Does your wife give you ‘honey do’ lists?

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I had a “honey do” list.

It wasn’t so much a “honey do” list as it was a “honey buy” list — a shopping list.

Folklore says that people die in threes. That’s true as long as no timeframe applies to their deaths. Three people we knew had died and my wife needed to make cakes for their funerals.

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She required ingredients for those cakes, so The Queen B made me a member of the AHDLC — the Association of Honey Do List Carriers.

I equipped myself with a No. 2 pencil, a hardhat, a cattle prod, a can of WD-40, an insurance release form, and drove to Grocery Gary’s Mediocremarket; motto “If you don’t see what you’re looking for, look for something else.” On the way, I waved at the semi-retired farmers working the fields. It was easy to spot them. They were driving tractors bearing Arizona license plates.

At Grocery Gary’s Mediocremarket, the assistant manager, Moist Marvin, greeted me. He sweats like a polar bear in a sauna. I looked at the shopping list my wife had pinned to my shirt. She did that because I’d lost the list once. Instead of calling home, I followed another guy my age around the store. Whatever he put in his shopping cart, I put in mine. I didn’t get a single thing my wife wanted. I tried to convince my lovely bride that success is getting what you want and happiness is wanting what you get. She said that didn’t apply when some numbskull lost a shopping list.

The list she had presented me with this particular day was longer than I had hoped. I don’t like using any other than the express lane. I’ve been known to buy 20 items the hard way. I buy 10, go through the express lane, carry the purchases out to my car, return to the store, and repeat the process. This time, it was apparent that I needed a wheeled shopping cart. Moist Marvin helped me pick out a good one. It was made from recycled NASCAR vehicles. I could hear cheers as I took off. As luck would have it, the cart was a hybrid. It ran on both pull and push.

Like a shopping cart, Humpty Dumpty was pushed. Some call it a conspiracy theory, but I know a guy who knows a guy whose cousin once dated a gal who bowled with the sister of a guy whose brother worked at a hardware store where one of the king’s men who attempted to put Humpty Dumpty back together again shopped. So I know. I digress.

There are groceries galore in Grocery Gary’s Mediocremarket. Unfortunately, it wasn’t sample day. I like shopping on sample day. I’m a happy camper if I can combine shopping with lunch.

I was in Alaska once and shopped at a store that allowed me to do a self-checkout. I scanned my own purchases, paid for them, and bagged them. I was hoping to become the employee of the month and get a sought after parking place. I digress once more.

I began shopping with a whimper. I watched a woman Taser her husband after he had put 10 boxes of frozen White Castle hamburgers in their shopping cart. I’m sorry she wasn’t a fan of whitey one-bites, but it made for great entertainment.

I looked at the first item on the list. “1-tub margarine.” That was easy. The next line read, “2-container salt.” No problem picking up two of those. Then it was “3-bottle vanilla extract, 4-box baking soda, 5-box cocoa.” They were going to be large cakes.

I moved on to, “7-can baking powder, 8-5 pounds sugar, 9-dozen eggs, 10-gallon milk, 11-5 pounds flour, 12-loaf bread, 13-bottle ketchup.”

I figured my wife was shooting for a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records for baking the largest cake. What was she going to do with 40 pounds of sugar, 108 eggs, 10 gallons of milk, and 55 pounds of flour? And what kind of a cake needs 12 loaves of bread and 13 bottles of ketchup? I would have called her, but my cell phone was safe at home.

By the time I had finished the list, I was pushing one cart and pulling another. Thirty-six more payments and they would be mine. Proving that a few hours can seem like a lifetime, I brought my carts to the checkout lane and emptied my wallet.

At home, my wife told me that she had numbered the list items. I don’t know why she didn’t tell me that before I went shopping.

Shopping is like wearing a hat. When you wear a hat and take it off, it feels like you are still wearing the hat.

I feel like I am still shopping.

Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear every Sunday and Wednesday.