Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Obesification: The Dreaded Errand
We went to our closest local big box supermarket last week, King Soopers, which some people call King Stupids, to get dog food and treats, it's one of the few places that carries the food we feed the girls, and the three different types of treats we give them. Other than going there for dog supplies maybe every 6 weeks or so, I try hard to avoid it.
Several reasons: first, because there is very little in the store other than dog food that I can't get for either a lower price, higher quality or both somewhere else. It's expensive to shop there and they don't have much of what I want to buy. Second, because the growth in this part of town has resulted in a major expansion of this store and it's too big of a place to run in quickly and get something. The parking lot is a zoo, and the store is huge.
You could actually get a distance workout with a built-in obstacle course covering the floor to get things that are spread out on opposite ends of the building, and there are so many people living nearby who shop there that it's jammed with people and their shopping carts.
I should say, jammed with oversized people and their oversized shopping carts. Shopping there is a claustrophobic's nightmare. I'm not even claustrophobic but this place brings out all sorts of phobias in me that I never knew existed.
Not only that but the store is a typical American grocery store, full of brightly colored oversize packages with contents of dubious nutritional value, mostly cheap, processed, genetically modified, pesticide-laden, tasteless, salted carbohydrates that go directly to one's waistline, skin color, hair follicles, subcutaneous tissue, arteries, brain, and pancreas.
The longer I stay away from these bastions of American obesification, the more impressive their inhabitants become when I do stop in. People look sad. Wide and overweight, pushing their huge grocery carts around, walking down aisles of salted, nitrated, artificially colored, vacuum-packaged objects. You think this is food?
Their skin is sallow, and their eyes are blank, their expressions unthinking, faces defeated and exhausted. Their clothing hangs off their bodies, fitting poorly, because clothing is made for bodies of certain proportions and when one's body exceeds those proportions in it's own unique expansion pattern, the clothes are tight in some places and way too baggy in others.
The worst part is when they bend over. Please, can we adjust the height of the lowest shelves?
They need huge shopping carts because the items they take off the shelves are packaged in huge cardboard boxes or big cellophane bags. The produce is a tiny part of the store, it lives in one little corner, and it looks scary. Much of the produce is packaged in cellophane bags. The fruit and vegetables that are not packaged are even scarier. It reminds me of the Woody Allen movie Sleeper. Oversized, like everything else in the store. What farm did it come from, that grows fruit that big, shiny, and blemish-free?
I feel overstimulated by the glare of artificial lighting coming off the plastic packaging, distracted by the colors and shapes of cardboard and cellophane containers. And the aisles that contain so many different items but are hardly wide enough for two people and their massive shopping carts to pass through and stand back far enough to look at the clutter on the shelves and find what they're looking for, so many choices it's overwhelming.
I feel near-panic when I'm in there, I always want to drop the cart and whatever I've placed in it, and run out of the store as fast as I can. I force myself to complete my shopping trip because I know it's a necessary evil and not very often, but I have to actually psych myself up to drive over there, park, and enter the store. It's the most dreaded errand I do.
You can bank on the future of Big Agriculture, The Junk Food industry, Big Pharma, Hospitals, and Mortuaries, in that order. Our economy depends on it. To hell with health care, I'll put my money on mortuaries.