The social consciousness comes from the relationship I have with the deli guys. Since I'm food boring, I get the same thing every time: 1/2lb. of honey ham and 1/4lb. of muenster. Problem is, the ham last 2 days and the cheese lasts 3. I just don't have the heart to ask the deli man for only 4 slices of muenster so I end up in the nightmare "10 hot dogs/8 hot dog buns"-ish scenerio. And I can't get 3/4lb. of ham because by Day 3, the ham is slightly over the hill. As a side note, the snaggle-toothed deli guy with the cap and slight abrasiveness has grabbed turkey when I said ham on 3 seperate occasions. A modern day Phineas Gage, perhaps?
But the fun doesn't end there. I also find the grochery store to be the best place for phone conversations. Not only do the flourescents keep me alert, but all the sauces/cereal/cleaning supplies/etc. make for great conversation pieces during lulls. It's just a myraid of word associations before your eyes (Jar of peppers-Julius Peppers-UNC-Petey Pablo-Pablo Diablo-Wyclef-Clef Palate-and so on). TV doesn't have the same charm because much of the tube involves listening or following moving images. Groceries are just sitting there. Plus I like to walk and talk, so what better pacing place than the aisles?
Finally, the check-out. After I get my ham, cheese, wheat bread, chicken, and cinnamon Quaker oatmeal, I'm all set for an experience that would make an environmentalist roll in his tree house. The stack of yellow plastic bags at the Gristedes cashier's disposal extends a good foot farther than any other supermarket I've ever been at. Remember in 10th grade sex education when the teacher taught you that using multiple condoms is actually counter-productive to preventing STDs? Well using 6 bags for 5 items is counter-productive to my grocery unloading and the world's survival. So recently I've resorted to bagging my own stuff (I know, god forbid), which involves quite a balancing act of shifting between hitting the card-swiping buttons, bagging, and exchanging awkward pleasantries. And that's my trip.