Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Shopping with Madness

There is madness and it scratches at the back of my skull. The voices are shrill and deep, both unpleasant and both often speak of coffee and scissors. I’ve become accustomed to their presence and constant bickering. Sometimes they are quiet and pleasant, but mostly they are loud and demanding. One even finds it necessary to sing off key Queen Songs with the lyrics all wrong.

A name for this you ask? I have no name for the madness, it is most likely just me or at the very least versions of me. I avoid speaking or addressing the voices directly as that would likely list me among the mad and insane. Instead I speak in hushed tones and whispers while I rummage through my refrigerator, explaining that scissors would not be needed to pour a glass of ice tea. Though truthfully I’m not all together convinced a pair wouldn’t be needed.

My days proceed like a funeral procession, quietly trudging. A mix of rebuke and restraint is constantly fighting the voice in my head, the ones begging to be set free upon anyone who happens upon my path. As happened recently upon my weekly visit to my local grocers.

“Cheese, I need cheese.” The madness says while I stand in the produce section of my local grocers. I can’t think of any reason I would need cheese this day, but it isn’t out of the question that cheese might in fact be exactly the solution to a quandary that hypothetically could occur in some version of the very near future. I push the weight of my shining chrome shopping cart forward, propelling the cage containing many items I’m sure I had not placed there but are now next to the can of green beans I planned to have as part of my dinner.




Oddly both the shrill and thunderously deep voice were in agreement that cheese was a necessity for my very survival. With a dire matter such as cheese I acquiesce to their demands and head directly to the cheese department. Suddenly fear grips my heart as I am confronted with an elderly man wearing an old cabby hat standing in front of the small cheese counter. The very counter that I’m sure holds the key to my survival, according to the voices at least.

I muster as much restraint as I can against the voices of madness. I watch the man pick up a block of cheese giving it a squeeze then placing it back down. Then repeat the process several times over.

“Save the cheese!” the voice screams in a Freddy Mercury falsetto.

“Toss the old codger aside, he is defiling our cheese!” The low toned voice rumbled powerful as a thunderstorm forcing me to shut my eyes to contain the booming voice.

With the voices screaming for me to save the cheese by tossing aside the old gaffer I struggle with the madness. Did the old man deserve to be cajoled and forced aside for grave offenses to cheese? Likely the gentleman was deciding which cheese would best accompany the wine he would undoubtedly be serving at this evening’s poetry reading. An event that would culminate in the gentleman being awarded a lifetime cheese and wine award, for having such dedication to his craft of fine cheese pairing I have no doubt.

I am suddenly awash in a powerful urge to push aside the elderly gentleman and grab all the gouda I could carry run straight home and bathe in a tub full of gloriously fragrant cheese! As exciting as this might sound to both you and I there is a rational part of me that exercised great restraint in containing both of the voices and their emotional prodding to abandon my cart of items accompanying the green beans. Somehow I found an inner strength to refrain from elderly abuse and what some might consider an act of the insane, by which of course I mean running out of the store without paying for the cheese.

To my own astonishment I resist and restrain the voices, I  quietly mumbling to them that a cheese bath in gouda is not the best use of the cheese as it would likely gum up the scissors that would be required in the bath. Unhappy with me I hear the voices argue with each other about how to better persuade me next time. Which if you were wondering, sounds very much like a bass trombone bleating while nails are drug along a chalkboard. I smile watching the older gentleman choose a pale cheese wheel and place it gingerly in his small basket he happen to be carrying on his arm, giving the cheese a satisfied pat as he placed it in the basket.

I move in front of the cheese counter looking on with hungry lust for perfect cheese. Behind the counter I am completely ignorant of the fresh faced young lady whom I assume was offering to assist with choosing a cheese. In my own defense I had good reason for not noticing the girl’s attempt to ply her trade, I was greatly distracted by a sudden musical off key demand.


Given the enormity of the demand I am startled and abandon the cheese counter rushing away to find steel wool that obviously is of great importance, even greater than that of cheese to bath with. Unfortunately for me as I approach the shelves containing the steel wool I am blocked by a motorized cart. A cart that is being swallowed by the remnants of what the madness tells me is an evolutionary oddity. A cross of both human and unshaped gelatin that was perhaps once used in a Jello commercial sat upon the motorized machine. I stood terrified by its awesome ability to absorb solid matter in such a way as to not illicit concern from those who are not informed as to what terrible creatures roam the earth.

“God damn it, where’s Ahab?” rumbles the deep voice.   

Trying to ignore the demands that rumble through my cerebral cortex I peruse the laundry detergents just to my right.

“Spring fresh with oxygen cleaner” One detergent states. I of course realize that oxygen on the label is false advertising as the oxygen that cleans is that contained in the water that sloshes about your dirty skivvies. In reality it would simply need to say “Spring Fresh with Cleaner” on its bottle. Though a small disclaimer should be affixed to the bottle that states the persons responsible for the cleaner may or may not be in fact named Spring Fresh. Luckily the strange jellofish person machine thing has now moved away from the item I desperately need.

Delightfully the tune of Don’t Lose Your Head began in my head as I pick up the rubber gloves I desperately needed according to the mad voices and head for the register happy with my choices of not attacking the gentleman at the cheese counter or calling for Captain Ahab for the monstrous creature that was eating the human cart machine thing…..


Shit…. I need a coffee.