First off, the gym was open on Monday, and they're getting ready to re-open the new and improved group exercise room (with new floor and painted trim and such!), so I went in to do a little helping out. I washed the dust from the flooring off of the walls and cleaned the mirrors and helped move equipment back in for the exercise classes to use on Tuesday. And as a thank you, the gym bought me lunch. So yes, I went to the gym to clean and eat a turkey bacon club, but not to work out. It felt a little bit like opposite day, but who am I to turn down a free lunch?
Then yesterday, Mom called and asked if ZB and I could do a little grocery shopping for her. See, her church prepares grocery bags full of goodies for all the students who are part of the college ministry, and they were shooting to fill 1000 grocery bags. And Mom was helping to organize them. So yesterday she calls me up and says, "Hey, can you go pick up some groceries for the college students and bring them to the church?" and I was like "Sure! What do you need me to get?" And she was like, "50 bags of chips, 50 boxes of assorted cheese and peanut-butter crackers and as many cases of Cup of Soup as you can fit into your car". And I was like, "Hahaha! No really." And she was like, "Really".
Which is how I found myself pushing two carts through walmart...one completely loaded with nothing but bags of chips and the other filled with 50 boxes of crackers and 20 cases (that's 240 cups!) of Instant Cup O Soup. (One woman passed me while I was tossing bags of chips into the cart by the handful and with a totally straight face she quipped, "Salt craving, eh?" And I was like "Yeah, but my doctor can't figure out why my sodium levels are so high"). It was really wild. ZB, however, thought the entire enterprise was the greatest fun. I let her down out of the cart (there wasn't room for her in there anyway) to help me pull chips and crackers off of the bottom row. Her job was to pull peanut butter crackers off and stack them in the floor, and then I would take her stacks, count the boxes and put them in the cart. She was very helpful, (which is what every one and a half year old wants to be). The only problem was that she didn't want to stop. She pulled stuff off the bottom row of every aisle we passed. "Floor cleaner? College students need that! Marshmallows! Check! Navy beans? Cat food? Size 4 Huggies Overnight Diapers? Check! Check! Check!
I was hoping that when I got to the checkout I could just go, "50 bags of chips, 20 cases of soup and 50 boxes of crackers" and be done with it, but alas. Apparently it is Walmart protocol that you have to pull everything out of the buggy and have it scanned by the cashier. EVERYTHING. So 50 bags of chips came out of the cart, went beep! 50 times as they were scanned, and then 50 bags right back into the buggy (I declined the 50 plastic bags to bag them). Then the same with the soup, and then again with the crackers. And it's a good thing that I'm being reimbursed for this, because if Tony saw a $300 grocery bill for chips, crackers and soup, he'd have a stroke. (Well, he might be okay with all of the chips, but the rest...)
I wish I had thought to take a picture of the grocery carts, but I had my hands full with a squirming ZB who now wanted to throw all the chips OUT of the cart and play again! I did take a picture of the stuff once I got it into the back of my SUV because you could literally swim though that much food if you had a mind to, and to be honest, the thought of all those chips still blows me away. Of course, that was nothing compared to getting it over to the church and seeing 1000 grocery bags full of chips and cookies and granola bars and peanut butter and ramen noodles (oh the Ramen! Cases and cases and cases of freeze-dried noodles piled up to the ceiling!) Those college students are going to eat like kings! Sodium-filled, stroke-waiting-to-happen kings! Still, it's a good ministry, and the college students always appreciate it, and it was fun being able to help them out.
(Lest you think that we are destroying the local college student population by filling them with fatty, salt-laden snacks, know that there are healthy foods in the bags too. My part of the list just happened to be the tasty salty section, hence what you see here. Next year, if I happen to get the apples and All Bran part of the list, I'll be sure to show that on here also).
Edited to add: Well I was all impressed with my 50 bags of chips until ZB and I went back over today to help and witnessed a Ford Fusion packed with 200 bags of chips. Now THAT was something to be seen. There was just one little bubble of space for the driver and the rest was filled with chips. This is going to drive the chip manufacturers forecasting programs wild.