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Attention Shoppers! There are Zombies in the Cookie Aisle

by Laura on October 28th, 2013

I use Grammerly’s plagiarism checker because … glaring typos attract zombies.* (Happy Halloween Week!)

photo credit: “Happy Halloween” by digitalart,

Lots of people have been asking about my trip to Maryland, how I viewed America, have I changed?

It was strange and familiar, bittersweet and frustrating. Long enough, and it went by too fast. My perspective has changed in ways I didn’t expect.

I admit, I was looking forward going to a huge grocery store. I dreamed of the plethora of options, the quiet anonymity, and the clean, wide aisles … none of which are ‘things’ in Serbia. There’s a kind of one-of-each mentality, everyone knows you, and woe to any overly large or wide person trying to navigate, especially when it’s crowded.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the little convenience mart in my blok. I go every day, on foot. Prices are the same as grocery stores. My kids rarely go with me, they have other stuff to do.

So, while in Maryland, we went to a huge grocery store. And by huge, I mean, humongous. And that was where I found the zombies.

Up and down the 30-meter-long super-wide aisles, pushing an extra-super-big shopping cart, I thought at the very least, my kids would be impressed.

Look! Fifty different types of apples!

Every type of vegetable which is not really in season is available!

Wow! There are perfectly shaped, firm peppers, in all sorts of colors! Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to spend $3 for ONE day-glow orange pepper. Yea!

Over there! Fifty types of cookies!

Just as I was about to regale them with the fact that we could choose among chocolate chip cookies, soft chocolate chip cookies, extra soft chocolate chip cookies, double chocolate chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookies in snack bags, snack-size chocolate chip cookies in large bags, snack-size chocolate chip cookies in snack-size bags packed in a larger package and then wrapped in plastic …

That was that I finally noticed the zombies.

There next to us right there in the aisle. Four people just staring. Two looked like they had just come from working all day. And now, there they were, wasting their lives away. Swaying back-and-forth in an undead rhythm, eyes glazed over, shoulders listless. Looking for the perfect cookie, among a thousand choices.

They’re more colorful than the zombies in the store, by far. Photo credit: “Standing Group Of People” by ddpavumba,

Geez, how much time did I used to spend in the grocery store? Not to mention how much money!

I never before realized I was this zombie. The variety of choices made me pickier, in fact. More willing to stare blankly, figuring out which pack was the best.

Reality was yelling in my ear stepped in. Startled, I shook off my impending stupefaction as I noticed my kids had started a game of “Who can climb in and out of the shopping cart faster,” forgetting that capsizing the damn thing is a real possibility. <—— yep, that happened, with a full cart-load.

I skipped the cookies and headed for the check-out.

Of course, we weren’t able to escape unscathed. In complete American-style fear-of-liability, my son got scolded for playing with his toy on the floor, as someone in the near-empty store might trip over the small car.

Good times.

At least my son, “helping” by pushing the cart “by mySELF, Momma!,” didn’t crash into any zombies on the way out.

*  *  *

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From → Expat Mommy

  1. The cities are full of Zombies!
    I saw a sidewalk full of them all in a row walking in unison, heads down, texting. No one even looked up as they crossed the road.
    I wanted to scream out at them. Tell them to look at the red maple leaves falling, the reflections in the puddles, smell the aroma from the bakery and talk for heavens sake…talk to the person beside you or at the very least..look them in the eye and smile.
    We are being taken over I'm afraid.
    That's why I like living on an Island where people are still people.

  2. Anne Dennis permalink

    50 kinds of cookies to distract you from the abomination that calls itself Congress!

  3. Lavender Luz permalink

    I had never thought of the zombie aspect, but yes. After our 2 year stint overseas, I was zombified by the number of choices in every grocery aisle.

    And years later, I probably still am.

  4. Ha ha ha! I love this post. Hilarious. And true. <3

  5. Lil lost mink permalink

    I thought I was the only one who thought I was a freak when you say hello to someone or excuse me in the grocery store and they look at you like you spoke in alien language.( fear of a better discription). Yes smiles and greetings have gone by the wayside!! But I refuse to give up my common curtesy though I might not be the norm. I’ve also tried it at rock concerts people do still move over if you say excuse me. There is HOPE!!

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