Observations From the Express Lane Redux

empty_shopping_cart.jpgBack in the heyday of Life of Ando, say, the mid-aughts, I used to do a regular little feature, if you can call it that, on strange purchase observations at the grocery/drug store checkout line.  In the intervening lean blogging years I made a few observations I wish I’d shared with the fine readers of LoA, dwindled as their numbers may have been.  The only I remember was a gnarly looking old biker buying a lot of chili and a lot of prunes.

Like a lot of things around here, Observations From the Express Lane is getting a thourough dusting off.  And so I hereby present to you, the latest in what hopefully will be a continuing tradition.

When:  Today

Where:  Safeway

Who:  Me

What:  Three 12-packs Diet Mountain Dew, one 12-pack regular Mountain Dew, one package braunschweiger, one large bottle distilled white vinegar.

(Previous observations)


Observations From The Express Lane: Autobiography

More than once here on the Life of Ando I’ve relayed my observations on odd item combinations at the local grocery checkout stand.  Well, tonight I have to report on my own purchases and how they must have looked to my fellow checkout-line mates.

When:  Tonight

Where:  Safeway

Who:  Me

What:  Three jars turkey and rice baby food, one box Life cereal, largest jug of liquid dishwasher detergent available, lemon scent

(Previous observations)

Observations From the Express Lane and Other Nonesense

empty_shopping_cart.jpgWhen:  A couple weeks ago on a Friday evening

Where:  Longs Drugs (again)

Who:  older woman, probably early sixties

What:  One box Orville Redenbackers Smart Pop microwave popcorn, two large jugs Seagram’s rum.

Looks like someones got one wild Friday night planned.

(Previous observations)


  • What would I do for a Klondike bar?
  • Fine print I recently read on an Allstate Insurance TV ad, “Not available in every state.”
  • Horatio Sans what?  Thinness?
  • Why is it that things that are hard turn soft when they go stale, and things that are soft turn hard?
  • Why do people continue to write checks at the grocery store?
  • Does any one care whether or not an unwitnessed tree falling in the woods makes a sound?
  • I don’t care what anybody else says, sour cream is disgusting.
  • You know what’s not disgusting?  Fajitas.
  • I think Pat Sajak may be an elf or a sprite or something.
  • Prediction:  the Internet will become a huge hit one day.  But not in our lifetime.
  • None of the other five varieties of Mt. Dew can touch the original.
  • For the record the other five are Code Red, Livewire, Pitch Black, Game Fuel, and Baja Blast (only available at Taco Bell).
  • Yes, that was from memory.
  • Vladimir Guerrero is awesome and a bargain at $14 million a year.
  • Prediction:  All those nifty CFL lightbulbs that are all the rage right now, will cause major panic in the next five to ten years when they all burn out and start filling up landfills with deadly mercury. 
  • I have nothing left to say.

More Contemplations from the Express Lane

empty_shopping_cart.jpgMore comntemplations? When where there any? Right here, many moons ago. I seem to ponder in the grocery queue, so maybe this will become a regular thing. Or maybe not.

There’s a line in A Christmas Story that goes like this:

Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man.

You don’t here things like this so much anymore. At least I don’t. In the 40’s and 50’s people were devoted to their favorite brand of whatever. You can keep your Hershey’s syrup, Mac. The Winchesters are an Ovaltine family. Or Heya Chick-a-dee, what are you doing with that Lux detergent? Only Borax is fit for our clothes washing machine device. People aren’t like this anymore. At least not that I notice. I mention this because I’ve discovered that I am a 100% Safeway man. Safeway is my grocer of choice. The people are friendly, I know where everything is, they have buy one, get one free sales all the time, what’s not to love?  I didn’t really know I was such a Safeway entusiast until my last trip into Albertsons the other day.

To the untrained eye, Albertsons may appear to be the superior supermarket.  They have those cool self-checkout registers and every standard checkout is equipped with it’s own TV!  Sounds pretty sweet, right?  Wrong!  Do you know why they have to have cool self-checkout registers and TV’s on all the others?  Because they have the slowest checkers in all the land.  It’s not just that they don’t open enough registers, because they don’t, but all the checkers move at the speed of an elderly British couple on a stroll through the park on holiday.   Plus the joint smells like fish all the time.  Not just near the fish department, but everywhere.  How does this happen?  You know what Safeway smells like?  Fresh baked bread.  And at Safeway, the workers will drop whatever they’re doing and help you find the pimento loaf if you ask them.  Just the other day I saw a hardworking Safeway employee help a woman find what she was looking for all while carrying a giant box of pineapples.  Pineapples!  Just incredible.  Everyone knows that everyone who works at Albertsons is an ex-con or a reject from a different grocery store.  Its obvious.  Ok, maybe that isn’t true, but Albertsons really needs to reconsider its business model.

On a semi-related note, do you ever notice the odd combinations of things people buy at the express lane?  The other day the lady behind he was buying butter, batteries, and vodka.  Other times I’ve seen Cool Whip, Ritz crackers, and a head of lettuce.  Or ice cream, a can of olives, an extension cord, a box of Oreos, and a Cosmo.  Next time you’re in the express lane and the lines moving slower than you would like, instead of ogling the fashion mags, take a look at what others are buying.  It helps to pass the time.