why can’t we give out penalty flags? at the grocery store.

I don’t understand half the rules any of the rules in football. I’m always asking Tim all, “Where’s the ball?…Why’d he do that?…What do you mean it’s a five yard penalty but they’re waving it off? WHY? WHY WAVE IT OFF? How is it BETTER to wave it off?”

And I TRIED to understand…but it’s a futile effort. I gave up about two years ago after I decided football has way too many rules. I hear a new penalty every single time I watch a game with Tim. There was one the other day that even he was all, “the hell? Is that even real?!”

Though, I’m beginning to think some of those penalties the zebras (that’s what I’m supposed to call the one’s with black and white shirts. Zebras. Or a blind dumbass) yell from the field are perfect.

For the grocery store.

I’d like to formally petition the football people to give me graciously donate a mustard colored flag and a ketchup colored flag with a rock or whatever inside…I want to carry them in my purse for whenever I need to throw one at somebody. And the flags must be the kind with the rock. Without that added weight, they’ll flutter to the ground like that stupid feather in Forest Gump. And that just doesn’t make the same statement as a brightly colored thing whizzing towards your face at high speed.

Once I receive said presents from the football people, I’ll be able to resolve all my uncomfortable “situations” in the place I must visit on a weekly basis…because the infractions happen EVERY DAMN TIME. I can go at different times of day…different days of the week…



And I’m forced to go because Tim is all, “NO, WE CANNOT EAT THE NAPKINS” even after I tell him they’re super filling and great for weight loss.

The shit starts the second I try to park my car…where inevitably someone was too damn lazy to put their cart in the nice little corral the grocery store sets out every like, five parking spaces. I’ve seen the carts with the two front wheels run up on top of the curb RIGHT NEXT TO A CORRAL. Apparently the extra two feet was WAY TO CHALLENGING but at least the cart won’t like, roll away looking for it’s mother or long lost sibling.

But usually people aren’t even THAT courteous.


What the hell? That’s a damn penalty.

Neutral Zone Infraction. As in: Get your lazy ass over here and MOVE THAT CART OUT OF MY SPOT. I don’t see your name on it…nor do I see a sign that says “cart corral for lazy asses.”

Then…after I enter that damn place and I’m trying to maneuver my cart through those narrow aisles…I mean, don’t they realize they should space the aisles AT LEAST TWO CARTS WIDE?

(“They” as in the grocery store people)

Because somehow I always end up down the aisle with that person with the overflowing cart. You know, the one where shit’s teetering on all sides like a Jenga tower and if you so much as breathe on their carefully built cart-castle everything falls off. Yes. Them. They inevitably decide that the MIDDLE OF THE GROCERY AISLE is a perfect stopping point to peruse through their little coupon book that is also overflowing and totally unorganized.

Because no one else really needs sugar…or coffee…or anything else shelved behind the swath of their existence.


Delay of game. As in: MOVE. YOUR. ASS.

And then I’ll throw my red flag at their cart so everything topples over.


Too many players pieces of random shit on the field floor.

And after the third time I SOMEHOW end up next to that woman with the two kids who are playing the you-hit-me-so-I’m-gonna-hit-you-back game while making those ear piercing screeches that is worse than nails on a chalk board…

It’s time for a damn flag…one of those for unnecessary roughness…or malicious intent penalties.

Actually, screw the flag. Just get me some duct tape.

And DO NOT HIT ME with your cart, your basket or your fat ass while I’m searching for super plus tampons.

I’ll whip right around all, “ILLEGAL CONTACT!” and throw a flag in your face.

Cause you don’t mess with a woman searching for tampons.

Or chocolate.

And that damn check out line…the next person who is behind me and starts to pile on their groceries at the back-end of the moving belt, all up in my personal space…

Holy shit is that a time for a flag.

As in OFFSIDES, bitch. BACK THE HELL AWAY FROM THE BELT cause I’m not paying for the first THIRD of your groceries.

You know, I’d also like one of those shiny whistles. The really loud kind.

Just incase you’re listening, football people.


I’m not sports-retarded. I’d just like to point that out.

I played basketball. Lots of it. I understand basketball.

And you play basketball until the buzzer sounds…none of this “take a knee” crap for the final minute if you’re winning.

I also understand swimming. You go from one end to the other as fast as you can and you have to touch the wall on both ends.

Tennis…you hit a ball inside some squares…if it misses the square it’s out. And you don’t yell “fuck you”at the line judges.

Football is not really even football.

Football is really soccer everywhere else in the universe.

Except here.

We like football with a blown-up, pointed oval along with units of measure that have to be converted by the rest of the planet.

No wonder I suck at math.

Anyway, the point is that I’m not some sissy who thinks a “sport” is getting a manicure and laying out on the beach.

Just so we’re clear.


29 Responses to “why can’t we give out penalty flags? at the grocery store.”

  1. 1 Mindy@thesuburbanlife October 22, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Oh, God, do I hear you on this one! It has become almost painful to my soul to go to the grocery store. If Xanax didn’t make me sleepy I’d pop one just to remain calm. Shopping is a test to my patience as well as my self-control because I’m about one shopper’s basket-to-my-tender-exposed-heel away from kicking somebody’s ass…at the grocery store. Nice. Thanks for letting me know I am not the only one…

  2. 2 Jaime October 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm


    For realz.

  3. 4 Jess October 22, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    When you happen to obtain said gifts from the NFL, please pass along the official rules of grocery shopping.

    I’m totally wanting a flag for the alcoholic that is causing a fit in the middle of the afternoon because the cashier won’t sell them booze, but they’ll settle for the Skoal and/or carton of cigarettes. Unfortunately, this has occurred more than once in the past month.

    Ah, the grocery store.

  4. 5 PottyMouthMommy October 22, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    omg… heh… I’ma hide from your ass if I ever do chance to be in the same grocery store as you…

    I’m usually that asshole with the overflowing cart- because I take my husband and daughter with me.. who also play the you-hit-me-i’ma-hit-you game… only my husband is older than me and so it’s REALLY hard to make him listen when I say “children, STOP!” and so yeah- I’m THAT lady.

    But I don’t use coupons… because coupons suck.. and i’m all you know, lazy and stuff…

    And american football DOES suck… Canadian football is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better!! šŸ˜›

  5. 6 Breeza October 22, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    I agree. I used to understand football–in junior high when I was forced to play it. But now? No way. And I feel like I should be able to. After all, I’m a lawyer and all these dumb men understand it so I should be able to, but I don’t!

  6. 7 LB @Wait, She Said What? October 22, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Count me in for those handy flags! Our grocery stores now have handheld scanners so you can scan barcodes as you shop, then at the self-checkout the computer automatically inserts all the things you bought so you can pay. I love it since you can totally avoid the cahsiers and you can bag items as you go, plus who doesn’t love scanning the items with the gameboy on a stick? The only part I hate is the automatic audit. Every 5-8 trips it has to call over an associate who then has to re-scan every item in your card to prove you really did what you were supposed to do.

    I hate it. It’s evil. Especially since the light at the top blinks and no one that works there seems to notice. You have to like go get them to unpack your cart that you just organized so the machine will allow you to pay. One of those whistles would be very handy in this situation. Have I mentioned I hate it?

    This just became a mini rant. Sorry!

  7. 8 tracey October 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    I could use me some of those flags….

  8. 9 basia October 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Sounds like a pretty good idea to me!

    I especially love people who eye everything that you’re putting on the belt at the checkout line, one by one. Like, did we not just shop in the SAME STORE? Does my Tampax look any different than YOUR Tampax?

    I also have a spot in my heart for people who plow throught the aisles with their shopping carts like they’re on the Supermarket Sweep.

  9. 10 Shannon October 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    That is how I feel everytime I go into WalMart.That is why I don’t go there unless I have to for some stupid reason. And then I don’t touch to many things because there are a lot of dirty kids in that joint. Target appears much safer, even in the afternoon. But then hte idiots come out on Saturdays and all hail the football flags!
    Also the people that once you get to the check out and they are in front of you THEN they remember that one last item and they LEAVE said line to go get it. Even though they are the ones being checked out at the moment. That is a delay of game.

  10. 11 bellyshirts October 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Totally agree. Let’s make some of those flags!

  11. 12 peedee October 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I only go to the grocery store 10 minutes after they open or 10 minutes before they close. Its best for all involved. Really.

  12. 13 Spot October 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I have always been a promoter of a very loud buzzing alarm going off when people with obviously low IQ’s because they can’t friggin count, go through the express lane! I think the minute your 21st item touches the belt a very very loud alarm should sound so that everyone in the store looks at you and realizes you are a douche canoe who either can’t count or thinks you are too important to play by the rules!!!

    But I guess a flag wrapped rock hurled at their face would work too. =]


  13. 14 Anne Dewvall October 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    You obviously would also need a referee whistle to go along with your penalty flag. Those things are f-ing loud. And I don’t mean a regular whistle or even a “safety” whistle but an actual, bona fide, regulation referee whistle. My dad used to ref soccer and I have rarely in my life heard something surpass its volume. THAT plus the flags will get some attention.

  14. 15 Anne Dewvall October 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    P.S. I need to teach you “extreme shopping”. I developed it during college. The rules are simple – you “go” (walk, jog, whatever) as fast as you can and there is NO stopping. This requires an impressive combination of mental and physical skill- you do need to plan ahead, and your senses must be in a heightened state of arousal, and above all – you MUST keep going! This works best with a friend, preferably someone like me, who will run behind you yelling “MOVE MOVE MOVE” the entire time.

    P.S. Extreme shopping is totally bufftober. Make it your new thing for the week. I dare you.

  15. 16 Angelia October 22, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I was shopping for dinner at lunch one time, never a good idea, and I was wearing heels or should I say balancing on heels. See, I don’t DO heels so well, I kinda teeter but work wants us to look nice. Hmph. I am pushing my cart teetering along and this GUY comes out of nowhere pushing his cart like his butt was on fire. It’s on TWO wheels as he careens past me and gets in line. The BLAST of air, almost had me falling over, arms were pinwheeling. I get behind him, thinking that poor man, maybe he has a sick mom or wife. What was his BIG rush? A 24 PACK OF BEER! On a WEEKDAY, at LUNCH. DAMN!

    Ha. Love your flag idea. Remind to be more careful on the sanitary products aisle.

  16. 17 Casey October 22, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Sounds like you actually have a pretty good grasp on (American) football šŸ™‚

    Good luck at the grocery store.

  17. 18 Jessica October 22, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    darling, not a soul on earth would think you were some sissy girl after reading this hilarious post

  18. 19 Jenera October 22, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    We went grocery shopping tonight and I think we encountered every single one of these things. I hate the ones who stop in the middle of the aisle and chat with their long lost neighbor’s cousin’s boyfriend’s brother. Oh that kills me.

  19. 20 GroundSquirrel October 22, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    It took me two years of watching football on TV to realize that the first-down marker on the TV screen wasn’t actually on the field.

    And napkins will go straight to your ass. Do not eat.

  20. 21 Stone Fox October 22, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    i am actually a combination of everyone on there, except for the dickweed who leaves the fucking cart in the middle of the parking spot. i *always* throw out the stink-eye to people when i see them doing that.

  21. 22 Erin October 23, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Actually Australia has football too, and calls soccer “soccer.” And the word “soccer” came from the Brits, who used it before they used the word football. (Ok, look at me, I’ve done A LOT of research on this one so I have an argument at the pubs when the English get into their whole diatribe about how much better they are and how they drive on the CORRECT side of the road. But not the right.)

    In Germany, you have to put a euro coin in your cart to get it free, so naturally everyone returns their cart because it’s the only way to get your euro back. Which I always thought was a total PITA but then I read this and REMEMBERED! The HELL! Of the lazy ass non-cart-returning whorebags. Should TOTALLY be a penalty. Or suspension.

    • 23 Jessica October 23, 2009 at 7:23 am

      Mindy: I totally think we need to go on a covert mission…complete with masks and air horns to scare the shit out of offenders.

      Jaime & Kelly: Exactly.

      Jess: Gladly…and that dude…I think he’s married to the chick who hangs out at customer service asking for a pack of smokes that no longer exist…though she’s totally convinced they do and WILL NOT STOP ARGUING with the people.

      PottyMouthMommy: Well, next time I see you, I suggest you duck and cover…and Tim said Canadian football is the same just…a longer field or something? I have no idea…

      Breeza: I think some “man” things are just best left alone…and football is one.

      LB: Ok, so, my husband has said for YEARS that grocery stores should do exactly what yours does…and he was all excited when he read your comment…all, “LOOK! WE NEED TO LIVE WHEREVER SHE DOES!” Then he got to the audit part. We’ll just say he doesn’t want to live there anymore.

      tracey & bellyshirts: Well, if the football people send me a box, I’ll throw a few your way. šŸ™‚

      basia: I KNOW! I had one of the clerks…the CHECKOUT CLERK…the person who WORKS IN THE STORE…pick up something I bought after she scanned it and was all, “WE HAVE THESE?!?!”

      Shannon: We don’t go in Walmart. Ever. It’s scary. As for that person who forgets things…they should totally be ejected. That’s probably THE. MOST. ANNOYING. THING. EVER. They should lose their shoppers card.

      peedee: Somehow, I would be afraid if I came across you in the store…especially since you’re snoball deprived. šŸ™‚

      Spot: That idea goes right along with the one where swimming pools should have some special chemical in it when someone pees…a cloud of purple or green follows them around in the water.

      Anne: I’m all for the extreme shopping. Let’s go. But, if you yell too loud…or too many times, I might just have to throw a flag šŸ™‚

      Angelia: Didn’t you know that mid-day beer is like, a requirement? Duh. (Not that I’d know or anything…).

      Casey: The part you didn’t see was me looking up all the rules…and what they were called.

      Jessica: Good to know. šŸ™‚

      Jenera: I KNOW! I hate it when people do that in their cars, too. It’s like…MOVE. I don’t really care that you’re visiting in the middle of the STREET.

      Groundsquirrel: Really? What about paper towels?…Actually seems like they’d be even worse…

      Stone Fox: That is probably my BIGGEST pet peeve with all the grocery store infractions. SO. ANNOYING.

      Erin: We REALLY need to do that…the coin thing. Not that it’d stop EVERYONE and then someone would probably sue the grocery store all, “I sprained my finger trying to get my coin back.”

  22. 24 merrilymarylee October 23, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I think husbands should be allotted time slots for grocery shopping, like when they blow the whistle at the pool for “Adult Swim.” I don’t want to deny them their right to shop, just please, God, not when I’m in there. I’m sure there are women who give their husbands grocery lists just to get them out of the house. If they can’t open the fridge and find the mayonnaise, how are they supposed to locate it in a supermarket? Arrrgggghhhhh!!!!!

  23. 25 Cindy Lou October 23, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Count me in for a set of flags – the bigger rock inside, the better – and put me on the “I Hate WalMart” list! Up in our neck of the woods, there isn’t a lot of choice as far as places to shop so sometimes I’m forced to go there…ugh! I have my list organized by departments and then do the “extreme shopping” that Anne talked about! The faster I get out of there – the better for all concerned. Have you seen that email going around with the photos of people you see at WalMart? Hysterical!

  24. 26 bevchen October 24, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Ah, I’m so with you on all of this!
    But you forgot the little old lady who thinks just because she’s old she has a right to push in front of everyone at the checkout. And if you’re like me and don’t let her in she’ll stand behind you in the queue shoving her trolley (uhh, shopping cart in American I guess?) into you every 5 seconds. As if it’s MY fault the queue isn’t moving.

    I also hate people who place their trolleys sideways across the aisle while they’re looking for something. You can’t push it when it’s sideways so WHY turn it that way when you stop to find something on a shelf?!

  25. 27 Laura October 25, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    AMEN!!! I would probably end up giving flags out to everyone in the damn store though.

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