Slices of Life... Deer season - the hunt begins in aisle one
Every year during the first week in November, I try to stay out of the grocery store for about 48 hours beginning Wednesday evening and ending Friday around suppertime. If I don't remember, I should note the surplus of pickup trucks in the parkin...
Every year during the first week in November, I try to stay out of the grocery store for about 48 hours beginning Wednesday evening and ending Friday around suppertime. If I don't remember, I should note the surplus of pickup trucks in the parking lot, and immediately back away slowly from the F-150s.
Why? Three simple words: men in orange.
That's right, it's deer season and our guys are shopping. Look out! Danger lurks ahead in aisle five.
Unlike the bucks they're pursuing, our guys come in pairs. They wear glowing, carrot-colored stocking hats, enormous brown boots and mud-encrusted baggy jeans. They walk up and down the aisles sharing a cart, pointing out items and every so often stopping to admire and discuss.
But for their attire, they might be perceived very differently from their true, tough, testosterone-laden identities. If they knew this they'd shudder. Luckily, they are totally unaware of the spectacle they've become, and how out of place they seem anywhere other than possibly the meat section.
It's plain that these guys are well... unfamiliar with the likes of the produce aisle and frozen foods. They gawk and walk with the lingering pace of a doe munching on meadow grass, and spend far too much time lurking in front of the deli counter, every once in awhile stomping and pawing at the tiled floor with their hoof-like boots.
They are hunters on the prowl - for thin sliced turkey and smoked provolone cheese. And throw in some of that roast beef too, while you're at it.
They stock up on canned dinners laced with an abundance of sodium and traces of mystery meat. They throw bacon, eggs and donuts into their carts because everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
They huddle together and weigh their options: sour cream and onion or spicy hot barbecue -- why take a chance? You can never have too many chips. Someone points to a bag of Butterfingers. They go in the cart. Apples? Grab a few. After all, they keep the doctor away. And, when times are desperate, have been known to have the opposite effect on a deer, if you catch my drift.
These once-a-year shoppers choose only the best in name brands because generic is not on their list - especially when it comes to toilet paper. This is deer season and only the finest will do for those gourmet meals and other tasks that must be done out in the woods.
Like a frolicking fawn in a grocery store, they are out of place and prone to an occasional accident. Who decided that pickles should come in glass jars anyway? Clean up on aisle seven!
Did anyone see the mixed nuts? Where have you been? They're the ones wearing orange. Sorry, bad joke. Try aisle 12.
By the sheer magnitude of the contents in their carts, an observer might guess that these shoppers were stocking up for a month's worth of snacking. One man's month is a hunter's three-day weekend, but who's counting? Sitting silent and still in a deer stand burns up innumerable calories. Our orange-attired foragers need lots and lots of food.
They line up to check out, and it is the novice cashier who asks, "Any coupons today?" Real hunters don't clip coupons. The only paper that's in their wallets has the DNR logo on it with the words "License to Kill" in capital letters.
There's no denying that these guys are serious about their pursuits. As far as they are concerned, it doesn't matter if it's a 10-point buck in the scope or buckwheat pancakes scoped out in aisle 10. For them it is all about the hunt, and bagging their goods at the end of the day.
As they head to their pick-ups in the parking lot, they are gladiators, walking with the purpose of someone who has just finished one hunt, and is moving on to another. Good luck to them all.
Jill Pertler is a syndicated columnist and award winning freelance writer working with graphic designer Nikki Willgohs to provide writing and design and other marketing services to businesses and individuals. You can check out their Web site at http://marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/ or e-mail Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org .