Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It’s Tuesday Already?

First, a poor excuse for an update on my last post. I still don’t know much more about what happened across the street last Wednesday. I haven’t seen our neighbors’ grandson, which unsettles me, but I also haven’t seen any relevant fire call or death notices in the paper. *shudder* The adults have been around, and nobody seems particularly distressed or out of sorts, which is a good sign, I suppose. But we’re not exactly dealing with well-balanced individuals here. So I’ll have to touch base with some of my friends in social services and the local police department to see if any light can be shed. (We civil servants travel in packs. And our name is Legion…)

On to the rest of the circus. Saturday my best friend and I attended the Wausau Art Festival, which was much more of an actual Festival With Capital Letters than we’d anticipated. We had no idea where to park or where the main festivities were happening. So we had to play lemmings for a while, following the rest of the herd toward the hum of electricity and voices. Luckily, we didn’t end up at a Baptist revival but at a place that served glorious fried foodstuffs and meat products on sticks and caramel apples and enough cotton candy to induce twitching until Yom Kippur.

The day was a success: clear skies, sun, moderately-priced yet fun home décor, live music, dozens of talented artists displaying their work, and I think I already mentioned the fried foodstuffs. So I should have known that the night would be a smashing disappointment.

The night actually culminated with my decision to never again patronize one of the major grocery stores in my city. But it began with something that seemed like a good idea at the time: hey, let’s make Bloody Marys! But we don’t want to go to a bar and order a Bloody Mary like a normal person. Mostly because we feel fat, our outfits might lead one to believe that Phil Collins’ “Don’t Care Any More” is our closet’s National Anthem, and our hair smells and looks like vomit on a school bus. So let’s make Bloody Marys in the comfort of our own home!

Since we didn’t have any of the key ingredients (the first sign of a bad idea), I had to leave the comfort of my home to seek them out in the community. So off I zipped to a local grocery store to buy tomato juice, vodka, garlic, Tabasco sauce, pickles, olives, celery salt, and celery. (We already had Worcester sauce. You know, to season all the dead animals I don’t eat.)

And guess what? The store was OUT OF CELERY. What kind of grocery store is out of celery? A grocery store that hates vegetables and the people who eat them, that’s what kind. And guess what else? I had to stand in line* behind the entire population of Houston, which had conspired to drive to Wisconsin to stock up on a month’s worth of groceries that very night at this particular store. So I got in line with my basket of Bloody Mary fixings, an eternity of space, time, and annoyance stretching between me and delicious, spicy intoxication.

But what was this? An empty check-out lane right next to this Soviet-era bread line? My heart soared as it did when I discovered I’d lost five pounds from the flu last winter. I left my place in line with a bounce in my step, dancing my way to the empty check-out lane. I was giddy with excitement. How could this lane be empty? I chuckled to myself at the failure of my fellow shoppers’ powers of observation. Ha! Ha! Silly sheeple, I thought. I scoff at your willingness to trade valuable time and energy for an evening shifting your weight back and forth as you wait in line to pay for your Lunchables and Captain Crunch.

And then I saw the sign. “Alcohol-free lane.” The clerk smirked as my smile fell off my face and the lightness fled my step. I peered into the gaping maw of disappointment. So THIS is how it feels to be a Packer fan this season!

By the time I left the store, I’d witnessed an irrational argument between the man in line behind me and a clerk over this “alcohol-free” lane policy. I’d also grown eligible to collect Social Security and developed four new age spots, cankles, mild arthritis, high blood pressure, and inexplicably, restless leg syndrome. I have much to ask my doctor about.

So how were the Bloody Marys? Well, take my advice. Don’t add creamy horseradish, extra lemon, or lime-flavored pickles to your concoction. Just stick to the basics.

Later this week: fun things to do, see, taste, smell, or hear this fall. They have nothing to do with Regis Philbin, I promise.

*Is it “on line” or “in line?” Have I just fallen victim to another Wisconsinism?


  1. What the hell?! In my opinion they should have an "alcohol only" lane for the people who are just popping in for a twelve pack of Molson or a bottle of Pinot.

  2. Let me guess, Festival? That's typically my experience there anyway.

    Oh, and it's in line, if you're waiting for the checker.

  3. I'm with Teebs. Alcohol-free. BAH! That's discrimination. Let's have a drink and vent about it some more.

  4. I think of all the things I expected you to say, Alcohol-free lane was about the last one. I have never even heard of this. I have never even heard RUMORS of this.

    By the way, I live in Houston, and I haven't left town recently, so you weren't behind the ENTIRE population of Houston. It probably just seemed like it. I have that feeling sometimes myself. Mostly when I'm on the freeway.

    Glad to hear that you don't use one of those mixes for bloody mary's. They are so much better made from scratch.

    Hope you are having a nice week.

  5. Alcohol free line??? Only in Wisconsin... ;)

  6. IN LINE! IN LINE! IN LINE! They do that on line crap in Philly too and I HATED that! You're only ON LINE if you're on the computer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wanna come play with Swish and me this weekend? Come on, it'll be fun! I have THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD FOR MARTINIS!!!

  7. "...our outfits might lead one to believe that Phil Collins’ “Don’t Care Any More” is our closet’s National Anthem"

    ROFL!!!! OMG, that is the funniest thing I've read all year!!! LOL!!!

    Wait...now I have that song stuck in my head.

    And next time you need celery, come ring my doorbell. Egads! No celery!

  8. Please tell me that at the very least, you didn't have hangovers the next morning. Insult to injury, I'd say.

  9. Um, what were the pickles for? I've made a lot of Bloody Mary's in my day and I still can't figure out what the pickles are for.

    Damn you for making me crave carnival food. Mmmmm, fried foodstuffs and meat on sticks. I'm drooooling.

  10. mmmm bloody mary's!!!! Oooo Pickles!

  11. An 'Alcohol-Free' lane? I've never seen one, but I would never be able to stand in it anyways. Along with the '10 Items Or Less' lane.

  12. I fail to see the need for an "alcohol-free" line. It's not like a "candy-free" line, where they are purposely not putting a product in front of you that is normally right in front of you, so it's not as if those who need to stay away from alcohol would otherwise find themselves face to face with the sweet, sweet liquor.

    Of course, supermarket alcohol regulations seldom make any sense. Where I live, you can only buy beer in supermarkets. No wine, no liquor. What backwards, draconian land is this? NEW YORK CITY.

  13. "alcohol-free lane"

    huh? that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. is alcohol somehow more difficult to ring up than other items? well, apparently everyone in any line had alcohol since no one was using that line...cheers to that!

  14. Seriously... people say "on line?" You people talk funny. (And this from a Canadian. Take heed.)

    Secondly, maybe the "alcohol-free" lane refers to people who haven't already been consuming the alcohol? It ought to read "Sober lane".

  15. I was with everyone else in thinking "Alcohol-Free Lane" - WTF?!? But then I remembered that every time I go to the grocery store and buy some wine, the kid that's checking me out (well, my groceries, not physically checking ME out, or at least I sure hope not!) has to call his manager over to stick her key into the register and push a button (very complicated stuff). They make any cashier that's under 18 do this at our Giant. They don't trust them to look at people's IDs on their own I guess. So this causes a hold up for everyone else in line and blah blah blah...

    Still. I think if there's going to be a No Booze line there should be, as TB said, a Booze ONLY line. It's only fair.

    Also: my boyfriend says "on line" and the first time I heard him say it I told him that "online" is internet related. He doesn't give a shit and continues to say it that way.

  16. Umm, Bloody Marys.

    On Long Island where I grew up, it's common to hear people say "on line" (pronounced "on loin"), as in "Oy was standing awn loin at the Seven-Eleven and..."

    But it's wrong. It's in line.

  17. The Mormons have all the perks. ;p

  18. Oh it sounds like a NY supermarket--the no celery part, not the alcohol part since no alcohol can be sold in supermarkets here. Seriously, we've gone to supermarkets that were out of yogurt, bananas, organic milk (!) and every manner of fresh herb. Nothing like having to hit six different supermarkets just to make omelets for visiting relatives.

    Just catching up on blogs now and so happy to be back here. I missed you, lady!