Last week I wrote to you that the incredible Miss C no longer with us. One of the ministries she used to do was to shop for the rectory (read: helpless bachelors.) So I thought, "How hard can it be," and went out to restock our larder. I thought it would fun (wrong) and easy (wrong.) At the end of the excursion and having LOTS of bags, we had nothing to eat. What good is butter if you don't have bread? What good is chip dip if you don't have chips?
I was talking with a couple of ACME #1 veterans about this encounter.
They took pity on me after hearing my story and decided to help me by giving me instruction a la grocery shopping boot camp.
"You can't go dressed like that. It invites distraction," they informed me. "You need a disguise. Preferably nothing black. People may recognize you anyway if you wear black."
Apparently one should have a list. You can't just go and think, "Oh, I bet we need this." It makes sense I suppose. That way you don't end up with 20 bags of Value Time Cheese Curls and no fruits and vegetables.
Also, such a list must be made out in categories. At first I bulked at this thinking that it was WAY too much work, but then they asked me how many times did I have to go back to the opposite side of the store to get something I forgot. It was true! I probably could have gotten out of there 20 minutes earlier with some careful planning.
So they helped figure out how to lay out a battle plan.
It makes sense. Did General Paton go into battle thinking, "Oh, we'll just beat up people as we come them"? No! He knew the enemy and their territory. He had a plan and that made him successful.
There were all kinds of other hinters. Go at 7AM and the lines are short. Don't take wine bottles to a line that has an under age kid working at it. Present bar codes. Make sure crushable items are not in the bottom of the cart. Put like things together. Keep you head down as much as possible. Don't look too helpless because they go after the weak first. Make sure a "bargain" is really a bargain. Avoid "5 for the price of 1" if you really don't want it in the first place.
And preparation is important:
And then I was off!