There comes a time in every pantry where there is nothing remaining except molding sunflower seeds, a can of clam sauce, five half-eaten boxes of cereal, four loaves of bread with only the crusts left, and apple cider vinegar. Time to go to the Safeway. I didn't really feel up to it, but the sun decided to come out so I thought that was some encouragement on nature's part.

The same old cast of characters were there: Customer Service Girl, Meat Dept. Guy, Tard Bagger, Hard Rock Mom Checker, and I reacted to them just the same as I always do, with politeness and semi-avoidance and severe mocking when CSG gets on the PA. I loaded my cart with $400 worth of packaged consumer comestibles, remembering that Mr11 asked for "some new-tasting fruit," CouchTeen wants Vitamin Water that he can drink 1/3 of a bottle of and leave standing open on the carpet for the dog to knock over, and MissSix wants more paper and markers. I need some Extra-Strength Calgon bath salts in Valium Coma, but they are sold out. Celine Dion brays like a donkey with a firecracker up its ass over the PA after CSG is done whining, and I visibly wince. Stop yelling at me, Canadian Bellower.

I need new dryer sheets, but am picky about smell. I end up getting Arm & Hammer Mountain Rain because it smells like hash oil and patchouli mixed and it made me laugh. I don't care if the kids get called into the principal because they are hippie-scented. HA HA.

I check out and then poorer and cart-loaded, I get in the in-house Starbucks line to grab a coffee for the drive back home. It's only a 5 minute drive, but still. In front of me is Professional Suburban Homeless Guy, who orders a Frappucino, a Lemon Loaf, and picks up a copy of the New York Times. I then place my order and the pretty blonde tanned barista smiles at my cheapie t-shirt, a knock-off of the Starbucks logo design that says NEW YORK CITY with the statue of liberty replacing the famous Starbucks muse. She asks me about it and we get to talking and we both agree that it would be a great marketing idea for Starbucks to make these t-shirts for the baristas in all the major cities, with appropriate logo modifications. I tell her to submit the idea to corporate and she giggles and says, "I will! They need us, huh?" I hope she does, and I hope that they didn't already do this ten years ago or something. Heh.

When I drive out, the Pro Sub Home Guy is sipping and reading away at the Safeway exit, feet propped up on his belongings, Ray-Bans on his face, with his sign reading, "HOMELESS...PLEASE HELP...GOD BLESS." I sip my Latte, and he doesn't even look up from his paper as I drive past him and back home, to go put away my bounty in my atheist fancy home.