Caught Shop Listing
Published: December 21st, 2016
By: Jim Mullen

Saving money -- that's what it's all about.

Why buy the expensive trash bags when the store brand is just as good? They're probably made in the same factory. The ones they make on Monday when half the crew has a hangover become the store brand, and the ones they make the rest of the week are the premium stuff.

And anyway, it's a trash bag -- how perfect does it have to be? It's not as if they're making parts for NASA. What's the worst that can happen? It won't look as pretty as other people's garbage when it's out on the street? Will the neighbors complain? "Oh, those Mullenses, they always have the ugliest garbage."

I like to save money. Who doesn't love a bargain? Look at this: cotton bath towels at a really good price. Finally, I can replace the ratty old towels we've been using and send them to the cat rescue center. I don't know why, but the cat shelter near us always seems to want old towels. Again, these towels are probably all made in the same factory. So what if they're not exactly perfect? Neither am I, and I'm pretty sure humans all came out of the same factory. Many of us were probably made on a Monday while the workers were a little hungover. Some of them were probably full-out drunk.

I prefer to shop without a list. Because no matter how carefully you made your list, when you're at the store, you'll see all kinds of things that never made the cut. If I don't have a list to begin with, I don't have to feel guilty about spontaneously adding to it.

Take Srirachaise, for example. That's mayonnaise with Sriracha sauce already mixed in! So many times I've gotten to the store without that on my list. And that wine with the cat on the label. Who doesn't love cats? And it's only $1.99 a bottle. I should get six of those, because they'll go fast. Wow! They've got rabbit on special at the meat department today. It's the other, other white meat. Is one enough? Is three too many? Obviously, no one could know ahead of time that there'd be a sale on rabbit. You've simply got to take advantage of these deals when they smack you in the face.

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"Did someone put a gun to your head and make you buy these?" Sue asked. "Because no one would voluntarily buy two rabbits without asking me if I know how to cook them. And what about the kids -- the ones who won't even eat chicken if it dares to look like part of a chicken? Why do you think nuggets are such a hit? No one knows what animal it came from. It's a nugget. It came from a bigger nugget. Even when you tell them the chickens we eat died of old age, they're not happy. You think they're gonna be happy about eating Fluffy and Muffy?

"Get 'em out of the house. Oh, and while you're doing that, you can take those towels you bought and donate them to the cat rescue center. I just washed them and now they're thinner than coffee filters. By the way, did you remember to get coffee filters? I didn't think so, Mr. No-List. Now would you please take out the garbage?

"Well, isn't that nice. Would you now clean up the garbage that you just spread all over the kitchen floor? I've never seen a garbage bag just open up like that. If we were in Vegas I'd say it was a magic trick, the way it did it all by itself. You should show that to Cirque du Soleil. Maybe they could put that in one of their acts.

"And another thing -- Srirachaise? I want you to watch this. See, this is regular mayonnaise, and this is Sriracha sauce. Now I'm squeezing some sauce into the mayonnaise. See how easy that was? And about half the price. You want me to write that down for you?"