Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stocking Up at No Frills

There's a blizzard warning issued for tomorrow, so with Holly working, I was sent out to pick up some groceries for ourselves and her mother.  Her mom needs cat food.  Well, the cats need cat food and that trumps anything.

Since I hate crowded grocery stores - or crowds in general - I decided an early morning trip to be wisest.  This plan brought me to Drew and Jen's No Frills (it used to be Dave's, but I'm not sure what happened to Dave) around nine am, where, after loading the necessities (including some rather scary looking baby spinach that is supposed to be good until the 31st of the month, which sounded more like some highly wishful thinking given their sad, wilted look) into a Walmart cart to avoid having to fish for a quarter in seventeen below temperatures for a heavy duty No Frills cart, I maneuvered myself into the lineup at the only open checkout.

After a few moments I noticed we really weren't moving due to an older lady - sixtyish perhaps - at the front of the cash searching her pockets for some money to pay for her groceries.  Her longish graying hair was pulled back and tied into a ponytail, exposing the weathered skin on her face.  "How much do I need?" she asked the cashier, who had begun to look around for some assistance with her awareness of eyes from those in line looking for her to take control.

"The total is $9.59 and you have $4.77, so you need... just a second," and her focus shifted to her calculator.

The older lady, the calmest personality involved, gave me the impression of a stage actor a little bored of a too familiar role, continued to reach into pockets and glance alternately from her food to the amount displayed on the register.  After a few minutes, which seemed longer for everyone present, a lady about three customers back came forwards and asked the cashier if she could put the difference on her debit card.

At this point a rather managerial-looking man (Drew himself perhaps?) had come to the front of the store and picked up the phone and called for another cashier over the loudspeaker, for which he received thanks from the young cashier.

The older lady casually thanked the person paying for her groceries, tied her hood tightly over her head, placed the last of her food into her plastic bag and left.  By this time the line had thinned thanks to the other checkout being opened.  The lady who paid was paying for her own items now - a number of bags of Covered Bridge potato chips on sale for $2.50 per bag, quite a bargain for this local treat, prompting me to grab a bag for Holly and I - explaining that she only likes the sea salt and cracked pepper flavour.

After my items were rung through, the lines back to early morning quiet, the second cashier asked the other, "How much was she short today?"

Friday, January 3, 2014

Dog Sitting in Saint John

You may or may not know this, but Holly and I have a pet sitting service.  For pet sitting, the holidays are busy times and we've been doing an overnight stay with a German shepherd, a regular customer, since Boxing Day.

Here's a summary of the events through the dog's mind:

Day 1 - Yay, they're home! Woof, woof! I knew they wouldn't be gone long so soon after Christmas.  Woof!  Hey, what, aw it's that shifty guy again.  How long is he going to be around?  Where's the girl?  I like her.  Okay, I'm up for a good walk, but why is there so much ice over everything?

Day 5 - Finally, it's past six, about time you're up.  What's the matter, did my barking last night wake you?  You try being left alone in the kitchen with only a rubber ball for entertainment for the entire night.  It's hard to find good help these days.  Oh, by the way, there's a lot of that white stuff all over everything outside.  You don't plan on walking me far in that shit do you?

Day 6 - Here he comes.  Hey, what happened to you last night?  The girl and I watched a movie together.  You were tired?  What do you have to be tired about?  Try trudging through that white stuff with it up to your shoulders, then having you watch me while I take a dump.  Good dog, I'll show you a good dog.

Day 7 - It sure is getting cold.  What was all that gunfire-like noise coming from Uptown last night?  Why was I barking?  You kidding me?  I was pretty sure we were being invaded.  Fireworks?    Maybe they should plow the sidewalks so you're not tripping all over my ass on those crazy streets.

Day 8 - They're gone again.  She's gone. And she left me here in the kitchen again.  Where does she go at night?  It better not be to see Mr. Shifty.  That movie was good though.  Madeline Kahn cracks me up.  That's what holiday weather should be like. And just what do they mean by "dog smell?"  What was that?! Woof!  I don't see anything.  Damn, it's cold.  Woof!  I don't trust that plant in the sun room.  Woof! Woof!  Woof!  It keeps looking at me funny.  Yes, I ate my poop, don't judge me!  Woof! I miss the cats.  There's a lot of cats in this neighbourhood, but I miss them when they're not around.  Why don't they just stay indoors and stop complaining about the cold though?  Stop looking at me, plant!  Woof!  My stomach feels a little funny.  Where are my moms?  Is it morning yet?  Oh, God, it's still watching me.  Don't make eye contact.  I'll go back to the kitchen and bark there.  Woof!  I can still see it.  Why won't it stop looking at me?  I feel all funny - dizzy and I can't breathe.  Oh, God, I'm dying!  Breathe.  I heard about these on television, they're just panic attacks.  Calm down.  Gah! I can't stand it!  Grr! Woof! Grrr!  There, I hope you're happy!  I won't feel guilty, you can't make me.  I warned you, plant.  It's not my fault you had to be eliminated.  Finally, I here him coming.  I need to get out of here.  I will poop for you, Mr. Shifty!

Day 9 - Great.  She's gone and the the door to the sun room is blocked.  I only have the kitchen.  Just as well, the plant body is still in there.  And why were they taking photos?  I don't trust those two.  What do I do until morning?  What's that noise?  I can't even look out the window now!  Woof!  I can't even walk in the park because it's so freakin' cold and all that white shit hurts my feet.  My ball doesn't even bounce when Mr. Shifty throws it.  He is good at throwing my ball, I'll give him that.  Woof!  Was that a noise?  Let me look out the window, I'll be good, I promise.  My stomach doesn't feel so good.  Aren't plants supposed to be good for you?  When are my moms coming back?  They poisoned them, didn't they?!  I'm sorry, I'm really sorry, I'll be good!  Oh, God, they're going to take me back to that lady that took away my balls!  Oh, no.  No!  I'll be good!  I'm dying!  I can't breathe again.  Gah!  Grr!  Grrr!

Day 10 - Well, last night didn't go so well.  How embarrassing, I chewed up a good bed over nothing.  My moms are never coming back, are they?  Why is it so cold?  I'm not going for a walk in these conditions.  Cats are hibernating for Christ's sake!  Why are you so interested in my bathroom habits?  Fine, I'll poop, just let me out for a moment, but I'm not going for no walk.  FML.


We didn't get to see the reunion when his owners arrived home, but we're sure he's a whole lot happier and more relaxed.