Coffee heat rising

Shopping in the Age of Covid

Dunno whether it’s old age, the effects of the present ailment, or what: these days a Costco junket with a side trip to Home Depot is demoralizing and exhausting. Made what I expected to be a quick trip to Costco to pick up the new reading glasses, figuring also to grab a few items on the accruing Costco List.

First though, I had to wait for Gerardo & Crew to show up to prune several large trees than grew amok over the summer, and so… Before I could get out the door for the shopping project, one of my two clotheslines broke when I hung up a freshly laundered bedsheet. Can’t complain about that: it’s been ten years since I installed them, and I do use them once or twice a week. But dayum! So now I needed to buy some new clothesline rope.

Costco wasn’t even very crowded. But…a-a-a-z-z-z usual the store abounded with nitwits who get in front of you, trundle along in the center of the aisle so you can’t get around them, and take their sweet time. One lady was saved from a looming homicide by the extreme cuteness and charm of the two kids she had with her…otherwise, the world would be short one road-hog by now…

Been needing to buy a new set of sheets for quite some time. Mine are still fine, but they’re getting old…and it was one of those sheets that got thrown on the ground when the clothesline snapped, thereby reminding me that I really should splurge for an extra set. Just in case.

Seventy bucks for a set of Costco’s not-quite-fanciest 100% cotton queen-size sheets!

Even more for the sweaty uncomfortable synthetic blend sheets: eighty bucks for one brand and ninety for another. Jeez, guys…rayon’s not actually made of gold…

Anyway, that about doubled the cost of that junket.

Of course, Costco does not carry small items like clothesline rope. (You expected a bear?) So to get that, I had to stop at Home Depot on the way home.

The place was almost empty. How they stay open escapes me. Personally, I’ve come to truly hate shopping there. If I can order it through Amazon, I will. But I really didn’t want to wait a day or three to do the laundry, so decided to zip in and grab a skein of the stuff.

Every time I go in there, I’m reminded of how much I hate hate hate computer checkout stands. HD has now pretty much eliminated all their human checkout clerks, except for one hapless lady in the garden department. To get the clothesline rope, you have to hike all the way to aisle 18 — which is damn near to the fencing departmenttrudge up aisle 18 halfway to the back of the store, search up and down till you find the stuff shelved down near the floor, then turn around and hike all the way back to the garden department to find a living, breathing check-out clerk.

Really. There’s a Target and a Dollar Store just down the road from Costco. I should have gone into one of those places to get the damn clothesline. Or done what I originally thought to do: Order. It. From. Amazon!!!

Further annoyance awaited: As part of my covid-avoidance strategy, I wash every damn piece of produce in Dawn detergent and wipe down every damn plastic bottle & package with disinfectant before bringing it in the kitchen.

This is what we had to do when we lived in Arabia, on the shore of the Persian Gulf. And every time I repeat this “new”routine, I think my poor mother! What must she have thought when she first learned she would be spending the next ten years with this kinda routine? Then I think, Goddamnit, we’re living in a frikkin’ Third-World country today. When we came back to the states in the late 1950s, no American ever dreamt of submerging every bit of produce in skin-searing detergent before you could put it away. Or, as my mother had to do once or twice every week of the ten years we spent overseas, dipping every piece in Clorox. Because, whoop-de-doo, we were a First-World country!

But moving on.

Finally ensconced in the house with the garage door shut behind me, I felt dirty…like a dusting of viruses no doubt had settled upon my clothes as I trudged through those vast, warehousey stores. So decided to throw what I had on into the washer, along with the rest of the colored clothes. This added a load of laundry to be hung up to dry (on the rack in the garage) to the tasks of cleansing the day’s purchases and cooking dinner.

In short order, Ruby comes tearing out through the garage and shoots out the side door in a screaming frenzy: ARF ARF GRRRRROWWWWLLL ARF ARF ARF GRRRRR ARFETY ARF ARRRRFFF! Some alien force is operating in the alley!!!!!

Cripes. Now there I yam in my lady BVDs, having just shucked off my jeans, shirt, & socks and thrown them in the wash. Chase the dog to the back fence, sneak up, peer over the wall… Two guys are out there digging up one of the fire-hydrant-size Cox gadgets that sits in the alley.

Poor fellas. They have a couple of shovels that they’re pounding away with. That dirt out there has been packed down with a steam-roller. It’s about the consistency of concrete. Periodically they (or someone) knocks the Internet connection off line…so it’s anyone’s guess whether this grutch will go online today.

{sigh} Really should get up and stretch a length of that clothesline out there. But that will entail dragging the ladder around from the far side of the house, through the swimming-pool gate, and then dragging it back. To say nothing of climbing on it. The hapless sheet has gone through the dryer and is now put away. The new sheets can wait for another day for their first laundering. It’s four in the afternoon… Feels like it’s about 9 p.m., and I sure wish it were because what I’d like right now is to go back to bed and sleep straight through to the usual wake-up hour, 3 ayem.

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