Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quality Control

For those of you that have been reading this blog for longer than 13 days, you know that I have admitted to being:
  • borderline OCD/ADHD
  • just-shy-of-a-control freak
  • excessively anal
  • Type A to a fault
  • not quite a perfectionist
  • slightly demanding
  • fashionably challenged
  • occasionally passive/aggressive (Wait a second, maybe I haven't admitted this one yet. But if you have a problem with that, then I just won't talk to you for awhile.)
  • a tad judgmental and sometimes even critical
One thing that I'm not, though, is picky -- I just want things the way I want them, and that is for things to not suck. And when I mean things, I mean tangible items that I've went out of my way to purchase with money that could have been used to purchase other items that didn't suck. And normally I'm pretty good about avoiding the bruised apples and the white t-shirt with the lipstick stain still hanging on the rack, but over the last few days, my luck with certain products has not been so good.

Yummy, furry strawberries! I know that there are some people that do the majority of their grocery shopping at Costco, but I try to limit my warehouse purchases to carbs, chips, soap, potstickers, bacon, salami, salad, canned tuna, Craisins, Wheat Thins, frozen ravioli, granola bars, towels, popsicles, Vitamin Water, tilapia, and the entire produce section, especially berries.

The upside of buying berries at Costco is that you get a shit load of berries for not that much money. The downside of buying berries, especially strawberries, in a container that could double as checkable luggage is that you can only really see the berries that are on the surface, unable to see the ticking time bomb lurking in the middle.

Last week, I brought home what I thought was a perfect container of red, shiny, juicy, fragrant strawberries. I looked forward to berries in my yogurt, strawberry shortcake and maybe even strawberry daiquiris. So when I opened the lid the day after purchase to find what looked like seven generations of gray hamsters living in the middle of the container, my hopes of shortcake disappeared and the sight of moldy berries caused twinges of nausea that felt a lot like a daiquiri-induced hangover, without ever actually getting to consume the drink.

Pissed off and still craving strawberries, I dropped the hunk of mold into the garbage, went to a grocery store that sold food in quantities suitable for a normal-sized human and noticed that quarts of strawberries were on sale for $1.99! Score! I'll take two! Two quarts of strawberries for under $4! Well, technically if you counted the massive amount of red-tinted mold that was now in my garbage, these berries ended up costing $9, so score! Two quarts of berries for $9!

And I thought I was flat! Since I end up spending several hours at some form of tennis activity each day and don't want to be either A) poor, or; B) on a first-name basis with the employees at Subway, I always pack a cooler with sandwiches, fruit and something to drink (that may or may not resemble a flask). And to save even more money, I always bring my own 24-oz. Diet Coke (that may or may not end up having some Captain added to it at some point). Now I don't know about you, but for me the sound, that pffftthhhsssshhhthht that I hear when I initially twist off the cap, is like auditory crack, especially if I've just ran a few miles, taken a shower, am kid-free for a few precious minutes and about to open a fresh bag of chips.

This was the case on Monday, except for some reason I was craving my Diet Coke even more than usual. So imagine my state of shock when I pulled the ice cold bottle out of my cooler, twisted the top, and heard...nothing. I twisted it shut again, just to see if I was caught in a nightmare, and then opened it again. Nothing. I looked at the bottle in search of bubbles and saw...nothing. It looked like cold coffee. My palms got sweaty, my tongue felt heavy and I felt like I was going to cry. What the hell? Who's been fucking with my Diet Coke! Kick my dog, throw toilet paper in my trees, key my car, but DON'T MESS WITH MY DIET COKE GODDAMIT!

Oh, wait. They sell Diet Coke at the cafe in the club for $2. Never mind.

Real Mangled. Sometime around the middle of each month, I happily yank new issues of all my magazines from the mailbox, go through the process of removing the dozens of pain in the ass inserts and perfume strips, and then stack them next to my side of the bed so that I can read them two, maybe three pages at a time each night before my head starts bob bob bobbing and I pass out from exhaustion.

Normally, these magazines arrive unharmed and with their covers intact, which is always a surprise to me considering all of the equipment they have to pass through before they are delivered. There was this one time, though, that the "Newsweek" arrived with a corner of the cover ripped off, which didn't bother me but must have bothered our carrier because he was kind enough to put it in a plastic sleeve and include an "Oops, sorry for the destruction of your mail! We'll try harder next time" note. I thought this was a bit excessive, but whatever.

So when I pulled my new issue of "Real Simple" out of the mailbox, I was a little surprised to not find a "sorry we mangled your mail" note since, in my opinion, this seems to represent just a tad more destruction than a missing corner. What do you think...

I don't know if you can tell from the pictures, but it's like the entire magazine was sucked into a Little Tikes wood chipper, bent in half, chewed on by a teething hyena, used for bow and arrow target practice, and then stuck in my mailbox. Initially I was pissed, but then the optimist in me took over and I figured it would eventually end up looking a lot worse than this after it had been rolled up a few times and used to swat a kid on the head. So after deciding what the hell I'll just deal with it I opened it up to do my required routine of removing all of the inserts and perfume samples.

And I shit you not, this is the page I opened to:

Since when did "Real Simple" start running such naggy ads customized for each of it's subscribers? And why do they think I need to be reminded that the drinking age is 21, because it's been 21 forever! I should know because of all those years I spent trying to figure out how I was going to get beer for Friday nights!

Speaking of beer, it's been a hell of a long week and I think I need one. Or maybe I'll have a daiquiri instead. Possibly even strawberry.

1 comment:

Michele Juanson said...

Ugh...I've had that happen to me a couple times with produce from Costco. And it's that dilemma of: do I drive 10 miles, park my car 12 miles from the store entrance, drag my kids in, stand in the "returns" line for $6?? Or do I preserve my sanity and not do any of that, and just angrily chuck the rotten food in the garbage? (I think you know my answer...)