do you know why I pulled you over today?

This is a citizen’s arrest, my friend. You have the crappiest car on the road, yet pimped it out with a large spoiler and the loudest exhaust system on the planet. Add in the obscene rap music from cheap speakers with no bass, and we’re going to have to write you up.

Your reputation?

Let me educate you, son. Community studies have shown that chicks don’t dig a loud exhaust on a 1993 Ford Escort or the fact that the only thing bigger than your tires is your ego. I’m sorry you had to learn the hard way.

Plus, it’s a 4-way stop. Not a Rubik’s cube. Pay your fine and be on your way.


Drop the apple or else the Pet Peeve Police is going to have to cite you for clamorous consumption.

Why?

Not only is the loud crunching of your apple cutting throughout the quiet room like a firecracker, the loud slurping of apple juices that follows each bite gives one the impression that both Mr. Ed and a lapdog are enjoying the fruits of some produce plant’s labor.

Plus, it’s been proven that hearing the sound of people loudly eating food is one of the best ways to no longer enjoy it yourself, and seeing as how I love fruits and vegetables, I’m going to have to ask you to either cut up said fruit or just tone it down.

During this probationary period you’re also to refrain from corn on the cob. Public consumption of this vegetable is strictly prohibited and limited to confines of home. For everyone.


Excuse me young lady. Please step to the side of the locker room.

It has been reported that you were overheard talking with your “besties” about how “totes old” and fat you felt despite the fact that you’re a 20-year-old woman with the metabolism of a manic hummingbird with hyperthyroidism.

On top of that, you turned “Jersey Shore” on the TV in the cardio room, walked for 5 minutes while checking your phone and then left in a cloud of JLo perfume without offering the remote to anyone else. I was willing to overlook that last charge until you called me “sweetie.”

Three strikes. Don’t let the door hit your perky butt on the way out. (#forreals)


Ma’am, please move your grocery cart over by the large stuffed animal-filled crane machine. It’s come to our attention that you are a menace to the sanity of shoppers. Why?

First, you were observed violating code 45D—creeping up past the plastic grocery lane divider and piling on your items with no regard for the personal space or the power of that plastic partition. Back it up, woman. You’ll have your turn.

Second, you were talking on your cell phone while at the checkout counter, completely ignoring the cashier while loudly discussing your husband’s colonoscopy prep. This is a clear violation of, well, society.  

Finally, you stood at the register and studied your receipt for 30 seconds before moving your cart towards the door, so at this time we’re going to have to ask you to do all of your shopping at Wal-mart.

The punishment must fit the crime.

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Your turn. Who deserves a Citizen’s Arrest?