Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | July 7, 2009

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

So I went to the grocery store last night in an effort to stockpile enough rations to survive whilst Grace is home in South Dakota for the next week or so.

As is usually the case, I snagged some corn dogs and cereal. Luckily, now that we have a grill, I’m pretty much able to cook (read: warm-up) anything made of dead animals, so my odds of survival are drastically higher than they were back in January.

Anyway, this isn’t yet another post about my inability to sustain basic life functions in Grace’s absence. This is a post about some of the things I encountered at the grocery store. Some of which were quite pleasant and some that were most disturbing.

The first unpleasant thing I stumbled upon was a childhood favorite, Rice Krispies Treats!

usbbracelet001I had every intention of purchasing these delicious little nuggets of marshmallowy goodness when I noticed something quite upsetting. The box was adorned with the usual three creepy midgets: Snap, Crackle and Pop…nothing out of the ordinary there, but in front of their images was a picture of a USB bracelet.

Apparently the “prizes” in snack-food have gone from simple, if not pointless, trinkets and bobbles to full-on computer hardware?! I mean come on, folks…what kid (or adult attempting to fend for himself) wants to get a freakin’ USB storage device, cleverly hidden inside a bracelet, as the “prize” in his box of Rice Krispies Treats?!

That’s not a prize! Hell five years ago a 1GB USB was a tough to find, quasi-expensive luxury to have at work, now it’s a “prize” in with a children’s treat?! F-that!

The second of my grocery store surprises was of the pleasant variety, as I had a run-in with the ever-radiant Ms. Remlee Green of the MIT Libraries. Being that we live a stone’s throw away, it is odd that I almost never see Remlee out and about in the neighborhood.

Remlee was in the deli and I always believe that’s where you find good people. The folks wandering around the produce section always make me nervous, looking all shifty-eyed and malnourished.

Remlee bought some fish and chit-chatted for a bit, but then slowly backed away upon hearing about my planned “food” purchases and subsequent plans for nourishment in Grace’s absence.

This is by no means a response that I’m unaccustomed to. In fact, roughly 73% of the folks I encounter in a grocery store respond in the very same manner.

Panicked disappearing act notwithstanding, it is always nice to see Remlee.

And finally, whilst accidentally wandering down the “Shop Around the World” section—which in Midwestern grocery stores is simply referred to as the “foreign foods” section and isn’t so much a “section” as it is three cans of refried beans and some tortillas—I stumbled upon something that caught my attention.

heinz-spotted-dick-puddingIt was a metal can labeled: “Heinz Spotted Dick Sponge Pudding.”

Now, I don’t know what the hell sponge pudding is, but I can’t help but feel like this should have been in the pharmaceuticals aisle and not mixed amongst other things that people might be feeding to their children!

I mean come on now, let’s be honest here folks if something is called “spotted dick” I am going to assume one of two things.

1) I really don’t want what’s in the can.

2) The can most likely contains some sort of topical ointment and should not be located anywhere near the foreign foodstuffs…or the local foodstuff…or any foodstuffs, period!!

And that was pretty much the end of my excitement at the grocery store.

Nothing super exciting, just a random run-in and two very disconcerting products that have me contemplating whether or not I should take my business to a grocery store that contains nothing with the words “spotted” or “dick” on the packaging and no children’s “prizes” that belong in an cubicle, instead of a toy-chest.



  1. Spotted dick is a steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit (usually currants), commonly served with either custard or butter and brown sugar. “Spotted” refers to the dried fruit (which resemble spots) and “Dick” may be a contraction/corruption of the word pudding (from the last syllable) or possibly a corruption of the word dough.[1] Another explanation offered for the latter half of the name is that it comes from the German word for “thick,” in reference to the thickened suet mixture. It is a cultural part of English Cuisine. (taken verbatim from wikipedia)

    Don’t knock the Brits for their lovely food and wacky food names… just appreciate that they provide snack food that can induce giggles!


    • Well…I suppose that is the OTHER way I could look at it.

      They do, in fact, have giggle-worthy food.


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