Month: April 2014

Joe Albertson’s Supermarket aka Willy Wonka




Image“We need to get milk. And bacon.”

That’s how it all started. We pulled into the Ave Pico San Clemente Albertson’s parking lot at 11:45 am. Milk and bacon. That’s all.

On the way into the store, I unhitched a shopping cart and my granddaughter grabbed the small world version, the “future Albertson’s customer” flagged device. As this is about what happened the Saturday before Easter, I”ll not go into what I think of the “Future Albertson’s Customer” diatribe.

Onward. I started down the produce aisle and noticed that Hayden and Zane were right behind me, their arms overflowing with plastic eggs.

“Put those back, right now.”

“The man said we could have them.”

“What man?” I looked around the produce department for the friendly staff person whom I didn’t think existed. None in sight. Just then, the loudspeaker sputtered to life.

“Attention Albertson’s shoppers. Welcome to our Annual Easter Hunt. On your mark, get set . . . “

I looked at my daughter. Not pleased. She just wanted to get back to the house. I looked at the other mothers and fathers, their carts overflowing with weekend staples. They just wanted to get home before the ice cream melted.

An Easter Bunny in a suit that was too tight, hopped out from behind the Coke display. I hoped the suit wouldn’t split.

Minutes went by. Children ran up one aisle and down another, giggling and screeching. It was fun to watch. For 60 seconds. Then, I remembered what a therapist had told me about seething.

“Attention Moms and Dads and Grandmas. The egg hunt will run for another five minutes. Be patient.”

There was an audible groan rising from the end caps as parents knew that five minutes could turn to 20 if we weren’t careful.

Scott, the manager, was having too much fun. Way too much fun.

“Attention Moms and Dads. And Grandmas. I have exciting news There are SIX GOLDEN EGGS hidden throughout the store. Each has a prize inside. These GOLDEN EGGS are for you, the parents, to find. On your mark . . . get set . . .”

I didn’t wait for GO. My daughter had already disappeared. I dashed back to the produce department. Children were abandoned throughout the store, holding their bags of eggs, no mommy daddy in sight. It was FIND THE GOLDEN TICKET. Nothing else mattered.

I found a golden egg. My daughter found another. The prizes were an Apple Brown Betty Pie plus enough chips and salsa to get us through one Sunday baseball game.

We walked into the house a little after 1:15 pm.

We forgot to buy the milk.