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Updated: Oct 1, 2020

It was truly another one of those “seemed like a good idea at the time” concepts.

On the surface, heading to the grocery store at 7 AM for Seniors Only access had multiple benefits with no real downside.

Other than dragging my sorry keister out of bed at 5:45AM.

And in preparation, an extensive list of items needed to survive a 2 week lockdown was prepped the night before.

Unlike the lovely Arlene whose idea of a list is a 9x12 sheet of paper with the words Go Shopping on it – I tend to be a tad more OCD.

Meat, eggs, bread, air casts, Prozac – the usual.

At about 2AM my inner sense of dread jarred me from the land of nod with a disturbing scenario.

To minimize time spent and possible exposure to the great unwashed at 7AM – did I really know where the various products were located within the bowels of Super Duper Mart?

Running the layout of the store through the few alert brain cells on duty at that hour – I decided at around 4AM I’d be okay and hit the pillow for another hour and a half.

At precisely 5:45 my bride turns on the bedside light.

Which has about the same candlepower as a landing light from a Boeing 737 which come to think of it – is probably one of the items I acquired at the charity auction a few years back.

I’m awake.

Recalling the 2AM thoughts, I re-do the list on a 17 x 11 sheet with a diagram of the store as I recall it, listing the items against the corresponding aisles I believe they should be located on.

That way – I can probably get in and out within a few minutes and minimize contact with the human race.

I arrive in the parking lot at 6:45 to beat the rush.

There’s no one there.

Which is a good thing unless I misread the opening hours.

With 2 minutes before scheduled opening I see movement from within and begin to suit up for battle.




Battery operated 4 way hazard flashers.

And of course- the diagrammatic 11 x 17 list.

I hit the 1st aisle at a brisk clip – lo and behold – nobody else inside and my list is working for me.

Swing right to the next aisle.

Whoops – it’s a one way and even though I only plan on going 1 way – it’s a no-go.

The next aisle is blocked by someone stocking shelves so it’s now a 5 aisle detour to backtrack to aisle 2.

Halfway down the aisle – I spot an item – not on the list mind you – but I might need it at some point midway through the apocalypse.

Back to aisle 2 – I need 1 pound of sugar but all they have on the shelf are 50 lb. bags.

The cart’s getting heavy and I’ve only got the 1st 5 of 20 items scored.

Aisle 3 is still blocked, aisle 4 is 1 way, I’ve already been down aisle 5 and so it’s over to aisle 6 for toilet paper.


They’re out although they do have an ample supply of biodegradable 24 x 18 waste bags on sale.

Rounding the corner to aisle 7 I look to the list for what I need.

Crap – the list is gone – it’s probably back on aisle 2 in between a couple of 50 lb. bags of sugar.

I’m starting to sweat and while images of COVID enter the subconscious, I need to remind myself that I’m a septuagenarian now rapidly pushing a cart that weighs more than my sports car down narrow corridors without my trusty list while decked out like a member of a SWAT team.

I forge on looking a lot I suspect like a contestant in the “3 minute all you can load into the cart” shopping spree.

I need coffee.

I’m in the coffee aisle and they’ve got a 2 for 1 sale.

On each of decaf and chicory substitute.

I get the decaf and a large bottle of JOLT – how bad can it be and they’re both half price.

Three more items jump into the cart and I head for the cash.

I’m the only one there.

I’m ecstatic.

Right up until the moment I can’t find my wallet.

As it turns out it’s in the 5th pocket under 3 additional layers of garb.

After 2 hours of unloading, wiping down, and trying to figure out where I’m going to put all this booty, I come to the realization that I’ve procured about half the stuff I needed and spent just slightly less than the Federal Government’s Emergency Relief budget for the privilege of doing so.

I was considering heading back over to Super Duper to hunt down my list to figure out where I went wrong but I think on the next go-around I’ll just “do-the-aisles” with my cell phone turned on and have my lovely bride read the list out to me from a remote location.

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