Question: What’s the hot ticket for something to do on the Monday night of a holiday weekend? Answer: Go to the neighborhood grocery store!

I learned tonight that hanging out at the grocery store at the aforementioned time is totally the place to be. If I was to judge by the number of cars I saw in the parking lot when I arrived there around 7:15 pm, I’d say the place is more popular than most of the clubs in downtown Albuquerque. It was a spectacle the likes of which I’ve never before seen.

  • The parking lot was packed. Angry couch potatoes in Sport Utility Vehicles circled the lot, vulture-like in their quest for a spot as close to the grocery entrance as possible. Woe to the pedestrian or shopping cart that gets in their way.
  • A few stragglers loitered at the grocery store entrance, awaiting their posse of fellow food-lovers. Lucky for them, though, there’s no cover charge.
  • An unusually large throng of people tried to enter the store at exactly the same time. And those darn two-person-wide doorways just couldn’t let them all through at once.
  • So many people milled about the produce section and cereal aisle that it was impossible to get through. Those little hand-held baskets wield virtually no influence on anyone when trying to squeeze through to the other side of the aisle.
  • The self-checkout lanes had a five-minute wait to them. And the guy behind me kept humming through his teeth to show his impatience, which was pretty damn annoying.