Lost in the Supermarket: My First 100 Days


Well isn’t this just great? It’s been 100 days, and I’m still lost inside of this supermarket, looking for the second half of my shopping list. I know I passed the frozen foods when I first walked in, but of course I was going to get those last so that they don’t thaw out. And it’s a good thing, too, because it’s been 100 days I’ve been wandering around this mart and I am all turned around!


I don’t know what’s weirder: the ever-changing floorplan, the fact that I haven’t slept at all this entire time, or the fact that no one, neither employee nor co-customer seems to recognize me, even after 100 days of wandering around this same Super Saver Plus!


Yesterday the canned greens were across the aisle from the bike pumps, and today, the bike pumps are shelved right next to the baby formula. The stocking guy, Toddrick, has directed me to the baked beans 15 times since Tuesday, always pointing due east (I started using my smartphone compass to make sure, because who actually uses those things, right?) but due east is never the same. Ten minutes ago it was hardware, yesterday it cycled every hour between greeting cards, crafts, and fresh seafood, and when I first walked in, it was closed off for renovations!


On the bright side, my two weeks spent in home and garden is over, and I am never going back to that section! The octagonal walking stone that I’m going to paint “Live, Laugh, Love” on to hang over my hearth was not worth the fortnight spent traversing hedge mazes, drooping petunias (not to be confused with the band, Droopin’ Petuniaz), and Klein, the overbearing garden assistant. If I never see another cob of birdseed again, it will be too soon, I tell you what!


I’ve checked out over 30 times, but always seem to get turned around again before I reach the exit. Maybe it’s the sweet stench of the freshly-corned corned beef at the deli, or the promising whir of the personal drone camera demo back in electronics, but every time I think I’m out, Super Saver Plus just sucks me right back in.


Someone on the outside must be looking out for me, though, because my bank account is refreshed with funds after each purchase, which was especially helpful once I had to buy a new pair of walking shoes after busting clear through the fronts of the pair I walked in wearing.


Peggy in auto has checked the back for air fresheners for me at least twice, and last time I tried to follow her in, I ended up on the Lego aisle. The bread and grains section must be at least two square miles, and I still couldn’t find any Mrs. Baird’s French Top Toastin’ Loaf.


As much as I’ve enjoyed my time here at the Super Saver Plus, my disorientation is really starting to sink in, and I’ve got deadlines to meet back at the office. The Customer Service desk hasn’t been exceptionally helpful as the snakes in robes which staff it can never agree on which direction to point me. I’ve settled for just playing it cool and pretending that the 75 cans of sweetened condensed milk is “all I really came in for anyway” and trying to just find the exit. My officemates will understand if I don’t return with the sparkler candles for Nathan’s Fiftieth Millennium Ascent.


Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts in my first 100 days of being lost in this store. I’ll do my best to get out as soon as I can, and if you need any sweetened condensed milk, I know a guy.


This article was written by Kevin Harrington-Bain, who will never get out in time. Follow him for more on Twitter @kkevinb.

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