Conspiracy Theory and Grocery Store Revelations




“Honey, if you’re going to the store, would you pick up . . .” asks my wife.

Well, first of all, I try to avoid going to the store. I’m not good at it. And I’m easily distracted.

I see prices on the rise, and I’m suspicious. It may be low on the sights of conspiracy theorists (and Andy Rooney isn’t around to expose this), but have you noticed how toilet paper rolls wobble around on standard holders? Why? Because the rolls aren’t as wide as they were, say, a day or two ago in the 90s. I didn’t measure any corn dogs back then, either, but I think the little guys have been bobbed. Same thing with ice cream “gallons” and coffee “pounds.” I wonder when a dozen eggs will be 10.

Then the store changes its floor plan, its “here’s where the stuff is” layout, on purpose, to get more of our dollars as we wander around (my theory), even though shoppers despise it, and a guy like me can stumble around fog-fritzed for months in search of a jar of olives.

I also subscribe to the “deadly rays” theory of store lighting. (Another conspiracy.) Something in those lights is designed to befuddle and bedaze you, and as you wander, lost, you don’t even notice yourself tossing into the basket jars of pickled okra and other stuff you don’t need.

I figure the shopping cart handle has been surreptitiously salted with genetically altered viruses to go straight to your brain and turn off sales resistance neurons. The viruses on the handles of those small grocery “baskets” must be particularly strong because you always end up loading them down and trading them in for a ginormous cart. I figure, too, that the lighting rays near the checkout stand are the most powerful in the store. Why else load up baskets with 12 packages of breath mints and a “magazine” that should only be used for toilet paper?

Anyway, my wife says, “Pick something up.” I say, “Sure.” And I forget it. She could staple a note to my forehead, and unless the blood trickling down forced me to remember the note, I’d still forget “it.”

She says it’s because I’m absent-minded. I say (maybe borrowing from a Chesterton quote, but I don’t remember) that I forget stuff not because my brain doesn’t work but because it’s always working (I didn’t say “working well.”) I’m “pre-occupied” with way more important stuff than getting fiber laxative that is/isn’t orange or does/doesn’t contain sugar.

I blame part of this on gender. I know it’s politically correct to assume that men and women are exactly the same except for plumbing, even if, chromosomally speaking, guys and gals differ in every cell of their bodies. If I have a PC bone in my body, I’m not aware of it, but is anyone really surprised by research that says women are wired to be much better at multi-tasking than men?

The guy under my hat has multi-stuff to think about. I’m forced to think some of those thoughts pretty much at the same time. So don’t be surprised if while at the store pondering the various views of interpreting biblical apocalyptic literature, I forget the fabric softener.

I’m thankful our Father has no trouble at all remembering every sparrow, numbering the hairs on our heads, and loving each of us completely—all at the same time. And I figure He is immune to grocery store light rays and viruses.


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Copyright 2016 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


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