Hunters and Grocer-ers

Posted on May 15, 2012


The spoils of the hunt.

While in most regards living in the city has been an evolutionarily big step forward for me, I feel that there is one instance in which it has tied me to my primordial ancestors who did not have access to such modern marvels like Blu-Ray players, paper towels or the wheel. This instance is the process of urban grocery shopping.

Suburban shopping is fairly straight-forward — you get in your car, drive to the store, buy whatever items you need, put them in your car and drive home. But I’ve learned that urban grocery shopping sans car has required me to tap into a special well of knowledge mainly utilized by my hunting and gathering ilk of yore.

City shopping requires more planning without the space and power of an automobile. Like the cave men, I have to be careful about the tools I pick out when I go on the hunt. In my significantly hairier ancestors’ case, they probably would be wise to bring along some manner of club and spear. In my 21st-century procurement of goods, I’m better served by my two canvas bags and a backpack. Hunters past and present are leaving small carbon footprints.

After making the perilous trek to the hunting ground — 3,000 years ago it was probably some watering hole of congregating bison; today it’s down the street to Jewel — we hunters have to size up our prey. The ice-age residents undoubtedly spotted some young or ailing buffalo slightly separated from the pack, easy to pluck off. I’m on the lookout for the more elusive last pack of $3.99 Jewel-brand toilet paper.

After making the kill, we’re often faced with the most difficult decision of all — how much we can actually carry back to our dwelling. Any player of the Oregon Trail can tell you that one shouldn’t simply kill all the buffalo you can because you can only carry 200 pounds of meat back to the wagon. Like any young hunter worth his salt, I’ve pushed the limits of how many frozen pizzas and 6-packs of beer I can safely carry without stopping for fear of overexertion on the journey home. Leaving anything behind would be like leaving the best parts of the beast to rot (and what idiot would leave Good Island 312 behind in the store?).

The path back home isn’t always an easy one either. Like the cave men, I’ve also faced harsh elements on my way back, once even having to balance a backpack, two bags of groceries in one hand and an umbrella in the other. Rest assured, I made a rough drawing of such a task on my apartment walls when I returned.

I’m still refining my method, but there’s one piece of technology I need to purchase that would make my fire-starting ancestors green with envy. If only they could be here to see me in the near future toting my frozen pizzas around on a granny cart.

Posted in: Lakeview