Monday, June 18, 2018

Val's New Career: Saucebroker

Last Saturday was not a good day for me. We'd just returned from Oklahoma on Friday night, and I had to do some grocery shopping. I got off to a late start. The weather clouded up after I left home. Hick was at his Storage Unit Store, unavailable for grocery carry-in duty. While I was in the middle of Walmart (having forgotten my glasses in T-Hoe), looking for items that were depleted, like my favorite Chicken Bacon Ranch pinwheels for lunches...The Pony started texting me massive blocks a scary dream that he'd been wanting to share with me. He's like Hick. He can see through the phone, and choose the most inopportune time to contact me.

I let him know that I might not be responding right away. "I'm in Walmart without my glasses. Respond later." Still, I could hear those messages chiming into my phone. When I got back to the car, and had loaded the rain-soaked grocery bags into T-Hoe's rear, I sent The Pony another text.

"Can I call when I get out on the road? Or are you busy?"

It would be so much easier just to talk to him, rather than type two-fingered on that tiny phone keyboard. And I could be on my way home at the same time. It was NOT convenient for The Pony.

"I'd rather you not call. Canker sore that makes talking hurt." [DON'T JUDGE!]

What in the Not-Heaven???

"Is it really because you're staggering day-drunk? Heh, heh."


Not that I expected that of The Pony. Genius, yes. But The Pony hasn't developed a taste for alcohol. I went on towards home, making my final stop at The Gas Station Chicken Store for my 44 oz Diet Coke.

"Leaving for home with my soda. Soaked like when we ran in Steak N Shake on our visit out there. It will take forever to get home and get these groceries put away. Later, I'll text you."


"Rain all morning. About half as hard as on the trip to get Dad's TIP. I hope I can get over the creeks."

I did make it over the creeks, the big one just coming up to pavement level, and the little one already gone over and receded. I pulled into the garage. Sighed heavily. And took an armload of grocery bags to the side porch. Of course I had to dole out some cat kibble to the dogs. They're usually good when I set down the groceries, but I never completely trust Copper Jack. He might start foraging in my bags, or just pee on them to show me who's boss. He hasn't. But he might. I always bring the bags to the side porch, then get my purse and soda and mail to carry up the steps to unlock the door. Then I can make several trips out to bring those bags into the kitchen. It saves me some trips up and down the porch steps.

I went back to T-Hoe's rear for more bags. I had four looped over my right arm, and two in my left hand, when it happened.

"This is when I cry." I sent The Pony a text after the fact. And after the cleanup. No, that's not spilt milk.

It's spilt Alfredo Sauce. The checker had put TWO jars of it in one bag, along with a double-can pack of white meat chicken. She did not double-bag. The whole bottom of that bag ripped open while it was on my forearm. I was overwhelmed. After such a taxing morning, soaking wet from the rain, I now had a crisis on my hands.

I needed to get all those groceries inside the house, so the dogs didn't think they were a treat. But every moment I was out of sight of that Alfredo, the dogs might be licking it and ingesting broken glass.

I put the other bags on the porch beside the first set. The dogs had scattered, so I didn't know exactly where they were. Jack goes in the garage to look for the cats who occasionally get in there. He gets under A-Cad and I can't see him. I didn't want to close him in with the Alfredo glass. I got the keys out of my purse, and took a couple of the lighter bags over my arm as I unlocked the kitchen door. I grabbed the broom and dustpan from the laundry room, a Walmart sack and two paper plates for scooping glass, and hurried back out. Jack and Copper Jack were milling around the groceries, looking disinterested.

Did you know that Alfredo Sauce is virtually unsweepable? It's true. I ended up scooping it with the two plates, jar and all, into the Walmart bag. The remaining Alfredo did not go onto the dustpan well at all, making a kind of paste that hindered the sweeping of the glass. So I picked it up by hand, while stepping around T-Hoe to look at those groceries and dogs. I got every piece of glass I could see, under T-Hoe and outside the garage. I tapped the broom bristles in a puddle, to try and clean up the Alfredo so the dogs wouldn't want to lick the concrete. Oh, and in the middle of this whole process...I felt a had to run into the house (grabbing a couple more bags that I could juggle with the broken jar bag) and into the bathroom.

The dogs behaved themselves, and I finally got the mess cleaned up and the groceries inside. Of course I had to be extra careful with the bag containing my big jar of olives and a large can of mushroom pieces and stems and three bags of egg noodles.

Can you imagine the world of hurt I would have been in if my OLIVES fell on the concrete and broke? That would be a lot of bending to pick them up by hand.

It took 40 minutes to get my groceries in and put away. I was dripping with sweat on top of the rain water. I finally got to text The Pony about his dream.

But I DID still have a spare jar of Alfredo Sauce for my planned culinary experiment. It had to wait a week, though. I might share it with you.


  1. Gadfrey! You deserved to take three of those olives out of that jar, impale them on a small plastic sword and submerge them in a super-sized martini as you cool off in your recliner.

    1. Thank you for commiserating my misery! Were I still a drinkin' woman, I would take your advice, and actually try a martini. Just to make use of the olives, of course...

  2. An experiment involving Alfredo sauce? Sounds delicious.

    1. The results will be upcoming. And NOT in the "refunding" kind of way. (I'm sure that all my Seinfield-fan-buddies will get that.)

  3. I understand that they somehow kill dolphins and turtles along with helping to turn the Earth into a cinder, but I still like those plastic bags that you can loop about eight at a time on am arm to bring into the house, and they don't break and smash Alfredo sauce on the floor.

    1. The problem is, Walmart must have changed their bag recipe a while back. You know, they were blue, then white, then gray. Now they are not as sturdy. I'm sure the reason is NOT to kill fewer dolphins and turtles, but to fatten the pocketbook of whoever runs Walmart now. Hick said the other day that Sam Walton would be spinning in his grave. Not over the bag problem. About fishing pole TIPS, I think.

      Anyhoo...these bags can't hold my Diet Coke! To carry my magical elixir down to my dark basement lair, along with a lunch tray and two bubba cups full of ice...I put the two bubba cups and the 44 oz Diet Coke in two Walmart bags, one stuffed inside the other, and loop it over my arm. That way I can carry the tray, and still hold onto the stair banister thingies partway down. (No stair rails for Hick!)

      I usually get about 3 days of use before BOTH of the bags have started an ever-widening rip in the bottom, and must be retired.

    2. Get some of those sturdy re-useable bags instead and learn to remember to take them with you into the shops. You too, joeh. 8 bags at a time on one arm?? How much stuff do you buy? Get re-useable bags and save some dolphins.

    3. I used to use the re-usables in Save A Lot. Not the canvas kind, but the insulated kind with a shiny middle. I used them until they wore out, and now I just take the cardboard boxes they have under the self-bagging counter. We re-use those boxes for a lot of things around here.

      I'd break my back and arms if the Walmart checkers filled up reusable bags for me.

  4. I do know that sauce of any kind is unsweepable and wondered why you were getting the broom and dustpan instead of a shovel and bucket. it's like a dropped egg that breaks, can't be swept up so I usually cover the mess with flour and sit a bucket over it to keep kids or cats away while the flour soaks up the egg, then I clean the mess with dam paper towels.
    Good thing you had two jars of the sauce though :) I am surprised that both of them didn't fall out when the bag broke.

    1. Because I don't have a shovel and bucket! They are Hick's domain.

      You are a better cleaner-upper than I! On the level of a school custodian, who pours out that powdered vomit-soaker stuff.

      It was amazing that I only lost ONE JAR OF ALFREDO. The other jar, and the canned chicken, were kind of leaning into the good corner of the bag. I guess it's how I had it looped over my arm. The first thing I did was put my hands under the bottom, and set them back into T-Hoe's rear. I eventually carried them in, cradled in my elbow like an infant, and didn't rely on that bag to support them.

  5. Sounds like a frustrating shopping trip, just getting in
    and out of the house.

    1. Well, The Universe does conspire against me.