In more innocent times, a trip to the grocery store yielded gently humorous vignettes: mutterings about the obstinate shopping cart wheel, a child grinning with obvious dribbling evidence of a few juicy grapes snatched from the produce department.
In the less innocent days of April, in the year of our Lord 2010, such amusement cedes its characteristic wonder and power to discomfort.
“Cleanup on aisle three.”
A mop and bucket wheeled squeakily and purposefully are less a remedy than an underscore of futility.
It’s not what’s broken. It’s who’s broke.
You see in the market under the harsh flourescence people with worried focus –or perhaps sad determination, wrinkled coupons in hand, and carts semi-laden with inexpensive, processed and soul-less foods labeled with promise of instant heartiness and savor. The shoppers pause and compare, move and dart, reflect, as they hunt and gather the cheapest foods.
The cart with the bad wheel no longer has power to evoke half-hearted curses.
Greater worries abide here on aisle three.