Grocery shopping not as easy as it looks

There are many things that shouldn’t be done alone: going to bars, hangin‘ out at Farm & Fleet, walking campus after midnight. Some may argue for showering, but this is in regards to the evil known as shopping.

As a person who has to deal with this, I know what a horrifying experience entering the world of food known as Jewel can be.

It starts with the cart. The one whose wheels are possessed by outward forces. Then you fight (with your cart) to the bulk section, known to many students as the sample section.

It’s like when you’re a kid. Not many people can truthfully say they never took a Brach’s candy and actually put a nickel in the sample box. The temptation is just too much.

Then there’s the produce section, where it always seems there’s a guy behind the mirrors by the lettuce just waiting for you to walk up so he can turn on the misty-sprayers.

In fact, there are many things that can cause you to be in Jewel for far too long. First and foremost, the cereal aisle. So many choices, so many prizes, and just what IS “Farina?” A bag boy once told me he thought it was Buckwheat’s sister, but I don’t know if I believe him. An added note, for those of you who don’t know, they’ve changed Count Chocula and Boo-Berry has disappeared like, well, a ghost.

Dealing with other aisles in the vast land of Jewelness, there are many foods that really shouldn’t exist for the well-being of mankind. An example? Clamato. I guess it’s suppose to be some kind of clam juice and tomato juice mix, but the idea of juicing a clam just turns my stomach.

The frozen food aisle isn’t even safe. You can’t buy On-Cor foods for fear that Al from “Happy Days” will appear from nowhere and invite himself to dinner. And ‘Frosty Paws’ is something not to even be touched on.

Then there’s that whole Koala Yummies thing. Have you ever seen someone actually buying a box of them? I once bought them as a joke for someone, and they were the antichrist of the food world. Well, if you like chocolate inside your oyster crackers, you’re in for a big treat. Did the makers think those commercials full of Pearl Drops poster children, sneering and dancing like minions of Satan with their leader, the ancient crossing-guard lady without rhythm, would command children everywhere to rub their bellies and beg for Koala Yummies?

I don’t think so.

You can’t be too careful with coffee, either. Beware of Juan Valdez shocking you when he appears with his donkey and a cheerful “buenos dias” from your pantry the next morning. That could probably result in mental illness later in life.

Though it’s arguable, the scariest of all items may be the mystery jars found in the meat section. It’s something like pig spleens or eel intestines or honeycomb tripe. They appear and disappear like Hammer’s outfits at awards ceremonies, and that should be a bit disturbing to any college-age shopper.

My biggest question, though, is what the hell is Yoo-Hoo, and how can a nutritional thick chocolate drink in a metal can be tasty enough for a child to yodel for it?

Anyway, it is possible to survive in Jewel, if you take the time to prepare yourself. Don’t forget your coupons, and most of all, in certain circles I’ve heard it’s smart to stay away from the Osco entrance. They sell acid-wash there.