Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Rafting the Styx

Most of us, given prior warning, would avoid any situation hat would place us in harm's way. The same holds true for those instances that would pose complications to our daily routines. Of course there are those, such as soldiers, the police and firefighters who do not have that option. However, there are times that we find ourselves in those difficult positions without warning.
~ I found myself in such a spot just last week. Working in the field of elderly services, one of the jobs I do is to go shopping for those who are unable to do so for themselves. It was while on one of those shopping errands that I was in one of those so-called super super markets. It just so happened that day was senior citizens day. Glancing at the store's sales flyer, I was dismayed to see several of the items on my list were at greatly reduced prices. Not that the client didn't deserve a break on her grocery bill, but because of the ordeal I would have to face.
~ Send me to a filthy apartment armed with only a rag and a bottle of Mr. Clean! Ask me to clean out a refrigerator full of what used to be food! Strap me in a chair and force me to listen to Michael Bolton! I would rather go rafting on the river Styx!
~ It is no fun, I tell you from experience, to try to secure a package of split chicken breasts at 39 cents a pound amid a sea of gray-haired warriors. Dodging a gauntlet of elbows and canes, I did manage score my prize. With the aid of my superior height, I was able to reach over the heads of the startled elderly ladies and snag one of the treasures.
~ I dreaded my next stop. Hopefully most of the senior ladies were distracted at the chicken display, and would assure me of little or no resistance in the soup aisle. Alas, it was not meant to be, for even there a skirmish was in progress. Although the signs clearly said there was a limit of twelve cans, several of the carts were loaded far in excess of that number. Woe to the checkout clerk who would try to enforce that limit! Kicking and gouging, they groveled with each other to get at the shelves. Their carts unattended, it took me only a minute to retrieve the five cans of chicken noodle soup I needed.
~ It might have been a little underhanded of me, but I am certain those five cans were not missed. In any event, I was clear of the battle field checking my list for the next item. Oh no! Bran Flakes were on sale, 3 for a dollar! As I was turning the corner into the cereal aisle, I took a deep breath to re-enforce my resolve. Incredibly there was no crowd! Wouldn't you know it, the sale was for the 17 ounce boxes. There were none left. The pirannah had picked them clean. Woe to me if I didn't make it a point to get a rain check for those Bran Flakes!
~ Since I am writing this blog, it is obvious that I survived that ordeal. Bruised and scarred, I escaped with my scalp and I will live to shop another day. I once suggested to a manager that they should consider not putting those sales items in the flyers on senior citizens day. Those who did shop that day would be surprised and would take advantage. I told him he should at least think about it, if for no other reason but that there would be less bloodshed.
~ Yes, I have fought in the wars. I have survived deadly sieges. I have managed to shop on senior citizens days and lived to talk about it. Yes, I have even walked away from rafting the Styx!

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