Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My local super market is running a sale on Mandarin Oranges (canned, not cupped.) Ten cans for Ten bucks. Actually, there are many dozens of items priced 10-for-10, and you can mix and match. Pick up some paper towels, some off-brand soup mix, and some Gatorade. However, when I see the 10-for-10 signs go up, I know only one thing: It's orange-picking season! WOOOO!

Therefore, this afternoon, on the way home from the litigation fiesta I call work, the tot and I stopped by Mr. Albertson's super market to gather more canned oranges for my horde. Having strapped the pig-tailed howler monkey into the kiddy seat of the shopping cart, I scarcely notice as other non-mandarin-orange 10-for-10 products fade past me. Like a pair hungry otters within sight of a pile of salmon carcasses, we dart straight to the canned fruit aisle, pushing aside gray-haired grandmothers and hopeless yokels. My eyes gape with wonder and awe at the tower of smartly stacked cases of of short peel-top cans with blue and orange labels. My girl lets loose a presciently-timed shriek of glee, and meets my smile with all six of her teeth gleaming.

My cart loaded with more mandarin oranges that was truly decent for me to buy at one time, yet not quite the store's complete supply, we made our way to the check stand. I'm not going to say how many cans I had in my cart, but let's just say that I couldn't honestly use the express lane... I'll also say that I detected a slight hint of surprise (or was it revulsion?) in the eye of the checker when he asked me how many there were. I suppose that I represented the risk that management worries about when they plan this 10-for-10 circus of citric delight, but that's their problem. Loss leaders taste good.

The woman behind me looked at my cart with indignation. My daughter looked back, lifted her chin and shrieked with contempt. I grinned, knowing that the woman has been put firmly in her place.

But now, (Yes Brenda, I know I'm not supposed to begin a sentence with a conjunction) we come to the point of this little tale. See, while we stood in line waiting to pay for the juicy orange treasure, I noticed that the guy in front of me had a not-quite-as-obscene pile of Coors Lite in his cart. Odd enough for Oregon, but what was truly odd were the cans. They were SMALL. Like Red Bull-sized cans of bad beer. I mean, what the hell is the point??

If it were good beer, I could imagine small cans for a taste without the buzz. I've been known to order a six-ounce glass of Hammerhead at McMinnamins just for a taste, but we're talking about Coors Lite, a beer that tastes like watered-down cat piss. (Or so I imagine, since I've never actually tasted Coors Lite...) It doesn't matter though because this guy wasn't just looking for a taste. He had enough tiny play-cans of Coors Lite to get himself and one other fishing buddy at least partially inebriated. That is, unless they passed out first from exhaustion after opening so many friggin little cans.

I don't know. Maybe they were 10-for-10 as well. It just seems that if you're going to subject yourself to bad beer, it would be easier and more efficient to buy the 24 case of grown-up sized cans. At least the case comes with a handle.


  1. Tell Brenda to pound sand. That is one of those grammar "rules" your fifth grade English teacher taught you but she didn't know the real rules of grammar in the first place (she was teaching fifth grade English for cryin' out loud). Most of what the grammar wonks tell you are old wives tales - they just love spouting rules and sounding superior. Anyone remember good 'ol Abe Lincoln? "But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground." Dedication of the Cemetery at Gettysburg.

  2. Alright then, Brenda, I've been instructed to invite you to come to fisticuffs with silica-based beach soil. What say you?


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