Short Story: Grocery Day

Mark grabbed a cup of coffee and skimmed Facebook. He wasn’t sure why he read it. He definitely wasn’t going to say amen about some sick kid he didn’t know.

He poured a bowl of cereal and grabbed the milk out of the fridge. He took the cap off and realized immediately he wasn’t having cereal today. The smell was so bad. He just bought the jug, but sometimes that’s how it was. Probably sat out somewhere and spoiled before I bought it. Fucking lazy assholes.

He’d have to make another shopping trip.

Fucking hell. Might as well get this shit over with.

The drive across town took longer than it should. But it always did. Fucking old people shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

He whipped into the parking lot and almost slammed into some fucking douchebag. Mark rolled down his window and yelled, “I’m parking here asshole!”

He backed his car into the parking space. Sure it was pointed in the wrong direction now, but it would be a bit easier to see when he pulled out. He’d be headed down the lane backward, but he’d be fine as long as there weren’t any morons in the parking lot.

Mark walked in the door and there were kids running and screaming. Why won’t these people control these little shits? And why does the milk have to be all the way in the back of the store?

Oh, and of course, this woman has to walk so slow. What is this, the fucking scenic route? And she’s taking up the whole aisle.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” he said loudly. “Some of us have places to be.”

The look on the elderly woman’s face was pure disgust, but she moved out of the way.

He finally managed to make it to the milk and hustled back to the front of the store.

Why are there never any lines open? And they move so slow it might as well be the DMV.

The line was stretched out into the middle of the store. And somehow, even though she was moving so slow earlier, I end up right behind that slow ass from before. She probably came over here right away to get in my way. Oh, and what the fuck, she has coupons.

Jesus boner-fucking Christ. This is going to take all day.

“Ma’am, I’ve only got this milk,” Mark said in a sweet voice. “Would you mind if I just hop in front of you?”

“Yes,” she said disdainfully. “I would mind.”

She turned back to her coupons. The line moved up a bit as someone at the front finished, but the woman stayed in place. And when someone else joined the queue after Mark, the old woman waved at them and told them they could go ahead of her.

They didn’t even spare Mark a glance and moved to their new place in line.

It seemed like hours passed, but finally, Mark managed to get his milk. The woman had let so many people in front of her it took forever.

He stepped outside and walked down the row towards his car.

A horn honked, and Mark leaped out of the way.

“What the hell are you doing backing into a parking place?!” Mark shouted. “Learn to drive!”

Fucking assholes.

Mark got into his car and drove home.

He always looked at Facebook in the mornings, but it just seemed so stupid. A bunch of people lying about how good their life is. A bunch of people falling for scams and fake news. Mark sipped his coffee and scrolled.

When he finished his coffee, he grabbed a bowl and poured himself some cereal. At least he had a brand new jug of milk.

It was sour.

What the actual fuck!? It was that damn woman’s fault for making me stand in line so long. Jesus everloving Christ. I can’t believe I’m gonna have to go through that shit again.

He wove through traffic and sped as best he could. He just wanted to be done with it all. If they would deliver groceries to his house he’d do it that way. But for some reason, even though his neighbor could get grocery delivery, Mark was outside of the delivery range.

He drove through the stop sign in the grocery store parking lot without slowing. Everyone knows you don’t have to stop at those things. You just make more problems if you do.

He spotted two empty parking spaces right near the front, so he parked in the middle so no one would hit his Porsche.

Oh god, not these people.

An elderly couple, on wheelchair carts, blocked most of the entrance. They stopped for a moment and talked to another customer. Oh my fucking god!

“What is this, a fucking funny car convention? Get out of the damn way. Please.”

They didn’t hurry, but eventually, Mark managed to squeeze by and make his way to the back of the store.

The milk cooler was empty.

Mark looked around and found an employee. “Could you check and see if there is any milk in the back? And make it quick, I’m in a hurry.”

“Sure thing, sir,” the kid said as he walked to the back, playing on his cellphone.

A few minutes later, he reappeared. “Is this what you wanted?”

He held up a carton to Mark.

“No, you idiot! That’s buttermilk. Just plain milk. A gallon or half. I don’t care if it’s regular, organic, or even lactose-free. I just want some fucking milk.”

“Okay, no problem.”

Another long wait culminated in the acquisition of a half gallon of skim milk. The worst of the milks. Except buttermilk obviously. But that’s not milk. That’s cow vomit.

The line at the front of the store went pretty smooth for a change. Mark got to the cashier in only a minute or two. He hadn’t seen her before. He would have definitely remembered.

“Hey, what time do you get off?” Mark asked the girl.

“I’m 17, grandpa,” the girl said as she swiped his milk.

“I’m only 35.”

“I’m still not interested. And it’s still not legal.”

“So when’s your birthday?”

She rolled her eyes as he inserted his credit card. God, I hate fucking chip cards. Why does it take longer than swiping?

Not happening,” she said.

“I just want to play an important role at your wedding,” Mark said with a cocky grin on his face.

“Sorry, my granddad will already be there.”

His payment was declined.

“No, there’s no way,” Mark said. “I drive a fucking Porsche. There’s money in my bank account. Let me run it again.”

The cashier obliged, and Mark reinserted his card.

It declined his payment again.

“Fucking hell. Let me call my bank right quick.”

“Maybe you need to sell your Porsche,” the cashier said.

Mark didn’t pay her any attention as he was busy listening to the menu options. He pressed zero to talk to a representative. And then he got the dreaded message, “We are experiencing higher than average call volume. Your estimated wait time is…one hour.”

“How is it higher than average?! It’s always this way! This is average wait time you stupid fucking machine!”

The girl behind the register gave Mark a look and gestured with her eyebrows that maybe he should leave.

He didn’t disagree. Fucking slut.

He’d have to drive to the bank and sort out his account issues. It would be quicker than dealing with this phone system.

He was going to have to come back to the store.

Mark clicked like on the hot blondes selfie. She was showing a bit more cleavage than normal, how could he not like it? He changed his mind and switched it to love instead.

He poured a bowl of cereal and then threw it across the room, scattering pieces all over the kitchen. Give the Roomba something to do. Fucking robots taking our jobs.

He still didn’t have any milk.

He was going to have to make another trip to the store.

He grabbed his keys and headed outside to his Porsche.

The fucking thing wouldn’t start.

WHAT THE FUCK

Mark saw an article titled “How Millenials are killing the Clickbait Industry” and clicked it. It turned out to be just one of those articles full of ads.

He didn’t even try to pour any cereal. It had taken all day for them to get the car fixed. He had tried getting an Uber but he couldn’t seem to find a driver. His rating was 3 out of 5, so he couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t pick him up. 2.5 is average, right? So 3 is better than average. People are so fucking stupid.

Traffic was backed up pretty bad on the way to the store. Probably some woman trying to drive.

All he wanted was a bowl of cereal. He normally ate cereal every day but it had been a while now. Was it really too much to ask?

He sat in traffic for what seemed like hours. An outside observer would note that it had been more like 10 minutes.

This shit is getting ridiculous.

It was like that movie with Bill Murray, Groundhog Day. Every day was the same thing. Well, almost the same thing.

Wait, what if this is fucking Groundhog Day? How did Bill Murray get out of that shit? Something with a modified photon torpedo? No that was something else.

Oh! He had to act like a better person and improve himself.

Shit, I’m screwed then.

Can’t get better if you’re already perfect.

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