The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 3, 2014

Mike Pound: Beer run turns into full-fledged shopping trip

The smart thing would have been to keep quiet and just walk out the door.

I know that now.

But the thing is, I’ve never been one to do the smart thing. If I have two choices and one of them is the smart thing and one of them is the moronic thing, I’m going to pick the moronic thing darn near every time.

Let’s say I’m traveling on an unfamiliar road and realize I’m low on gas, so I get off at the first exit I come to. Here’s what my decision-making process sounds like:

“Let’s see ... turn left toward what looks like a town, or turn right and follow the sign that says, ‘Vast Empty Wasteland, 5 miles.’ What should I do? I know, I’ll turn right.”

On Saturday afternoon, when I was leaving our house to pick up some beer and a loaf of rye party bread, I should have just hopped in the car and taken off. Instead, I mentioned to my wife and our 16-year-old daughter, Emma, what I was going to do.

It was one of those things that — the instant you say it — you know is a mistake, and you actually use your hands to try to force the words back into your mouth before anyone hears them.

That never works, by the way.

“You’re going to the large, 24-hour retail store?” my wife and Emma both asked.

“I didn’t say that,” I said.

“But you are going out?” my wife and Emma asked.

I wanted to say that I wasn’t going out, but I wanted to get beer. The party rye was just to have on hand in case I wanted to make my famous party rye, sausage and cheese mini-pizzas. So I fessed up and told my wife and Emma that I was indeed going out.

“Good,” Emma said. “I’ll text you a list of what I need.”

“Good,” my wife said. “I’ll write down a list of what I need on the back of this old envelope.”

My wife is having trouble navigating the 21st century.

About 30 minutes later, I got into the car with a shopping list that had gone from “beer and bread” to “beer, bread, avocados, onions, lettuce, mushrooms, strawberries, two different kind of rolls, yogurt, chocolate chip muffins, freezer bags, onion powder, mustard, thyme, garlic, cheese crackers and some sort of tanning lotion.”

Is it any wonder a grown man yells?

When I got to the parking lot of the large, 24-hour retail store in our town, I had to park approximately three miles away.

I took that to be a bad sign.

When I walked into the store, I noticed a long line in every open checkout lane. I also noticed that the lines weren’t moving very fast. I’m pretty sure the security lines at Sunday’s Super Bowl moved faster than the checkout lines at this store.

I grabbed a cart and tried to wheel it toward the produce aisle, but my way was blocked by two people who decided to park their carts and catch up on the past 20 years. Muttering bad words under my breath, I took the long way around the long-lost friends and made my way over to the lettuce. But, standing in front of the lettuce was a man — about my age — who apparently had never seen lettuce before. He just stood there and stared at the lettuce like a caveman staring at a neon sign. Muttering more bad words, I turned around and got some avocados. When I turned back around, the caveman was still staring at the neon sign.

And that was the best part of my trip.

After about an hour, I slowly pushed my cart out to my car. I unloaded all of the plastic bags into the back of my car and drove home.

I was halfway home when I realized something: I had forgotten to get beer and bread.

I’m surprised you couldn’t hear me yell.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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