The sixties were a time of exploration. People were changing, drugs were getting stronger, and showering was thought of as an unnecessary ideal of the common man. The right winged republicans were put in their place and social movements were expanding from colleges to Ol’ Mr. Crabbyshack’s backyard.
And then the seventies came and bitch slapped the sixties back to the magical mushroom induced jungle it came from. It also took most of the hippies with it, centralizing what was left of the decade into the city we know as San Francisco. Slowly but surely the sixties faded... Faded but not forgotten. Nor dead.
The sixties are still alive, still kickin’ and still smelling awkward in the year 2011. The sixties are alive all right. They can be found inside Trader Joe’s.
I’d never been into a Trader Joe’s before. My mom said, “Stay Away! If you go you may not come back.” She didn’t mean literally not come back. She knew I’d come back in the physical form, but ME, who I am as a person, that wouldn’t come back. It wouldn’t come back ever.
I’m older now, wiser and not as easily influenced. I now understand what my mom meant, what she was afraid of.
Emily Smart was kidnapped and brainwashed by hippy equivalents of Charles Manson. Due to her young age and the fact that kidnappings had never once occurred in Salt Lake City, she was easily manipulated by this young couple, changed, hit upside the head by the loony bin and numerous other awful analogies. (Who the fuck kidnaps fourteen year olds? Their hands are too big for knitting, and they fit inside trunks TERRIBLY!) Emily Smart was never the same again. She began wearing flower dresses, talking about love, LCD and the ability to understand nature. She stopped eating her mom’s cooking. She suddenly preferred organic meals, vegan dishes and dare I say it, soymilk.
Emily smart became... “Trader Joe’d”
So when I had to go inside Trader Joe’s for a work related errand, you can understand the slight amount of fear that crawled into my mind. This was unexplored territory for me, a whole new world. (Aladdin reference. Suck it.)
And then I entered.
The first thing I noticed entering the land of Trader Joe’s was the insane amount of people. Walking down the aisles was eerily close to storming through crowds of people on a busy New York side street. I was running over elderly women, stepping on people’s feet, dancing around an army of what I think were children, but could have easily been Arabian midgets. I didn’t stop long enough to find out. I had to get my groceries and go.
Once I got to the produce it hit me. It hit me hard. This is the part of the movie where the camera shoots upward overhead, exposing me to my surroundings. Hippies. Everywhere. All around me like a zombie film. I panic. It’s not just hippies, it’s hipsters. Hipsters and smelly people. Health nuts. SHIT! Hipsters, smelly people and health nuts. I was outnumbered, worried, scared and slightly pissed. Then I stop.
“They can’t do anything to you West. They can’t do anything. They’re people. Just like you. People.”
Or are they?
People who shop at Trader Joe’s
The thirty-year-old single woman, self described as independent, wears flower dresses, thrift store scarves and shops for nuts and berries. She has an herb garden and only listens to music when she’s high. Because it’s the only time worth listening to music.
The Mom with eight kids, all weirdly overly dressed. She looks like she belongs to a polygamist community somewhere around Colorado City, Arizona. But she doesn’t. She chose this life. It’s called an “alternative” lifestyle. For when being normal just isn’t enough anymore.
Hipsters, “Straight edged” kids, and trendy trendsters. Refer to earlier blogposts for examples. http://tunadesire.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.html
Trendy Trendsters- Can’t be referred to as hipsters and can’t be referred to as regular people. They follow trends, but kind of like how a high school kid follows trends. Like playing hacky-sack just because everyone else plays hacky-sack. Hacky-sack!
The entire band, TV On The Radio, shops at Trader Joe’s.
Weird jogger guy- You know the motherfucker. Hair tie, ponytail, jogger attire. He buys salt water and hard-boiled eggs. He also flirts, stretches and bends over in front of female patrons.
Ninety-five year olds. Grandmas of all shapes and sizes flood the store. They can’t buy regular food anymore; they can only digest organic off-brands.
Foods that I’ve heard of that Trader Joe’s sells: Vegetables.
Foods that I haven’t heard of that Trader Joe’s sells: Everything else.
Brands that I’ve heard of: None.
Off-brands that I’ve never heard of: The entire fucking store.
Apparently Trader Joes sells its own brand of shitty organic food, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. They have some kind of Trader Joe’s farm/distribution facility out in the middle of northern California somewhere. Probably Berkley.
Speaking of shitty foods
Who the fuck eats Granola? Can we eliminate granola from grocery stores? Can we just keep it inside the bars? Because I don’t know what to do with actual granola. Yogurt commercials make it seem like granola pours on top of it like sprinkles or vanilla frosting. But yogurt commercials also forgot to mention that yogurt sucks and tastes like shit. No amount of granola can make that miserable excuse for a food worth eating.
The sixties are alive in Trader Joe’s to the point where they don’t even have conveyor systems running your groceries. (Those weren’t invented yet according to this article.) You have to wait for the person to bag your shit before you can take more food out of your cart. The employees all have eyebrow and lip piercings like it’s some kind of Trader Joe dress code. The employees also have a hard time with the simplest form of phony customer appreciation. Do I get a “Hey, how are you today?” No. I get a shrug and a disappointed look as they slowly unload my two carts full of groceries onto their six-inch "un-conveyored" counter top. That’s what you get for working at a stupid fucking grocery store. Now smile and tell me to “have a nice day” you good for nothing seventeen year-old tramp. Yes tramp. Haven’t heard that one in a while, have ya’?
Trader Joe’s blows.