Have you ever sung along to the music in the grocery store? Maybe you hum quietly to yourself, but when the chorus hits you just can’t hold back. Something wells up inside of you, and you find yourself singing along with anyone from Justin Bieber to Kermit the Frog. Songs that would normally repulse you suddenly seem catchy and cute.
Maybe you bust a little dance move while nobody’s watching. You may even frighten yourself when you realize you just channeled Michael Jackson while reaching for the Hamburger Helper. You need to ask yourself why the stores play music in the first place. It is a cleverly designed ruse, a distraction engineered to put you in a good mood so you’ll buy sugary cereals and baked goods with high fructose corn syrup. You can tell by the choice of music.
If they really wanted to get rid of you in a hurry, they would blast the heavy metal. Then you would run in and out of the store, trying to buy the items on your list before your eardrums rupture. Instead they lull you with songs like “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King. Next thing you know you’re thinking about cute, furry lion cubs and loading your cart with superfluous comfort food.
Sing in your car and sing in your shower, but please don’t sing in the aisles. At least keep it to a low hum. If you watch the expert shoppers, you will notice they resist the urge to sing along to the greatest hits of Air Supply. No distractions for these people, for they need their heads clear to make difficult decisions, such as when to buy organic foods.
Throwing organic foods into the mix has really made shopping far more challenging. It has doubled the amount of time it takes to buy groceries, as your conscience battles the decision between organic versus pesticide-laden foods. The big decision used to be paper or plastic. Now as you stand there reading labels, it all boils down to poop or poison, take your pick. Do you want a food that was grown in manure and costs ten times more, or the food that is cheap but kills lab rats in 3.5 seconds? Do we pay the price of a Honda Civic for an apple, or do we buy the apple that might as well have been bathed in the Honda’s exhaust?
Stores are also now loaded with genetically modified food. Is the tomato larger than your head? Do you have to ask for assistance to load the tomato into your cart? Does the tomato seem too perfect, the supermodel of the fruit display?
It’s a little scary that people are playing Dr. Frankenstein with our food. Imagine the poor little tomato awaiting its fate in a dark laboratory. In walks Dr. Frankenstein and his hunchback assistant, wheeling a cart full of assorted vials and sharp needles. Lightning flashes as they hunch over to operate on the fruit. (I don’t know why there’s always lightning in these situations, but there is a rule somewhere that laboratories have to be creepy.) Anyway, the light is just enough to reveal tomato juice squirting all over their white lab coats. The doctor does not fret, however, as he knows he will receive a discount for laundry detergent when he supplies the monster tomatoes to his local Piggly Wiggly. He screams, “It’s alive! It’s alive!” as he admires the freaky creation that’s eventually going to end up in your dinner salad.
The food industry has left us with impossible decisions, and you will have to let your conscience be your guide. But if you happen to see a scary looking dude in a lab coat delivering produce to your store, run for your life.
Tune in next week to experience an unforgettable ride down the cereal aisle…