"Awesome!" A Blog.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Final Thoughts on my vacation to Kauai.

Grocery Stores

My wife is not fond of mayonnaise. Via some bit of genetic betrayal she has no taste for the stuff, health concerns aside. Hence, she always asks for sandwiches withouth this tangy ambrosia, mustard in its stead.

Our big plan on a lovely Kauai Saturday was to pick up some deli sandwiches and make a picnic on a lonesome stretch of beach. Spying a Safeway grocery off the side of the highway, we pulled in and drained a few off the debit card, procuring a couple deli-made six inchers, a cold Grolsch and some Tom’s of Maine Salt & Vinegar.

Having only a handful of items we made for the Express Lane, which naturally took a good fifteen minutes while what I will generously describe as an “old lady” tried to fill out an application for a Safeway Discount Club Member’s Card, all to no avail. Time and again she would write her first name in the area for the last name, or her PO Box number where the telephone number went, or accidentally underline “FOR STORE USE ONLY” rather than check “From Safeway Employee” when attempting to indicate how she had heard of the Safeway Discount Club Member’s Card. The checker, operating sans lobe, repeatedly abandoned customers who presented perfectly flawless displays of product in order to assist the failing would-be patron who had just given herself the cryptic nom de plume “PO Box 798.”

When we were finally on deck, a crotchety mother-daugher combo with cold cuts, milk, and coffee beans was presented with the opportunity to apply for a Safeway Discount Club Member’s Card, which by this point I had quietly opined should be applied for outside of anything called an “Express” lane. The women declined the offer several times, I think once in between each item that was scanned. At the conclusion of item-scanning the checker, whose face was made of fattened meat and soup-skin eyes, asked if the women would like to apply for a Safeway Discount Club Member’s Card. They curtly declined the offer, at which point the checker, in all seriousness, explained that if they filled out the application they could receive discounts on future purchases.

Not twenty-five minutes later we were strolling out of the store, picnic in hand. (The trick to our speedy checkout was that I already had a Safeway Discount Club Member’s Card, the presentation of which caused the clerk to genuinely beam.)

We got to the picturesque beach. Waves crashing, expanses of lonely sand, reels of filmic potential, the whole postcard. Unwrapping and tucking in revealed that the wife’s sandwich had a thick slick of mayonnaise on each half and no mustard, which was clearly Safeway’s way of applying the opposite of the condiments she had requested. She hated it and made a complicated job of eviscerating the fillings with a knife and fork. My sandwich, loosely Italian in theme, had been spread with that leaden sort of herby cheese which college seniors offer in small plastic tubs alongside upscale crackers and Safeway Discount Club wines during “parties.” Although no great fan of this “Atkins” diet which is going around, I mainly ate the cured meat fillings off of the Tom’s of Maine salt & vinegar chips, rather than the deadbelly bread, which had begun to give off a few unctuous lipids of its own in the direct sunlight.

We did have many good times on the island, apart from this. Top drawer were Lemongrass and Pacific Cafe in Kapaa, Brick Oven Pizza in Kalaheo, and Tomkats in old Koloa town. Bottom drawer brown star goes to the Subway where the woman who makes your sandwiches wears no gloves and has warts all up and down her arms and hands. "boo"