Monday, October 16, 2006

But it was on the way home!

Okay. Lesson learned.

Just because it's on the way home from work - is no excuse for shopping at No Frills. Not if it's as dismal a crap-hole as this particular No Frills at Bristol Road and Creditview. Oh - by the way - there is no view of the Credit River from Creditview. None whatsoever. That's a myth I refuse to propagate.

However misguided, the No Frills is on the route home and I see it coming just as I realize I'm much too low on groceries to make a worthwhile dinner, so I pull in and park in their chewed-up debris-ridden parking lot.

Steak and salad appeals - and is compatible with the detubberization project.

The entrance door places you in the produce section which is a bit of an Alice-in-Wonderland experience. The mushrooms are lettuce-green in colour but the lettuce is mushroom-brown so at least there is balance in this alternate universe.

I choose some Portobello shrooms that don't look too bad. They're all undersized so I get three instead of two. I can find no baby spinach and no arugula so I resign myself to settle for the spring mix. The problem of course with spring mix is the gamble. It comes in a big clear tub which seems as though it will yield a great many servings but then you only get a couple days out of it before a few pieces suddenly turn zombie, becoming this sea-weedy black mushy slime. And then it's all over. It spreads like cancer and you're done for.

But at this No Frills there is no gamble. The longevity of their spring mix is clearly indicated and guaranteed. The little black zombies are already present in each tub for sale thus indicating that it will last precisely as long as it takes for you to drive it to your home and throw it in the garbage.

So I search through all the heads of lettuce instead and choose the one that is closest to lettuce-colour.

The red peppers are all shriveled up so despite the intriguing purplish discolorations, I pass. I don't even bother to inspect the green peppers. It occurs to me that the greenish-looking peppers might actually be red peppers gone wrong and the reddish ones might actually be green peppers for all I know - or perhaps they're just oversized raisins with reddish discolorations.

The goat cheese is all on the watery side for some reason but I'm impressed they even stock it so I take one. It's plain. They offer no pepper, dill or herb varieties of course. That's against their principles. Those snobby uppity types who eat goat cheese with dill and drink imported chardonnay are simply not welcome here.

It's like the old Sawmill Creek commercials from years ago when I used to watch TV: No pretentiousness! No attitude! Just really really horrid wine for nice simple people like you who don't know any better! - or something to that effect. I remember stopping at the liquor store once to pick up a couple bottles of decent wine to package as a birthday present for my friend. I spied a display of Sawmill Creek White Zinfandel on sale for $6 a bottle. The cheapest thing in the entire store but still overpriced in this case. I passed on that of course. At the party later my friend's next-door neighbor showed up. He was relatively new to the crowd and popular on account of being good-looking and on account of all my friends at that time being hopelessly incapable of detecting freaks and losers when they see them. I had long ago learned that professional freak-detectors like me must bite our tongues in these situations and allow our poor companions to clue in for themselves ever so gradually. The usual period is about nine months. Some things just can not be taught.

So anyway - Freak Neighbor showed up for the party toting a bottle of wine - non-wrapped and without a card. The wine was - anyone? Anyone? That's right. Sawmill Creek White Zinfandel. He proudly marched up to birthday boy and held the six-dollar investment up for they and the crowd to see and proudly announced that this was his favorite of all wines and that he's sure birthday boy will like it. The crowd tilted their heads and batted their eyelashes. There were very high contingents of straight girls and gay men in this crowd, you see. I just yawned and checked my calendar. The bozo had just a few months to go.

Back to the present. Enough Alice's adventures in produce land. I head for the meat. There's a large area of bare shelves in the meat section. Very strange. And sure enough - it is the steak section. They have the usual half-ass selection of pork and chicken products, a couple trays of cubed beef for stewing and one single steak. Just one. I kid you not. I scoop it up. It's a dismal $3 blade steak affair. I roll my eyes and put it back down. But wait. I pick it up again and hold it just the right distance from my eyes. Right at that sweet spot where I can still focus. My eyes have been deteriorating when I wasn't looking. My eyeglasses are losing effectiveness. I now observe that the steak actually looks nicely marbled. Perhaps it will do. I keep it. No Frills is now officially steak-less. I grab a quart of 10% cream for coffee and on a whim I cruise the nasal-burn aisle - you know what I mean, right? The nasal-burn aisle? The one that reeks of laundry detergent? And I'm delighted to discover that they carry replacement flushable pads for our Super Happy Fresh Brush. Excellent. Kudos to you, No Frills. I'd underestimated you.

Back in the parking lot I begin to cross from one aisle to the next by route of a pair of empty parking spaces end-to-end. But a gal in a pick-up truck wishes not to wait for me and pulls in from the opposite side. I stop, sigh and turn around to pursue another route. I can hear her running over and crushing glass bottles as she parks. I can't help but smile. I owe thanks to whatever gang of teenage boozers had been loitering here on the weekend.

I see the gal is now out of her truck and squatting, inspecting the broken glass beneath her tires. I keep having these experiences. No one who crosses me prospers! I am some kind of supernatural Karma Man. I need to get me some tights and big letter K for my chest. And a cape of course. I suppose an old towel will do.

Back home I cook the steak carefully to medium rare and use a little more Montreal steak spice and pepper than I would normally and I also add a little salt and melt a bit of butter over it. Measures I don't normally resort to. And though it pains me to confess - I must. The steak was actually pretty good. A bona fide bargain at $3. Thank you No Frills.

The cream however - was no bargain. I've been hoodwinked. I should have noticed that the blue colouring on the carton was a suspiciously lighter shade of blue. Or should I say tint? I finally discover that the boldface text reading 10% is actually part of a greater message reading Tastes like 10%! Way over in the corner in regular non-bold text is the label 5%.

Let me explain something in case anyone's confused.

Everything tastes like what it is. Apples taste like apples and oranges taste like oranges. 5% cream tastes like 5% cream and 10% like 10%! Never will one taste like the other! It's all ipso facto!

Get a life, Nielsen. You suck.

They don't even offer any explanation - BS or otherwise - on the carton as to how they supposedly pulled off this miracle of making one thing taste like another. Perhaps they're making lead taste like gold while they're at it. Morons.

I tell you folks. It's astonishing - the outrageousness of the lies that we hear constantly in this society. Constantly. Every day. Every minute. How are we so retardedly docile that priests, politicians, marketers and every ass hole wanting to make a buck can say whatever the hell they want without fear of consequence?

Three cheers for the misinformation age. Three cheers for freedom of speech. Accountability? What's that? No cheers for you, accountability. Why are you even in the dictionary?

How are we such unthinking sheep? How are we seduced into playing this game? Just drifting along fulfilling all our societal expectations without question.

Or is it that we all know about the bullshit but we're happier to play the game? That fighting it will only yield frustration and misery? Maybe that's it. Happiness trumps misery any day, I concede. Maybe you're right and I'm wrong. Maybe I should shut up about it. But I can't. I need the truth. I gotta have it. It's a drug for me. It really is. It's why I write.

Oh dear. I've turned a nice fun little No Frills bashing session into a terrible rant. I'm sorry. I shall stop now. Or as Galadriel said:

I shall diminish, and go into the West, and remain Fantasy Writer Guy!


Anonymous said...

LMFAO. She did NOT say that you silly goose!

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

LOL. Okay, but she did say, "I shall diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel."

If you're stealing someone's quote you have to switch their name for yours or else it'll make no sense!

I figured that was a given!

Anonymous said...

I knew that YOU SILLY GOOSE, but you've just ruined my know it all feeling at the same time. Wahhh!