...and it is called Save-A-Lot.
I have gone through the town of Paris, Illinois many times over the past year. It's a small town in central Illinois, about 15 miles from the Indiana state line. On the main drag through town, there is the local grocery, a Save-A-Lot store. Beside it is another building, which for the past year has had the windows boarded up, spray painted with the words "Coming Soon Paris China Buffet". Last week, the plywood had been replaced with a bright neon side reading "open", so I got some egg drop soup to go. It was pretty good and the buffet looked yummy, so tonight I decided I would stop and eat the buffet for dinner and do some grocery shopping all at once.
The buffet was pretty good, after sampling a little bit of every thing I ate a lot of Crab Rangoon and fresh mushrooms in teriyaki sauce. I and my cat will be paying for this dearly later tonight in the limited confines of our abode. The lady appears to run the place is an attractive Asian woman in her late-30's with an incredbile smile. She had been there the time before, on her perch behind the counter at the entrance like she was now. I have to admit, I've become quite smitten with her. I'm sure I'll be stopping more regularly just for that smile if nothing else.
I usually keep a small ration of foods in my truck. pop tarts, turkery and cheese, and bread. This is the staple of my diet and keeps me from spending a ton of money in restaurants while on the road. I wasn't expecting much of the Save-A-Lot, but I thought I would be able to pick up these items quickly and save myself an extra stop down the road.
It has been a loooong time since I've been in a Save-A-Lot.
It is no more than 6 aisles, tops. Made largely from cardboard carton displays stacked on top of one another with the goods inside. Ringing the entire area are the refrigerated/freezer units. I managed to find the turkey right off and discovered I had passed the cheese and went back fo it, then spied the bread on roller racks sitting in the far corner. I then hunted down the aisle with the cereals and, lo and behold - no pop tarts. There were toaster treats. There were perfect pastries. But there were no goddamn pop tarts. Not to sound like a snob, but there are some things that only the brand name will do. Brand name peanut butters, brand name sodas, brand name macaroni and cheese, brand name mayonnaise, and goddamn Kellogg's Pop Tarts.. These are things you just don't go for the bargain brand on.
Bewildered and dejected I made my way to the check out lane where I paid for my items Admittedly, $9.98 for two loaves of bread, a pound of turkey slices, two 16 slice process cheese packages, and 2 bags of Blow Pops (they were in the impulse buy table beside me in checkout, whatchya gonna do?) is a pretty good deal. But I would've gladly given $20 for all of that amd 3 boxes of Pop Tarts. After paying the girl at the register I noticed that she hadn't bagged any of my items. In fact, there were no bags. I noticed some rather large plastic shoppig bags on the table where the Blow Pops were and grabbed one, shoving all of my things down inside it so I could get out of the way of the guy behind me in line. I was presuming that the extra few minutes they saved by not bagging my groceries were a crucial link in bringing those rock bottom prices directly to me.
As I started to walk away, the girl said something to me but I didn't hear what she said, so I asked her to repeat herself. She was informing me that it was $0.11 for the bag and had already rung it up on the register. Adding dumbfounded to bewildered, it seemed like it took me an eternity of pocket digging with my mouth agape before I got out of that nightmare.
I walked back to the truck fuming, past the windows of the China Buffet. The Asian lady was in her usual spot, waiting to greet customers as they walked in. She looked at me through the window and smiled.
The halls smell like piss
The rooms are under lit
Still it must be nice
You're such a perfect fit
What's that I hear?
The sound of marching feet?
It has a strange allure
It has a strange... allure
Stay just as far from me, as me from you
Make sure that you are sure of everything I do
'Cause I'm not not not not not not not not your academy
Maybe you're right
I shouldn't judge
What's wrong or right
This is too much
I'm not judging you I'm judging me
My academy. Your academy.