Searching for Tortillas

“The time is now 10:50 PM. Fred Meyer will be closing in ten minutes. Please make your way towards one of our checkout stands.”

I heard the woman’s polite sounding voice come over the intercom, but I still had one item on my list, and I wasn’t leaving till I found it: low carb tortillas.

I had no idea how elusive those dang low carb tortillas would be.

Fred Meyer is my preferred grocery store. Not that I believe it’s any better than the Albertson’s or Safeway, each of which are located a few blocks away. No, the reason I shop at Fred Meyer is because I know my way around. I can walk right to the 1% milk, applesauce, and string cheese. And, with a little thought, I’m likely to locate the jars of jet-puffed marshmallow.

“The time is now 10:55 PM. Fred Meyer will be closing in five minutes. Please bring your groceries to one of our open checkout stands.”

Normally there’s a massive shelf full of tortillas near the back of the store, not far from the meat section. I checked there first and had no luck. I made my way over the Mexican food section, but only found boxes of hard shell tortillas. Why is Fred Meyer playing musical chairs with the soft tortillas?

As I wandered past the the magazine stand I was immediately distracted. A few minutes spent browsing through exotic cars and cameras I can’t afford is time well spent. I space out, imagine I won the lottery, and enjoy the moment until I realize I’m wandering Fred Meyer in my workout clothes.

What I need is an iPhone app that, with the guidance of GPS, shows me exactly where I can find items on my list. Stores would certainly nix this idea because they know a lost shopper is the best shopper. I’ll bet a third of the items in my cart tonight were added while searching for the tortillas.

As I made my way towards the next available checker, I walked past an end cap FULL OF TORTILLAS! I spent a few minutes taking it all in. I’d never noticed the tomato and basil ones before. I wonder if these ones made with spinach are any good? Aha! There’s the low carb ones on the top shelf.

And suddenly lights begin flickering off behind me. I stepped out into the middle aisle and didn’t see a soul. Dang, what time is it?

I begin making my way towards the front of the store. When I get there I still don’t see anyone except a woman standing behind the service counter. She looks at me, grabs the intercom, looks at me again and says, “Fred Meyer is closed. We’ll be open at 6 am tomorrow.”

I wanted to approach her and explain that it wasn’t my fault someone moved the tortillas.

I pulled out my iPhone and was shocked to see 11:10 pm glowing back at me. I was expecting the intercom lady to grab her mic again and announce, “Hey loser in the baggy shorts and basketball shoes, we closed ten minutes ago so take your game outside.”

At least once a year I read an article about about a senior citizen who spends the night in a Walmart after getting disoriented in the shower curtains, and nobody notices until morning.

I hope that’s not me in twenty years.

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