Friday, September 19, 2014


My daughter lives an hour and a half too far away from me, making easy-breezy Mommy and Me dates somewhat difficult.  But yesterday, we managed to make and keep a date and we met halfway. We had a wonderful lunch and a tiny bit of shopping together before she had to drive away in time to collect her girls from school.  I had the luxury of time that the years since I have had to do same, have afforded me, so I went to the nice supermarket and picked up a few items before my return trip.

It is important to understand that we met up in a shopping plaza that is located in one of the nicest towns along the South Shore in between Boston and Cape Cod.  If you live in one of these towns, it is presumed that you are on the higher end of the median income scale, that you are bright and probably well-educated so my tiny diatribe is based upon those very assumptions.

Cookies.  I have to confess. I love them. I am the original "Cookie Monster".They are the one thing in life that I find very, very difficult to resist.  They are the nemesis of many a failed attempt at losing weight.  If only there were a real, bonafide, cookie diet, I would buy the franchise (oh, think of all the wholesale product!). Of course, I'm partial to fresh-baked, but I'll also sell a baby for bakery-baked and if they have any vestige of chocolate on top, inside, or sprinkled around, I'd sell my entire family.
So, here I was in this store, standing before a gigantic assortment of beauties. Little bags were tucked into little cubbies underneath the clear plastic bins, each holding a different variety of the same species.  All one has to do is grab a little piece of waxed paper, reach into a bin, and plop a cookie into a bag.  One. By. One. Or, you can grab a handful of your favorite, mix and match them.  They are sold by the pound, weighed at the cash register as you check out.

Been a healthcare professional for forty seven years. Know about cross contamination.  Know that hands are one of the biggest of the vectors. So are sneezes. Store knows same. Bins have doors that cover the precious product. Wax paper grabbers are in good supply, easy to find. It does not take the I.Q. of the average person who can afford to shop at this store to figure it all out. The cookies are $10.99 per pound.......

Along comes a normal looking woman, one who seems to be a local resident of this affluent community. One of the above-mentioned set. Up to the cookie display. Opens the cookie door. Reaches in, grabs........................with her bare hands.................a cookie and opens another door and does same. Plops them into a bag, one that she got from the cubbie adjacent to the waxed paper cubbie, both clearly marked, an off she went, leaving me and the cookie-employee behind to grouse.

"Did you see that?" I said.
"Yes, I see it all the time here" he said.
"People are really stupid, aren't they?" I said.
"They made us install those covers so that the kids wouldn't reach in there" he said.
"The kids?" I said.
"Yeah, it's not the kids that were doing the reaching and grabbing. It was the adults. Reaching in, grabbing, and handing the kid a cookie to eat, right there. If they'd have asked me, I would have given the kid a cookie" he said.
"People are stupid and hygiene is a lost art" I said.

So, I carefully selected three cookies, avoiding those that I had just decided were not worth the risk had that woman come to the cookie display straight from the ladies room, and I headed to the check out with the rest of my groceries. The thoughts of stupid people still filled my head. (it takes me a while to get over some things). My groceries pass the hands of the checker outter, a nice young man, and as he's about to complete my order he asks:

"M'am, would you like me to pack your cookies or hold them out so that you can snack on them when you leave?"

To which I said with a little fake giggle....."Oh, goodness no. Thank you. You can put them in with the other things. I'm not going to do that"

Those beauties never made it out of the parking lot.

I guess people really are smart in that community. Or, have all those hours of watching Sesame Street with my kids taken their toll(house)? Do I look like Cookie Monster?  Maybe.

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