Supermarkets Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Supermarkets. Here they are! All 200 of them:

I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that 'news' is not something that happens to other people. He might learn how his ancestors lived and that he himself is no different--in the crunch his life depends on his agility, alertness, and personal resourcefulness.
Robert A. Heinlein
The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.
Joel Salatin (Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World)
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whit- man, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon. In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
Allen Ginsberg
Words are not enough. Not mine, cut off at the throat before they breathe. Never forming, broken and swallowed, tossed into the void before they are heard. It would be easy to follow, fall to my knees, prostrate before the deli counter. Sweep the shelves clear, scatter the tins, pound the cakes to powder. Supermarket isles stretching out in macabre displays. Christmas madness, sad songs and mistletoe, packed car parks, rotten leaves banked up in corners. Forgotten reminders of summer before the storm. Never trust a promise, they take prisoners and wishes never come true. Fairy stories can have grim endings and I don’t know how I will face the world without you.
Peter B. Forster (More Than Love, A Husband's Tale)
how come you're so ugly?" "my life has hardly been pretty — the hospitals, the jails, the jobs, the women, the drinking. some of my critics claim that i have deliberately inflicted myself with pain. i wish that some of my critics had been along with me for the journey. it’s true that i haven't always chosen easy situations but that's a hell of a long ways from saying that i leaped into the oven and locked the door. hangover, the electric needle, bad booze, bad women, madness in small rooms, starvation in the land of plenty, god knows how i got so ugly, i guess it just comes from being slugged and slugged again and again, and not going down, still trying to think, to feel, still trying to put the butterfly back together again…it’s written a map on my face that nobody would ever want to hang on their wall. sometimes i’ll see myself somewhere…suddenly…say in a large mirror in a supermarket…eyes like little mean bugs…face scarred, twisted, yes, i look insane, demented, what a mess…spilled vomit of skin…yet, when i see the “handsome” men i think, my god my god, i’m glad i’m not them
Charles Bukowski (Charles Bukowski: Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews and Encounters 1963-1993)
Very simply, we subsidize high-fructose corn syrup in this country, but not carrots. While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity, the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
A story has to glide like a yacht, not bump along like a supermarket trolley.
Kevin Ansbro
Well, Samantha... you were introduced to this guy. It went downhill from there. That might make it justifiable homicide. From time to time, I've wanted to kill people I knew even less well... strangers in supermarkets." Am I on my roof with a psychopath?
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
In the opening to the Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary's in the supermarket, hurrying through the aisles. She pauses at the meat case, picks up a steak and checks the price. Then rolls her eyes, shrugs and tosses it in the cart. That's kind of how I feel. Sure I would have liked things to be different. But, 'roll of eyes' what can you do? 'shrug' I threw the meat in my cart and moved on.
Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors)
To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it’s because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that’s where phrases like ‘deadly dull’ or ‘excruciatingly dull’ come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient, low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing’s pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly…but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places any more but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets’ checkouts, airport gates, SUVs’ backseats. Walkman, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. This terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can’t think anyone really believes that today’s so-called ‘information society’ is just about information. Everyone knows it’s about something else, way down.
David Foster Wallace
I guess I´m too used to sitting in a small room and making words do a few things. I see enough of humanity at the racetracks, the supermarkets, gas stations, freeways, cafes, etc. This can´t be helped. But I feel like kicking myself in the ass when I go to gatherings, even if the drinks are free. It never works for me. I´ve got enough clay to play with. People empty me. I have to get away to refill. I´m what´s best for me, sitting here slouched, smoking a beedie and watching this creen flash the words. Seldom do you meet a rare or interesting person. It´s more than galling, it´s a fucking constant shock. It´s making a god-damned grouch out of me. Anybody can be a god-damned grouch and most are. Help!
Charles Bukowski (The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship)
It is perhaps beside the point to remark that bowling alleys and supermarkets have nursery facilities, while schools and colleges and scientific laboratories and government offices do not.
Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique)
I was in the supermarket the other day, and I met a lady in the aisle where they keep the generic brands. Her name was 'woman.
Steven Wright
About eighty percent of the food on shelves of supermarkets today didn't exist 100 years ago.
Larry McCleary (Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Belly: Experience Dynamic Weight Loss with the Brain-Belly Connection)
spring is super in the supermarkets and the strawberries prance and glow never mind that they're all kinda tart and tasteless as strawberries go meanwhile wild things are not for sale anymore than they are for show so i'll be outside, in love with the kind of beauty it takes more than eyes to know
Ani DiFranco
Don't believe everything you read. It's very difficult to be accepting of our own bodies. This topic deserves it's own book, but since I'm not qualified to write it, I won't. Instead I'll just say this: The pictures staring out at you from the supermarket checkout stands, the images we are all supposed to aspire to? They lie
Ally Carter
We passed through a supermarket, a clothing boutique with the latest in Viking fashions, and an IKEA outlet (naturally).
Rick Riordan (The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1))
We'd hoped vaguely to fall in love but hadn't worried much about it, because we'd thought we had all the time in the world. Love had seemed so final and so dull -- love was what ruined our parents. Love had delivered them to a life of mortgage payments and household repairs; to unglamorous jobs and the flourescent aisles of a supermarket at two in the afternoon. We'd hoped for love of a different kind, love that knew and forgave our human frailty but did not miniaturize our grander ideas of ourselves. It sounded possible. If we didn't rush or grab, if we didn't panic, a love both challenging and nurturing might appear. If the person was imaginable, then the person could exist.
Michael Cunningham
Paris was all so... Parisian. I was captivated by the wonderful wrongness of it all - the unfamiliar fonts, the brand names in the supermarket, the dimensions of the bricks and paving stones. Children, really quite small children, speaking fluent French!
David Nicholls (Us)
Never go to the supermarket when you're hungry.' There you go. Doesn't get wiser than that. Fact.
Miranda Hart (Is It Just Me?)
The words "I´m sorry" felt like an insult. You said "I´m sorry" when you bumped against someone´s supermarket trolley. There need to be bigger words.
Liane Moriarty (The Husband's Secret)
The contents of supermarket baskets are surely evidence that none of us are coping with adulthood all that well.
Dolly Alderton (Ghosts)
Anyone who believes the competitive spirit in America is dead has never been in a supermarket when the cashier opens another check-out line.
Ann Landers
Sometimes you almost forgot: that you didn't look like everyone else. In homeroom or at the drugstore or at the supermarket, you listened to morning announcements or dropped off a roll of film or picked up a carton of eggs and felt like just another someone in the crowd. Sometimes you didn't think about it at all. And then sometimes you noticed the girl across the aisle watching, the pharmacist watching, the checkout boy watching, and you saw yourself reflected in their stares: incongruous. Catching the eye like a hook. Every time you saw yourself from the outside, the way other people saw you, you remembered all over again.
Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You)
Pain will never leave us. Instead of putting energy into destroying pain, we need to put energy into creating pleasure.
Tom Hodgkinson (The Freedom Manifesto: How to Free Yourself from Anxiety, Fear, Mortgages, Money, Guilt, Debt, Government, Boredom, Supermarkets, Bills, Melancholy, Pain, Depression, Work, and Waste)
....thinking you are attacking society when you condemn or ravage the hypothetical Nice Girl Next Door is the exact equivalent of thinking that stealing from the local supermarket makes you a Communist.
Joanna Russ
Every twenty minutes on the Appalachian Trail, Katz and I walked farther than the average American walks in a week. For 93 percent of all trips outside the home, for whatever distance or whatever purpose, Americans now get in a car. On average, the total walking of an American these days - that's walking of all types: from car to office, from office to car, around the supermarket and shopping malls - adds up to 1.4 miles a week...That's ridiculous.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
We open our mouths and out flow words whose ancestries we do not even know. We are walking lexicons. In a single sentence of idle chatter we preserve Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norse; we carry a museum inside our heads, each day we commemorate peoples of whom we have never heard. More than that, we speak volumes – our language is the language of everything we have read. Shakespeare and the Authorised Version surface in supermarkets, on buses, chatter on radio and television. I find this miraculous. I never cease to wonder at it. That words are more durable than anything, that they blow with the wind, hibernate and reawaken, shelter parasitic on the most unlikely hosts, survive and survive and survive.
Penelope Lively (Moon Tiger)
The word "haunted", I'm sure you know, usually applies to a house, graveyard, or supermarket that has ghosts living in it, but the word can also be used to describe people who have seen and heard such horrible things that they feel as if ghosts are inside them, haunting their brains and hearts with misery and despair.
Lemony Snicket (The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6))
It's easy to be judgmental about crime when you live in a world wealthy enough to be removed from it. But the hood taught me that everyone has different notions of right and wrong, different definitions of what constitutes crime, and what level of crime they're willing to participate in. If a crackhead comes through and he's got a crate of Corn Flakes boxes he's stolen out of the back of a supermarket, the poor mom isn't thinking, 'I'm aiding and abetting a criminal by buying these Corn Flakes.' No. She's thinking, 'My family needs food and this guy has Corn Flakes', and she buys the Corn Flakes.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
I tell you this not as aimless revelation but because I want you to know, as you read me, precisely who I am and where I am and what is on my mind. I want you to understand exactly what you are getting: you are getting a woman who for some time now has felt radically separated from most of the ideas that seem to interest people. You are getting a woman who somewhere along the line misplaced whatever slight faith she ever had in the social contract, in the meliorative principle, in the whole grand pattern of human endeavor. Quite often during the past several years I have felt myself a sleepwalker, moving through the world unconscious of the moment’s high issues, oblivious to its data, alert only to the stuff of bad dreams, the children burning in the locked car in the supermarket parking lot, the bike boys stripping down stolen cars on the captive cripple’s ranch, the freeway sniper who feels “real bad” about picking off the family of five, the hustlers, the insane, the cunning Okie faces that turn up in military investigations, the sullen lurkers in doorways, the lost children, all the ignorant armies jostling in the night. Acquaintances read The New York Times, and try to tell me the news of the world. I listen to call-in shows.
Joan Didion (The White Album)
I’m awful about your name. I still jump when I hear it. I still feel it rattling somewhere in my stomach. I think I’m jealous of anyone that gets to say it because it’s not my right anymore. Years from now I’ll be standing in a supermarket and someone will casually brush past me, your name falling from their mouth like confetti. I’ll drop everything that I’m holding. My knees will wobble in the way they only did when I was with you. Years from now I’ll still remember how your name tasted in my mouth and I’ll have to start missing you all over again.
Azra.T
There was no way his imagination could feel the impact of the whole Earth having gone, it was too big. He prodded his feelings by thinking that his parent and his sister had gone. No reaction.He thought of all the people he had been close to. No reaction. Then he thought of a complete stranger he had been standing behind in the queue at the supermarket two days before and felt a sudden stab: the supermarket was gone, everyone in it was gone! Nelson’s Column had gone! and there would be no outcry, because there was no one left to make an outcry! From now on Nelson’s Column only existed in his mind. England only existed in his mind. A wave of claustrophobia closed in on him. He tried again: America, he thought, has gone. He couldn’t grasp it, He decided to start smaller again. New York has gone. No reaction. He’d never seriously believed it existed anyway. The dollar, he thought, has sunk for ever. Slight tremor there. Every “Bogart” movie has been wiped, he said to himself, and that gave him a nasty knock. McDonald’s, he thought. There is no longer any such thing as a McDonald’s hamburger. He passed out.
Douglas Adams
Behold your future, Cavendish the Younger. You will not apply for membership, but the tribe of the elderly will claim you. Your present will not keep pace with the world's. This slippage will stretch your skin, sag your skeleton, erode your hair and memory, make your skin turn opaque so your twitching organs and blue-cheese veins will be semivisible. You will venture out only in daylight, avoiding weekends and school holidays. Language, too, will leave you behind, betraying your tribal affiliations whenever you speak. On escalators, on trunk roads, in supermarket aisles, the living will overtake you, incessantly. Elegant women will not see you. Store detectives will not see you. Salespeople will not see you, unless they sell stair lifts or fraudulent insurance policies. Only babies, cats, and drug addicts will acknowledge your existence. So do not fritter away your days. Sooner than you fear, you will stand before a mirror in a care home, look at your body, and think, E.T., locked in a ruddy cupboard for a fortnight.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
However hard some things are to understand, it is never helpful to start picking and choosing biblical truths we find congenial, as if the Bible is an open-shelved supermarket where we are at perfect liberty to choose only the chocolate bars. For the Christian, it is God's Word, and it is not negotiable. What answers we find may not be exhaustive, but they give us the God who is there, and who gives us some measure of comfort and assurance. The alternative is a god we manufacture, and who provides no comfort at all. Whatever comfort we feel is self-delusion, and it will be stripped away at the end when we give an account to the God who has spoken to us, not only in Scripture, but supremely in his Son Jesus Christ.
D.A. Carson (How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil)
Damn. I never should have agreed to this. What is he thinking? Here we are in a piece of crap pickup truck on our way to sit outside of a supermarket to kidnap this girl. Damn. He’d better not be falling for her. Sure she’s cute, but I can’t think about that.
Jenna-Lynne Duncan (Hurricane (Hurricane #1))
Doctor Doctor what is wrong with me This supermarket life is getting long What is the heart life of a colour TV What is the shelf life of a teenage queen
Roger Waters
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight? (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.) Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely. Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage? Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?
Allen Ginsberg
Today the U.S. government can demand the nation-wide recall of defective softball bats, sneakers, stuffed animals, and foam-rubber toy cows. But it cannot order a meatpacking company to remove contaminated, potentially lethal ground beef from fast food kitchens and supermarket shelves.
Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal)
when i love, it happens almost all at once. it is inconsiderate, unrefined - a child screeching in a supermarket it's a thunderclap. it is a small village blackout. it is aphrodite rising from the sea foam, fully formed.
Salma Deera (Letters From Medea)
Food security is not in the supermarket. It's not in the government. It's not at the emergency services division. True food security is the historical normalcy of packing it in during the abundant times, building that in-house larder, and resting easy knowing that our little ones are not dependent on next week's farmers' market or the electronic cashiers at the supermarket.
Joel Salatin (Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World)
I`ve got a black woolen hat and it`s got Pervert written across the front of it. It`s the name of the clothing label. And I was with my wife and my baby at the supermarket and I didn`t think. I just put my hat on Clara`s head, because it was cold. And the looks. I couldn`t figure out why I was getting death looks. And then I realized my 10-month old baby`s wearing a hat with the word Pervert written on it and these people were like, `There`s Satan! There`s Satan out with his kid!` And then I made a point of her wearing it every time we went there.
Ewan McGregor
My tongue runs like a supermarket conveyor belt on payday.
Stephen King (The Outsider)
The difference between a criminal and an outlaw is that while criminals frequently are victims, outlaws never are. Indeed, the first step toward becoming a true outlaw is the refusal to be victimized. All people who live subject to other people's laws are victims. People who break laws out of greed, frustration, or vengeance are victims. People who overturn laws in order to replace them with their own laws are victims. ( I am speaking here of revolutionaries.) We outlaws, however, live beyond the law. We don't merely live beyond the letter of the law-many businessmen, most politicians, and all cops do that-we live beyond the spirit of the law. In a sense, then, we live beyond society. Have we a common goal, that goal is to turn the tables on the 'nature' of society. When we succeed, we raise the exhilaration content of the universe. We even raise it a little bit when we fail. When war turns whole populations into sleepwalkers, outlaws don't join forces with alarm clocks. Outlaws, like poets, rearrange the nightmare. The trite mythos of the outlaw; the self-conscious romanticism of the outlaw; the black wardrobe of the outlaw; the fey smile of the outlaw; the tequila of the outlaw and the beans of the outlaw; respectable men sneer and say 'outlaw'; young women palpitate and say 'outlaw'. The outlaw boat sails against the flow; outlaws toilet where badgers toilet. All outlaws are photogenic. 'When freedom is outlawed, only outlaws will be free.' There are outlaw maps that lead to outlaw treasures. Unwilling to wait for mankind to improve, the outlaw lives as if that day were here. Outlaws are can openers in the supermarket of life.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
Charity … is the opium of the privileged; from the good citizen who habitually drops ten kobo from his loose change and from a safe height above the bowl of the leper outside the supermarket; to the group of good citizens (like youselfs) who donate water so that some Lazarus in the slums can have a syringe boiled clean as a whistle for his jab and his sores dressed more hygienically than the rest of him; to the Band Aid stars that lit up so dramatically the dark Christmas skies of Ethiopia. While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.
Chinua Achebe (Anthills of the Savannah)
To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it's because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that's where phrases like 'deadly dull' or 'excruciatingly dull' come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that's dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing's pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly...but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places anymore but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets' checkouts, airports' gates, SUVs' backseats. Walkmen, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. The terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can't think anyone really believes that today's so-called 'information society' is just about information. Everyone knows it's about something else, way down.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
There is a little Juliet inside me, hoping I will lock eyes with my Romeo on the other side of a fish tank or through a gap in a library bookcase. Hell, even if it's behind the condiments section in a supermarket. I don't really mind.
Jessica Thompson
There are many more ordinary hours in life than extraordinary ones. We wait in line at the supermarket. We spend hours commuting to work. We water our plants and feed our pets. Happiness means finding a moment of joy in those ordinary hours.
Haemin Sunim (The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: Guidance on the Path to Mindfulness from a Spiritual Leader)
As soon as they give a reason for why they can't do something, they're already defeated.
Bobby Hall (Supermarket)
And then it gets so hot that they keep the supermarkets too cold. Hot, cold. Hot, cold. It gives me the runs." Mr. Landowsky
Janet Evanovich (Four to Score (Stephanie Plum, #4))
Commoners Supermarket! Commoners Supermarket!
Hikaru and Koaru Hitachiin
I was starting to think that except for the deli counters and five or ten thousand other total essentials, supermarkets were pretty much a waste of time.
Meg Rosoff (How I Live Now)
Nothing is important, so people, realising that, should get on with their lives, go mad, take their clothes off, jump in the canal, jump into one of those supermarket trolleys, race around the supermarket and steal Mars bars and kiss kittens.
Morrissey
What I really want is to sit next to someone on an L.L. bean blanket on the beach in the fall and drink coffee from the same mug. I don't want some rusty '73 Ford Pinto with a factory-defective gas tank that causes it to explode when its rear-ended in the parking lot of the supermarket. So why do I keep looking for Pintos?
Augusten Burroughs (Dry)
The floor of ice cream parlor bothered me. It was black-and-white checkboard tile, bigger than supermarket checkboard. If I looked only at a white square, I would be all right, but it was hard to ignore the black squares that surrounded the white ones. The contrast got under my skin. The floor meant yes, no, this, that, up, down, day, night -all the indecisions and opposites that were bad enough in life without having them spelled out for you on the floor.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
I already read everything. I read poems and plays and novels and newspapers and comic books and magazines. I read tins in supermarkets and leaflets that come through the door, unsolicited mail. None of it lasts long and it doesn't give me answers. Reading too fast is not soothing.
Janice Galloway (The Trick is to Keep Breathing)
I Philo, educating yourself was something you had to do in spite if school, not because of it -- which is basically why so many of my high school peers are still there in Philo even now, selling one another insurance, drinking supermarket liquor, watching television, awaiting the formality of their first cardiac.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
In 1976, the average supermarket stocked 9,000 unique products; today that number has ballooned to 40,000 of them, yet the average person gets 80%–85% of their needs in only 150 different supermarket items. That means that we need to ignore 39,850 items in the store.
Daniel J. Levitin (The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload)
Rule No. 12: shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
Michael Pollan
A person buying ordinary products in a supermarket is in touch with his deepest emotions.
John Kenneth Galbraith
They will always be doomed to supermarkets like this.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (The Thing Around Your Neck)
Thanks to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and the abundance of sugars and carbohydrates on every supermarket shelf around the globe, high blood sugar is causing the premature deaths of 3.8 million people a year.
David A. Sinclair (Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don't Have To)
Pears can just fuck off too. 'Cause they're gorgeous little beasts, but they're ripe for half an hour, and you're never there. They're like a rock or they're mush. In the supermarket, people banging in nails. "I'll just put these shelves up, mate, then you can have the pear." … So you think, "I'll take them home and they'll ripen up." But you put them in the bowl at home, and they sit there, going, "No! No! Don't ripen yet, don't ripen yet. Wait til he goes out the room! Ripen! Now now now!
Eddie Izzard (Definite Article)
That many if not most people...who want fresh leafy greens in January buy them at the supermarket after they've been bleached and plastic-bag shipped from California or beyond is not a tribute to modern technology; it's an unprecedented abdication of personal responsibility and a ubiquitous benchmark of abnormality.
Joel Salatin (Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World)
I killed four flies while waiting. Damn, death was everywhere. Man, bird, beast, reptile, rodent, insect, fish didn't have a chance. The fix was in. I didn't know what to do about it. I got depressed. You know, I see a boy at the supermarket, he's packing my groceries, then I see him sticking himself into his own grave along with the toilet paper, the beer and the chicken breasts.
Charles Bukowski (Pulp)
My needlework teacher suffered from a problem of vision. She recognised things according to expectation and environment. If you were in a particular place, you expected to see particular things. Sheep and hills, sea and fish; if there was an elephant in the supermarket, she'd either not see it at all, or call it Mrs. Jones and talk about fishcakes. But most likely, she's do what most people do when confronted with something they don't understand. Panic.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
Now I shall speak of evil as none has Spoken before. I loathe such things as jazz; The white-hosed moron torturing a black Bull, rayed with red; abstractist bric-a-brac; Primitivist folk-masks; progressive schools; Music in supermarkets; swimming pools; Brutes, bores, class-conscious Philistines, Freud, Marx, Fake thinkers, puffed-up poets, frauds, and sharks.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
She thought that trying to live life according to any plan you actually work out is like trying to buy ingredients for a recipe from the supermarket. You get one of those trolleys which simply will not go in the direction you push it and end up just having to buy completely different stuff. What do you do with it? What do you do with the recipe? She didn't know.
Douglas Adams (Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #5))
Sometimes I see people at the supermarket or somewhere else, smiling and cheerfully making small talk with strangers and not looking tense or uncomfortable at all, and i just want to go up and ask them how they do it. How did they manage to do everything they need to do and go out in the world and be human without feeling the weight of it all questioning them into oblivion
Jen Wilde (Queens of Geek)
You notice how they always put the fruit and veg at the entrance to the supermarket? You go in thinking 'this is a fresh shop, everything in here is FRESH! I will do well to shop here'. You never go straight to the bit with the toilet paper, loo brushes and such do you? You'd think 'this is a POO shop! Everything in here is themed on POO!
Eddie Izzard
I was shameless in my supermarket-shelf mass-market taste. I loved King, Evanovich, Grisham and Brown. I won't lie; the oficial-looking filing cabinet in the corner is actually stuffed full of my paperbacks.
Molly Harper (The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #2))
Well, I'm not sure the New York Times was consciously trying to trivialise me, but the effect of it is to put everything in the same category as the gossip you read in the magazines you pick up at supermarket counters. I was asked, for example, why I thought there were so many euphemisms for genitalia. It's not a serious question. Whatever the purpose of such a tone is, the effect is to make it appear that anyone who departs from orthodox political doctrine is in some ways laughable.
Noam Chomsky
This is what you British do not understand about the French. You think you must work, work, work, work and open on Sundays and make mothers and fathers with families slave in supermarkets at three o'clock in the morning and make people leave their homes and their churches and their children and go shopping on Sundays.' 'Their shops are open on Sundays?' said Benoît in surprise. 'Yes! They make people work on Sundays! And through lunchtimes! But for what? For rubbish from China? For cheap clothes sewed by poor women in Malaysia? For why? So you can go more often to KFC and get full of fried chicken? You would rather have six bars of bad chocolate than one bar of good chocolate. Why? Why are six bad things better than one good thing? I don't understand.
Jenny Colgan (The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris)
Glen had a disability more disfiguring than a burn and more terrifying than cancer. Glen had been born on the day after Christmas. "My parents just combine my birthday with Christmas, that's all," he explained. But we knew this was a lie. Glen's parents just wrapped a couple of his Christmas presents in birthday-themed wrapping paper, stuck some candles in a supermarket cake, and had a dinner of Christmas leftovers.
Augusten Burroughs (You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas)
It's all been a bad joke that just ran out of control. I got into food for fun but the business got a mind of its own. Now - my good Lord - look where it has gotten me. My products are on supermarket shelves, in cinemas, in the theater. And they say show business is odd.
Paul Newman
The supermarket shelves have been rearranged. It happened one day without warning. There is agitation and panic in the aisles, dismay in the faces of older shoppers.[…]They scrutinize the small print on packages, wary of a second level of betrayal. The men scan for stamped dates, the women for ingredients. Many have trouble making out the words. Smeared print, ghost images. In the altered shelves, the ambient roar, in the plain and heartless fact of their decline, they try to work their way through confusion. But in the end it doesn’t matter what they see or think they see. The terminals are equipped with holographic scanners, which decode the binary secret of every item, infallibly. This is the language of waves and radiation, or how the dead speak to the living. And this is where we wait together, regardless of our age, our carts stocked with brightly colored goods. A slowly moving line, satisfying, giving us time to glance at the tabloids in the racks. Everything we need that is not food or love is here in the tabloid racks. The tales of the supernatural and the extraterrestrial. The miracle vitamins, the cures for cancer, the remedies for obesity. The cults of the famous and the dead.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
Frosting was his favorite. He liked to eat doughnuts at every meal. Because it was healthier to eat six small meals a day than three large ones, he restricted himself: jellied for breakfast, glazed for brunch, cream-filled for lunch, frosting for linner, chocolate for dinner, and powdered sugar for 2 a.m. supermarket stakeout. Because linner coincided with the daily crime peak, he always ate his favorite variety to ease him. Frosting was his only choice now, and upsetting his routine was a quiet thrill.
Benson Bruno (A Story That Talks about Talking Is Like Chatter to Chattering Teeth, and Every Set of Dentures Can Attest to the Fact That No..)
Lillian sounds like she’s more nice than she is kind. Does that make sense? Niceness is good manners, and stopping to give someone directions, and smiling at the overworked cashier at the supermarket. These are all good things, but they have nothing to do with what’s underneath. Niceness is all about what we do when other people are looking. Kindness, on the other hand, runs deep. Kindness is what happens when no one’s looking.
Sangu Mandanna (The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches)
People and their dwellings were such a thin dust on the surface of the globe, like invisible specks of bacteria on an orange, and the feeble lights of kebab shops and supermarkets failed utterly to register on the infinities of space above.
Michel Faber (The Book of Strange New Things)
I would sneak a peek at while on line at the supermarket. Every time I read something like this, “His masculine beauty took my breath away.” I used to think… A: what kind of a dumbass wrote this dreck. And B: what kind of dumbass reads this drivel. And yet, here I stand, making doe eyes at this man, and what am I thinking? His masculine beauty takes my breath away. That’s right. Who’s the dumbass now?
P. Dangelico (Wrecking Ball (Hard to Love #1))
There is a proverb that says America is always 3 days away from revolution. Stop delivering food to the supermarkets, and see what a country of 300 million people with a strong sense of entitlement and over 250 million guns have to say about it.
Craig DiLouie (Tooth and Nail)
is there any wonder why the world is where it’s at now? just notice the creature sitting near you in a movie house or standing ahead of you in a supermarket line. or giving a State of the Union Address. that the gods have let us go on this long this badly.
Charles Bukowski (The Last Night of the Earth Poems)
Remember the first time we kissed? he said. At the party. And I said I didn’t think the utility room was a good place to be kissing and we left. You know I went up to my room and waited for you, right? I mean for hours. And at first I really thought you would come. It was probably the most wretched I ever felt in my life, this kind of ecstatic wretchedness that in a way I was practically enjoying. Because even if you did come upstairs, what then? The house was full of people, it’s not like anything was going to happen. But every time I thought of going back down again I would imagine hearing you on the stairs, and I couldn’t leave, I mean I physically couldn’t. Anyway, how I felt then, knowing that you were close by and feeling completely paralyzed by it, this phone call was similar. If I told you where my car was right now, I don’t think I’d be able to leave, I think I would have to stay here just in case you changed your mind about everything. You know, I still have that impulse to be available to you. You'll notice I didn't buy anything in the supermarket.
Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends)
In the twentieth century, astrophysicists in the United States discovered galaxies, the expanding of the universe, the nature of supernovas, quasars, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, the origin of the elements, the cosmic microwave background, and most of the known planets in orbit around solar systems other than our own. Although the Russians reached one or two places before us, we sent space probes to Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. American probes have also landed on Mars and on the asteroid Eros. And American astronauts have walked on the Moon. Nowadays most Americans take all this for granted, which is practically a working definition of culture: something everyone does or knows about, but no longer actively notices. While shopping at the supermarket, most Americans aren’t surprised to find an entire aisle filled with sugar-loaded, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. But foreigners notice this kind of thing immediately, just as traveling Americans notice that supermarkets in Italy display vast selections of pasta and that markets in China and Japan offer an astonishing variety of rice. The flip side of not noticing your own culture is one of the great pleasures of foreign travel: realizing what you hadn’t noticed about your own country, and noticing what the people of other countries no longer realize about themselves.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries)
You build brand loyalty in a supermarket the same way you build mate loyalty in a marriage. You get there first and then be careful not give them a reason to switch.
Al Ries (Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind)
Instead of a Motherland, we live in a huge supermarket. If this is freedom, I don't need it. To hell with it!
Svetlana Alexievich (Czasy secondhand. Koniec czerwonego człowieka)
He was built like a very small supermarket: Compact; expensive if you crossed him.
Markus Zusak (Bridge of Clay)
But it was just luck really if the girls survived. You're like a man firing a machine gun into a supermarket who happens not to become a murderer.
Iris Murdoch (The Sea, the Sea)
If you sincerely desire a truly well-rounded education, you must study the extremists, the obscure and "nutty." You need the balance! Your poor brain is already being impregnated with middle-of-the-road crap, twenty-four hours a day, no matter what. Network TV, newspapers, radio, magazines at the supermarket... even if you never watch, read, listen, or leave your house, even if you are deaf and blind, the telepathic pressure alone of the uncountable normals surrounding you will insure that you are automatically well-grounded in consensus reality.
Ivan Stang (High Weirdness by Mail: A Directory of the Fringe-Mad Prophets, Crackpots, Kooks & True Visionaries)
As we make our way around the supermarket, I load in the essentials and Jesse loads in a dozen jars of peanut butter, a few jars of chocolate spread and a several cans of squirty cream.
Jodi Ellen Malpas (Beneath This Man (This Man, #2))
She, Laura, likes to imagine (it's one of her most closely held secrets) that she has a touch of brilliance herself, just a hint of it, though she knows most people probably walk around with similar hopeful suspicions curled up like tiny fists inside them, never divulged. She wonders, while she pushes a cart through the supermarket or has her hair done, it the other women aren't all thinking, to some degree or other, the same thing: Here is the brilliant spirit, the woman of sorrows, the woman of transcendent joys, who would rather be elsewhere, who has consented to perform simple and essentially foolish tasks, to examine tomatoes, to sit under a hair dryer, because it is her art and her duty.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
Get rid of all the cleaners, rubbish collectors, bus drivers, supermarket checkout staff and secretaries, for example, and society will very quickly grind to a halt. On the other hand, if we woke up one morning to find that all the highly paid advertising executives, management consultants and private equity directors had disappeared, society would go on much as it did before: in a lot of cases, probably quite a bit better. So,
Owen Jones (Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class)
Elsewhere there are no mobile phones. Elsewhere sleep is deep and the mornings are wonderful. Elsewhere art is endless, exhibitions are free and galleries are open twenty-four hours a day. Elsewhere alcohol is a joke that everybody finds funny. Elsewhere everybody is as welcoming as they’d be if you’d come home after a very long time away and they’d really missed you. Elsewhere nobody stops you in the street and says, are you a Catholic or a Protestant, and when you say neither, I’m a Muslim, then says yeah but are you a Catholic Muslim or a Protestant Muslim? Elsewhere there are no religions. Elsewhere there are no borders. Elsewhere nobody is a refugee or an asylum seeker whose worth can be decided about by a government. Elsewhere nobody is something to be decided about by anybody. Elsewhere there are no preconceptions. Elsewhere all wrongs are righted. Elsewhere the supermarkets don’t own us. Elsewhere we use our hands for cups and the rivers are clean and drinkable. Elsewhere the words of the politicians are nourishing to the heart. Elsewhere charlatans are known for their wisdom. Elsewhere history has been kind. Elsewhere nobody would ever say the words bring back the death penalty. Elsewhere the graves of the dead are empty and their spirits fly above the cities in instinctual, shapeshifting formations that astound the eye. Elsewhere poems cancel imprisonment. Elsewhere we do time differently. Every time I travel, I head for it. Every time I come home, I look for it.
Ali Smith (Public Library and Other Stories)
Informed consent’ sounds so easy in principle – the surgeon explains the balance of risks and benefits, and the calm and rational patient decides what he or she wants – just like going to the supermarket and choosing from the vast array of toothbrushes on offer. The reality is very different.
Henry Marsh (Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery)
I'm cautious with the love word because I really know what it means. I've been there, done that and I know what the implications are. I also know that people say they love people when they don't, and it often results in tears and avoidance of bars, supermarkets, even whole towns in extreme cases.
Jessica Thompson
I didn't have a chance to buy you anything," she said, then held both closed hands toward him. Uncurled her fingers. In each cupped palm a brown egg. He took them. They were cold. He thought it a tender, wonderful thing to do. She had given him something, the eggs, after all, only a symbol, but they had come from her hands as a gift. To him. It didn't matter that he'd bought them himself at the supermarket the day before. He imagined she understood him, that she had to love him to know that it was the outstreched hands, the giving, that mattered.
Annie Proulx
Show up for your own life, he said. Don't pass your days in a stupor, content to swallow whatever watery ideas modern society may bottle-feed you through the media, satisfied to slumber through life in an instant-gratification sugar coma. The most extraordinary gift you've been given is your own humanity, which is about conciousness, so honor that consciousness. Revere your senses; don't degrade them with drugs, with depression, with wilful oblivion. Try to notice something new everyday, Eustace said. Pay attention to even the most modest of daily details. Even if you're not in the woods, be aware at all times. Notice what food tastes like; notice what the detergent aisle in the supermarket smells like and recognize what those hard chemical smells do to your senses; notice what bare feet fell like; pay attention every day to the vital insights that mindfulness can bring. And take care of all things, of every single thing there is - your body, your intellect, your spirit, your neighbours, and this planet. Don't pollute your soul with apathy or spoil your health with junk food any more than you would deliberately contaminate a clean river with industrial sludge.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Last American Man)
The idea, of course, might be to let them know that writing needn’t be hard work; the hard work is getting out of bed in the morning or at noon; the hard work is looking at people’s faces in long supermarket lines; the hard work is working for somebody else who is making money using your life’s hours and years.
Charles Bukowski (Living on Luck)
What bothers me today is the lack of, well, I guess you'd call it authentic experience. So much is a sham. So much is artificial, synthetic, watered-down, and standardized. You know, less than half a century ago there were sixty-three varieties of lettuce in California alone. Today, there are four. And they are not the four best lettuces, either; not the most tasty or nutritious. They are the hybrid lettuces with built-in shelf life, the ones that have a safe, clean, consistent look in the supermarket. It's that way with so many things. We're even standardizing people, their goals, their ideas. The sham is everywhere.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
My grief fills rooms. It takes up space and it sucks out the air. It leaves no room for anyone else. Grief and I are left alone a lot. We smoke cigarettes and we cry. We stare out the window at the Chrysler Building twinkling in the distance, and we trudge through the cavernous rooms of the apartment like miners aimlessly searching for a way out . . . Grief is possessive and doesn’t let me go anywhere without it. I drag my grief out to restaurants and bars, where we sit together sullenly in the corner, watching everyone carry on around us. I take grief shopping with me, and we troll up and down the aisles of the supermarket, both of us too empty to buy much. Grief takes showers with me, our tears mingling with the soapy water, and grief sleeps next to me, its warm embrace like a sedative keeping me under for long, unnecessary hours. Grief is a force and I am swept up in it.
Hope Edelman (Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss)
The center [of the supermarket] is for boxed, frozen, processed, made-to-sit-on-your-shelf-for-months food. You have to ask yourself, "If this food is designed to sit in a box for month and months, what is it doing inside my body?" Nothing good, that´s for sure.
Morgan Spurlock (Don't Eat This Book)
But there's also the fact that in my experience most of my readers are first and foremost plain old-fashioned readers. Good readers. They're not looking for cozy brand-name output and that means I don't have to give it to 'em. They're not lazy and have little patience with pre-fab beach-bag books or Oprah's opine du jour. They're questers. They know that every now and then you're gonna get lucky and pure gold like King and Straub's Black House will simply drop into your lap at the local supermarket but after that, if your bent is horror and suspense fiction, you're gonna have to get your hands dirty and root around for more. Find a Ramsey Campbell or an Edward Lee. They expect diversity and search it out. They want what all good readers want - to be taken somewhere in a book or a story that's really worth visiting for a while. Maybe even worth thinking about after. If that place happens to scare the hell out of you all the better.
Jack Ketchum (Peaceable Kingdom)
This was the Mecca of the American Dream, the world that everyone wanted. A world of sleek young women (allied with Slenderella to be so) in shorts and halters, driving 400-horsepower station wagons to air-conditioned, music-serenaded supermarkets of baby-sitter corporations and culture condensed into Great Books discussion groups. A life of barbecues by the swimming pool and drive in movies open all year. It did't appeal to me. Fuck health insurance plans and life insurance. They wanted to live without leaving the womb. It made me more alive to play a game without rules against society, and I was prepared to play it to the end. A tremor almost sexual passed through me as I anticipated the comming robbery.
Edward Bunker (No Beast So Fierce)
I’ve always felt that love is like Belgian chocolate, you know, the ones with brandy filling. You always say you’re going to take one more bite, one more chocolate, and then, the whole box is gone. Perhaps the morning after, you might even get indigestion or a headache, and still, that evening, you might stop by the supermarket and buy another box because you simply can’t get enough.
Scarlet Hyacinth (Belgian Chocolates and Incubus Kisses (The Taste of Love #1))
I’ve never done meth,13 but I imagine the experience is much like using Twitter. You start it casually because you heard good things; next thing you know, you have been up for ninety-six hours, have lost all your teeth, and are living in a shopping cart outside the local supermarket.
Dan Pfeiffer (Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump)
The daughter of Lithuanian immigrants, born with a precocious scientific intellect and a thirst for chemical knowledge, Elion had completed a master's degree in chemistry from New York University in 1941 while teaching high school science during the day and preforming her research for her thesis at night and on the weekends. Although highly qualified, talented, and driven, she had been unable to find a job in an academic laboratory. Frustrated by repeated rejections, she had found a position as a supermarket product supervisor. When Hitchings found Trudy Elion, who would soon become on of the most innovative synthetic chemists of her generation (and a future Nobel laureate), she was working for a food lab in New York, testing the acidity of pickles and the color of egg yolk going into mayonnaise. Rescued from a life of pickles and mayonnaise…
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer)
Everyone I know is either dead or in jail. I want to become a boss. I want to have supermarkets, stores, factories, I want to have women. I want three cars, I want respect when I go into a store, I want to have warehouses all over the world. And then I want to die. I want to die like a man, like someone who truly commands. I want to be killed.
Roberto Saviano (Gomorrah)
Houses just like the one she lived in; tall condos, apartment buildings that looked, from where she stood, like matchboxes. In the distance, she could catch the lights flickering in the supermarket. They are all out there somewhere.
Mizuki Tsujimura (Lonely Castle in the Mirror)
Supermarkets this large and clean and modern are a revelation to me. I spent my life in small steamy delicatessens with slanted display cabinets full of trays that hold soft wet lumpy matter in pale colours. High enough cabinets so you had to stand on tiptoes to give your order. Shouts, accents. In cities no one notices specific dying. Dying is a quality of the air. It's everywhere and nowhere. Men shout as they die to be noticed, remembered for a second or two. To die in an apartment instead of a house can depress the soul, I would imagine, for several lives to come. In a town there are houses, plants in bay windows. People notice dying better. The dead have faces, automobiles. If you don't know a name you know a street name, a dog's name. 'He drove an orange Mazda.' You know a couple of useless things about a person that become major facts of identification and cosmic placement when he dies suddenly, after a short illness, in his own bed, with a comforter and matching pillows, on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, feverish, a little congested in the sinuses and chest, thinking about his dry cleaning.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
We live in an age in which saving is subterfuge for spending. No doubt you sincerely believe that there is margarine in your refrigerator because it is more economical than butter. But you are wrong. Look in your bread drawer. How many boxes of cute snack crackers are there? How many packages of commercial cookies reeking of imitation vanilla badly masked with oil of coconut? How many presweetened breakfast cereals? Tell me now that you bought the margarine because you couldn't afford butter. You see - you can't. You bought the bread drawer of goodies because you were conned into them; and you omitted the butter because you were conned out of it. The world has slipped you culinary diagrams instead of food. It counts on your palate being not only wooden, but buried under ten coats of synthetic varnish as well. Therefore, the next time you go to check out of the supermarket, simply put back one box of crackers, circle round the dairy case again, swap your margarine for a pound of butter and walk up to the checker with your head held high, like the last of the big spenders. This is no time for cost-counters: It is time to be very rich or very poor - or both at once.
Robert Farrar Capon (The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection)
On average the total walking of an American these days--that's walking of all types: from car to office, from office to car, around the supermarket and shopping malls--adds up to 1.4 miles a week, barely 350 yards a day. That's ridiculous.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
Today, it isn't unusual for meat to travel almost halfway around the globe to reach your supermarket. The average distance our meat travels hovers arounf fifteen hundred miles.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
We bought Candy Twirls and Bull's-Eyes and Licorice & Blackcurrant. We weren't going to lower ourselves and score at the supermarket, were we?
Keith Richards (Life)
The harder I worked, the luckier I got Publix Supermarket Founder
George Washington Jenkins
Facebook is digital brag-to-my-friends-about-how-good-my-life-is serum. In Facebook world, the average adult seems to be happily married, vacationing in the Caribbean, and perusing the Atlantic. In the real world, a lot of people are angry, on supermarket checkout lines, peeking at the National Enquirer, ignoring the phone calls from their spouse, whom they haven’t slept with in years.
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are)
I want to feel calm and at ease. Like someone who lives in Half Moon Bay, California, and makes hummus from scratch. Instead, I feel like I'm a contestant on some awful supermarket game show where I've got sixty seconds to hurl my shopping cart down the aisles, piling it with as much as possible before the buzzer goes off.
Augusten Burroughs (Dry)
It's frustrating to witness how popular Fairtrade bananas, coffee and tea have become with shoppers and supermarkets while plenty of unfair trade goes on, largely unnoticed, in our own back yard.
Rose Prince
I am not a fan of supermarkets and I hate shopping there, even for things I can't get elsewhere, like cat food and bin bags. A big part of my dislike of them is the loss of vivid life. The dull apathy of existence now isn't just boring jobs and boring TV; it is the loss of vivid life on the streets; the gossip, the encounters, the heaving messy noise that made room for everyone, money or not.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
Alcohol I once visited a supermarket that had a petition to allow it to sell alcohol. I signed the petition telling the check-out girl that clouds of alcohol molecules were the largest objects in the galaxy, some five billion times the mass of our sun, and that it was from such clouds that worlds and stars were formed. To which the check-out girl replied: "You're not from around here are you.
Bo Fowler (Notes From the Autopsy of God)
That’s the thing about the collapse of civilization, Blake. It never happens according to plan – there’s no slavering horde of zombies. No actinic flash of thermonuclear war. No Earth-shuddering asteroid. The end comes in unforeseen ways; the stock market collapses, and then the banks, and then there is no food in the supermarkets, or the communications system goes down completely and inevitably, and previously amiable co-workers find themselves wrestling over the last remaining cookie that someone brought in before all the madness began.
Mark A. Rayner (The Fridgularity)
In this large and fierce world of ours, there are many, many unpleasant places to be. You can be in a river swarming with angry electric eels, or in a supermarket filled with vicious long-distance runners. You can be in a hotel that has no room service, or you can be lost in a forest that is slowly filling up with water. You can be in a hornet's nest or in an abandoned airport or in the office of a pediatric surgeon, but one of the most unpleasant things that can happen is to find yourself in a quandary. Which is where the Baudelaire orphans found themselves that night. Finding yourself in a quandary means that everything seems confusing and dangerous and you don't know what in the world to do about it, and it is one of the worst unpleasantries you can encounter.
Lemony Snicket (The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7))
These are the real puzzles that will face humanity. There is, he claims, a single theory that will explain not only why the queue you choose at a supermarket is always the slowest but why trains always leave on time when you are late and leave late when you are on time.” “There isn’t an answer to those,” murmured Madeleine doubtfully. “It just happens.” “That’s what they used to say about lightning,” replied Pandora, “and rainbows.
Jasper Fforde (The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime, #1))
[O]ver the years I travelled to another universe. However alert we are, however much we think we know what will happen, antiquity remains an unknown, unanticipated galaxy. It is alien, and old people are a separate form of life. They have green skin, with two heads that sprout antennae. They can be pleasant, they can be annoying--in the supermarket, these old ladies won't get out of my way--but most important they are permanently other. When we turn eighty, we understand that we are extraterrestrial. If we forget for a moment that we are old, we are reminded when we try to stand up, or when we encounter someone young, who appears to observe green skin, extra heads, and protuberances.
Donald Hall
...Our conversation with the supermarket manager had been about as helpful as a New Jersey road sign, and if you've ever been there, you know the signs don't tell you the exit you're coming up to, they only point out the exits you've just missed. It puts parents in very foul moods--and since you're probably there to visit relatives, their mood was pretty touch and go to begin with.
Neal Shusterman (The Schwa Was Here (Antsy Bonano, #1))
Panic strikes me when I think about a sentence that isn’t given the chance to live because I don’t have a pen in my hand or am not sitting near enough to someone familiar to speak it to. Especially if it’s a particularly good sentence, a sentence with truth or beauty or humor or sadness to it. The best ones always take you by surprise. They sneak into your head while you’re walking down the aisles at a supermarket, or flat-out assault you when you’re at your grandmother’s funeral, and you have to scramble to give the thought life before it’s gone forever. Cocktail napkins, palms, text messages sent to yourself.
Adi Alsaid (Somewhere Over the Sun)
So the whole conversation is going right off course. It's like a supermarket trolley with a wonky wheel, because all the time I'm thinking, this should be easy to push along, and everything I say just takes me in the wrong direction.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
None of you will go to America, none of you will be film stars. And none of you will be working in supermarkets as I heard some of you planning the other day. Your lives are set out for you. You'll become adults, then before you're old, before you're even middle-aged, you'll start to donate your vital organs.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
I drive my car to supermarket, The way I take is superhigh, A superlot is where I park it, And Super Suds are what I buy. Supersalesmen sell me tonic - Super-Tone-O, for Relief. The planes I ride are supersonic. In trains, I like the Super Chief. Supercilious men and women Call me superficial - me, Who so superbly learned to swim in Supercolossality. Superphosphate-fed foods feed me; Superservice keeps me new. Who would dare to supersede me, Super-super-superwho?
John Updike
Many of us think of people who lobby for pure water and pure food as food faddists or health nuts. We call a section in our local supermarket the "Health Food Section." What is the rest of the store called, the "Death and Disease Section"?
Carol N. Simontacchi (The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children)
Bad days come in degrees. They are not all equally bad. And the really bad ones, though horrible to live through, are useful for later. You store them up. A bank of bad days. The day you had to run out of the supermarket. The day you were so depressed your tongue wouldn’t move. The day you made your parents cry. The day you nearly threw yourself off a cliff. So if you are having another bad day you can say, Well, this feels bad, but there have been worse. And even when you can think of no worse day – when the one you are living is the very worst there has ever been – you at least know the bank exists and that you have made a deposit.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
In one way, at least, our lives really are like movies. The main cast consists of your family and friends. The supporting cast is made up of neighbors, co-workers, teachers, and daily acquaintances. There are also bit players: the supermarket checkout girl with the pretty smile, the friendly bartender at the local watering hole, the guys you work out with at the gym three days a week. And there are thousands of extras --those people who flow through every life like water through a sieve, seen once and never again. The teenager browsing a graphic novel at Barnes & Noble, the one you had to slip past (murmuring "Excuse me") in order to get to the magazines. The woman in the next lane at a stoplight, taking a moment to freshen her lipstick. The mother wiping ice cream off her toddler's face in a roadside restaurant where you stopped for a quick bite. The vendor who sold you a bag of peanuts at a baseball game. But sometimes a person who fits none of these categories comes into your life. This is the joker who pops out of the deck at odd intervals over the years, often during a moment of crisis. In the movies this sort of character is known as the fifth business, or the chase agent. When he turns up in a film, you know he's there because the screenwriter put him there. But who is screenwriting our lives? Fate or coincidence? I want to believe it's the latter. I want that with all my heart and soul.
Stephen King (Revival)
Behind this monstrous shield, liberal democracy and the free market managed to hold out in their last bastions, and Westerners could enjoy sex, drugs and rock and roll, as well as washing machines, refrigerators and televisions. Without nukes, there would have been no Woodstock, no Beatles and no overflowing supermarkets. But in the mid-1970s it seemed that nuclear weapons notwithstanding, the future belonged to socialism.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
quiet clean girls in gingham dresses ... all I've ever known are whores, ex-prostitutes, madwomen. I see men with quiet, gentle women – I see them in the supermarkets, I see them walking down the streets together, I see them in their apartments: people at peace, living together. I know that their peace is only partial, but there is peace, often hours and days of peace. all I've ever known are pill freaks, alcoholics, whores, ex-prostitutes, madwomen. when one leaves another arrives worse than her predecessor. I see so many men with quiet clean girls in gingham dresses girls with faces that are not wolverine or predatory. "don't ever bring a whore around," I tell my few friends, "I'll fall in love with her." "you couldn't stand a good woman, Bukowski." I need a good woman. I need a good woman more than I need this typewriter, more than I need my automobile, more than I need Mozart; I need a good woman so badly that I can taste her in the air, I can feel her at my fingertips, I can see sidewalks built for her feet to walk upon, I can see pillows for her head, I can feel my waiting laughter, I can see her petting a cat, I can see her sleeping, I can see her slippers on the floor. I know that she exists but where is she upon this earth as the whores keep finding me?
Charles Bukowski (Love Is a Dog from Hell)
After the boy at the supermarket had called her those names, Evelyn Couch had felt violated. Raped by words. Stripped of everything. She had always tried to keep this from happening to her, always been terrified of displeasing men, terrified of the names she would be called if she did. She had spent her life tiptoeing around them like something lifting her skirt stepping through a cow pasture. She had always suspected that if provoked, those names were always close to the surface, ready to lash out and destroy her.
Fannie Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe)
He dreamed of ambassadorial limousines crashing into jack-knifing butane tankers, of taxis filled with celebrating children colliding head-on below the bright display windows of deserted supermarkets. He dreamed of alienated brothers and sisters, by chance meeting each other on collision courses on the access roads of petrochemical plants, their unconscious incest made explicit in this colliding metal, in the heamorrhages of their brain tissue flowering beneath the aluminized compression chambers and reactions vessels.
J.G. Ballard (Crash)
Partially undermining the manufacturer's ability to assert that its work constituted a meaningful contribution to mankind was the frivolous way in which it went about marketing its products. Grief was the only rational response to the news that an employee had spent three months devising a supermarket promotion based on an offer of free stickers of cartoon characters called the Fimbles. Why had the grown-ups so churlishly abdicated their responsibilities? Were there not more important ambitions to be met before Death showed himself on the horizon in his hooded black cloak, his scythe slung over his shoulder?
Alain de Botton (The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work)
The German birds didn't taste as good as their French cousins, nor did the frozen Dutch chickens we bought in the local supermarkets. The American poultry industry had made it possible to grow a fine-looking fryer in record time and sell it at a reasonable price, but no one mentioned that the result usually tasted like the stuffing inside of a teddy bear.
Julia Child (My Life in France)
Laser light flickered all over him as if he was a packet of biscuits at a super-market check-out.
Douglas Adams (Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #5))
In the modern food landscape, the Krafts, Monsantos, and Archer Daniels Midlands are standing in the way of food democracy.
Brian Halweil (Eat Here: Reclaiming Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket)
Any literary description I could give would never be able to do justice to the horrendous sight.
Bobby Hall (Supermarket)
Mr. Landowsky was eighty-two and somehow his chest had shrunk over the years, and now he was forced to hike his pants up under his armpits. "Oi," he said. "This heat! I can't breathe. Somebody should do something." I assumed he was talking about God. "That weatherman on the morning news. He should be shot. How can I go out in weather like this? And then when it gets so hot they keep the supermarkets too cold. Hot, cold. Hot, cold. It gives me the runs." I was glad I owned a gun, because when I got as old as Mr. Landowsky I was going to eat a bullet. The first time I got the runs in the supermarket, that was it. BANG! It would all be over.
Janet Evanovich (Four to Score (Stephanie Plum, #4))
By his own choice, he had so little contact with the outside world that he frequently considered the commonplace to be bizarre: an automatic-teller machine, for instance, or some new peculiarity in the supermarket—cereal shaped like vampires, or unrefrigerated yogurt sold in pop-top cans.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
The poultry industry commonly injects chicken carcasses with salt water to artificially inflate their weight, yet they can still be labelled “100 percent natural.” Consumer Reports found that some supermarket chickens were pumped so full of salt that they registered a whopping 840 mg of sodium per serving—that could mean more than a full day’s worth of sodium in just one chicken breast.
Michael Greger (How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease)
Yet at least he had believed in the cars, maybe to excess: how could he not, seeing people poorer than him come in, Negro, Mexican, cracker, a parade seven days a week, bring with them the most godawful of trade-ins: motorized, metal extensions of themselves, of their families and what their whole lives must be like, out there so naked for anybody, a stranger like himself, to look at, frame cockeyed, rusty underneath, fender repainted in a shade just off enough to depress the value, if not Mucho himself, inside smelling hopeless of children, of supermarket booze, or two, sometimes three generations of cigarette smokers, or only of dust--and when the cars were swept out you had to look at the actual residue of these lives, and there was no way of telling what things had been truly refused (when so little he supposed came by that out of fear most of it had to be taken and kept) and what had simply (perhaps tragically) been lost: clipped coupons promising savings of 5 or 10¢, trading stamps, pink flyers advertising specials at the market, butts, tooth-shy combs, help-wanted ads, Yellow Pages torn from the phone book, rags of old underwear or dresses that already were period costumes, for wiping your own breath off the inside of a windshield with so you could see whatever it was, a movie, a woman or car you coveted, a cop who might pull you over just for drill, all the bits and pieces coated uniformly, like a salad of despair, in a grey dressing of ash, condensed exhaust, dust, body wastes--it nauseated him to look, but he had to look.
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
And I suppose that what I have learned is a lesson that the years, or self-concern, had begun to hide from me, namely, that the bravest and most loyal and loving people in the world seldom have heroic physical characteristics or the auras of saints. In fact, their faces are like those of people whom you might randomly pull out of a supermarket line, their physical makeup so nondescript and unremarkable that it's hard to remember what they look like ten minutes after they walk out of a room.
James Lee Burke (A Morning for Flamingos (Dave Robicheaux, #4))
Yet as a general rule it's a whole lot easier to slap a health claim on a box of sugary cereal than on a raw potato or a carrot, with the perverse result that the most healthful foods in the supermarket sit there quietly in the produce section, silent as stroke victims, while a few aisles over in Cereal the Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms are screaming their newfound "whole-grain goodness" to the rafters.
Michael Pollan
Which is just grief, I guess. I've decided that grief is like a newborn baby. It knocks you for six. It takes over your brain with its incessant cry. It stops you sleeping or eating or functioning, and everyone says, "Hang in there, it gets easier." What they don't say is, "Two years on, you'll think it's got easier, but then, out of the blue, you'll hear a certain tune in the supermarket and start sobbing.
Sophie Kinsella (Surprise Me)
And at a fruit boutique called Atelier du Soleil, one beautifully proportioned mango was selling for the equivalent of one hundred dollars. "That's not your average supermarket mango," one Tokyo fruit connoisseur told me. "That mango will change your mind forever about mangoes. That mango will blow your damn mind!
Adam Platt
What, after all this time, is the purpose of mass schooling supposed to be? Reading, writing, and arithmetic can’t be the answer, because properly approached those things take less than a hundred hours to transmit — and we have abundant evidence that each is readily self-taught in the right setting and time. Why, then, are we locking kids up in an involuntary network with strangers for twelve years? Surely not so a few of them can get rich? Even if it worked that way, and I doubt that it does, why wouldn’t any sane community look on such an education as positively wrong? It divides and classifies people, demanding that they compulsively compete with each other, and publicly labels the losers by literally de-grading them, identifying them as “low-class” material. And the bottom line for the winners is that they can buy more stuff! I don’t believe that anyone who thinks about that feels comfortable with such a silly conclusion. I can’t help feeling that if we could only answer the question of what it is that we want from these kids we lock up, we would suddenly see where we took a wrong turn. I have enough faith in American imagination and resourcefulness to believe that at that point we’d come up with a better way — in fact, a whole supermarket of better ways.
John Taylor Gatto (Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling)
Some days he wishes that he could simply empty the chambers of the men, fill the halls instead with women: the short sharp shock of three thousand two hundred mothers. The ones who picked through the supermarket debris for pieces of their dead husbands. The ones who still laundered their gone son's bed sheets by hand. The ones who kept an extra teacup at the end of the table, in case of miracles. The elegant ones, the angry ones, the clever ones, the ones in hairnets, the ones exhausted by all the dying. They carried their sorrow--not with photos under their arms, or with public wailing, or by beating their chests, but with a weariness around the eyes.
Colum McCann (TransAtlantic)
This is the shame of the woman whose hand hides her smile because her teeth are so bad, not the grand self-hate that leads some to razors or pills or swan dives off beautiful bridges however tragic that is. This is the shame of seeing yourself, of being ashamed of where you live and what your father’s paycheck lets you eat and wear. This is the shame of the fat and the bald, the unbearable blush of acne, the shame of having no lunch money and pretending you’re not hungry. This is the shame of concealed sickness—diseases too expensive to afford that offer only their cold one-way ticket out. This is the shame of being ashamed, the self-disgust of the cheap wine drunk, the lassitude that makes junk accumulate, the shame that tells you there is another way to live but you are too dumb to find it. This is the real shame, the damned shame, the crying shame, the shame that’s criminal, the shame of knowing words like glory are not in your vocabulary though they litter the Bibles you’re still paying for. This is the shame of not knowing how to read and pretending you do. This is the shame that makes you afraid to leave your house, the shame of food stamps at the supermarket when the clerk shows impatience as you fumble with the change. This is the shame of dirty underwear, the shame of pretending your father works in an office as God intended all men to do. This is the shame of asking friends to let you off in front of the one nice house in the neighborhood and waiting in the shadows until they drive away before walking to the gloom of your house. This is the shame at the end of the mania for owning things, the shame of no heat in winter, the shame of eating cat food, the unholy shame of dreaming of a new house and car and the shame of knowing how cheap such dreams are. © Vern Rutsala
Brené Brown (I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame)
Hear my wife speak of John Lewis and you might picture a stately pleasure dome of ornamental cascades and hanging gardens, staffed by muscular Centaurs who know all there is to know about kitchenware and soft furnishings. But really it's just a big hall full of wanky chrome fridges.
Tim Moore (You are Awful (But I Like You): Travels Around Unloved Britain)
For official record, if become bankrupt old retail distribution centers-labeled supermega, so-enlarged foodstuff market- later reincarnate to become worship shrine. First sell food-stuff, next then same structure sell battered furnitures, next now born as gymnasium club, next broker flea markets, only at final end of life...sell religions.
Chuck Palahniuk (Pygmy)
I'm cautious with the love word because I really know what it means. I've been there, done that and I know what the implications are. I also know that people say they love people when they don't, and it often results in tears and avoidance of bars, supermarkets, even whole towns in extreme cases. I will never be one of those people. I refuse.
Jessica Thompson (This is a Love Story)
On a very hot day in August of 1994, my wife told me she was going down to the Derry Rite Aid to pick up a refill on her sinus medicine prescription - this is stuff you can buy over the counter these days, I believe. I’d finished writing for the day and offered to pick it up for her. She said thanks, but she wanted to get a piece of fish at the supermarket next door anyway; two birds with one stone and all that. She blew a kiss at me off the palm of her and and went out. The next time I saw her, she was on TV. That’s how you identify the dead here in Derry - no walking down a subterranean corridor with green tiles on the walls and long fluorescent bars overhead, no naked body rolling out of a chilly drawer on casters; you just go into an office marked PRIVATE and look at a TV screen and say yep or nope.
Stephen King (Bag of Bones)
At the end of the month, the doors will close on our little club for the last time. The end of an error.
Ivan Vladislavić (The Restless Supermarket)
He nearly called you again last night. Can you imagine that, after all this time? He can. He imagines calling you or running into you by chance. Depending on the weather, he imagines you in one of those cotton dresses of yours with flowers on it or in faded blue jeans and a thick woollen button-up cardigan over a checkered shirt, drinking coffee from a mug, looking through your tortoiseshell glasses at a book of poetry while it rains. He thinks of you with your hair tied back and the characteristic sweet scent on your neck. He imagines you this way when he is on the train, in the supermarket, at his parents' house, at night, alone, and when he is with a woman. He is wrong, though. You didn't read poetry at all. He had wanted you to read poetry, but you didn't. If pressed, he confesses to an imprecise recollection of what it was you read and, anyway, it wasn't your reading that started this. It was the laughter, the carefree laughter, the three-dimensional Coca-Cola advertisement that you were, the try-anything-once friends, the imperviousness to all that came before you, the chain telephone calls, the in-jokes, the instant music, the sunlight you carried with you, the way he felt when you spoke to his parents, the introductory undergraduate courses, the inevitability of your success, the beach houses, ...
Elliot Perlman (Seven Types of Ambiguity)
We had a very Tom and Jerry relationship, me and my mom. She was the strict disciplinarian; I was naughty as shit. She would send me out to buy groceries, and I wouldn’t come right home because I’d be using the change from the milk and bread to play arcade games at the supermarket. I loved videogames. I was a master at Street Fighter. I could go forever on a single play. I’d drop a coin in, time would fly, and the next thing I knew there’d be a woman behind me with a belt. It was
Trevor Noah (Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
So what exactly would an ecological detective set loose in an American supermarket discover, were he to trace the items in his shopping cart all the way back to the soil? The notion began to occupy me a few years ago, after I realized that the straightforward question 'What should I eat?' could no longer be answered without first addressing two other even more straightforward questions: 'What am I eating? And where in the world did it come from?' Not very long ago an eater didn't need a journalist to answer these questions. The fact that today one so often does suggests a pretty good start on a working definition of industrial food: Any food whose provenance is so complex or obscure that it requires expert help to ascertain.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
The notion of children makes me ill. The thought of having one... when you see those guys in the supermarket, wheeling the trolley around while their brats whine and wheedle and some blundering sow questions every little thing they take off the shelves. I mean, just the fucking idea of it, the very word: family. Whenever I see it, on travel brochures, on house schedules... I feel sick.
John Niven (Kill Your Friends)
Addicts are good at lying, but never as good as their children. It's their sons and daughters who have to come up with excuses, never too outlandish or incredible, always mundane enough for no one to want to check them. An addict's child's homework never gets eaten by the dog, they just forgot their backpack at home. Their mom didn't miss parents' evening because she was kidnapped by ninjas, but because she had to work overtime. The child doesn't remember the name of the place she's working, it's only a temporary job. She does her best, Mom does, to support us now that Dad's gone, you know. You soon learn how to phrase things in such a way as to preclude any follow-up questions. You learn that the women in the welfare office can take you away from her if they find out she managed to set fire to your last apartment when she fell asleep with a cigarette in her hand, or if they find out she stole the Christmas ham from the supermarket. So you lie when the security guard comes, you take the ham off her, and confess: 'It was me who took it.' No one calls the police for a child, not when it's Christmas. So they let you go home with your mom, hungry but not alone.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
The fact that the nutritional quality of a given food (and of that food's food) can vary not just in degree but in kind throws a big wrench into an industrial food chain, the very premise of which is that beef is beef and salmon salmon. It also throws a new light on the whole question of cost, for it quality matters so much more than quantity, then the price of a food may bear little relation to the value of the nutrients in it. If units of omega-3s and beta-cartene and vitamin E are what an egg shopper is really after, then Joel's $2.20 a dozen pastured eggs actually represents a much better deal than the $0.79 a dozen industrial eggs at the supermarket.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
In my family ‘adventure’ tends to be used to mean ‘any minor disaster we survived’ or even ‘any break from routine’. Except by my mother, who still uses it to mean ‘what she did that morning’. Going to the wrong part of a supermarket car park and, while looking for her car, getting into a conversation with someone whose sister, it turns out, she knew in the 1970s would qualify, for my mother, as a full-blown adventure.
Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances)
Where do [writers] get [their] ideas? And the answer is that no one knows where the come from and nobody should know. They evolve in thin air, they float down from some mysterious heaven, and we reach and grab one, to grasp in our imagination, and to make it our own. One writer might overhear a conversation in a cafe and a whole novel will be built from that moment. Another might see an article in a newspaper and a plot will suggest itself immediately. Another might hear about an unpleasant incident that happened to a friend of a friend in a supermarket . . . .
John Boyne (A Ladder to the Sky)
Anxiety suits the status quo very well. Anxious people make good consumers and good workers. Governments and big business, therefore, love terrorism – they adore it, it’s good for business. Anxiety will drive us back into our comfort blankets of credit-card shopping and bad food, so the system deliberately produces anxiety while simultaneously promising to take it away.
Tom Hodgkinson (The Freedom Manifesto: How to Free Yourself from Anxiety, Fear, Mortgages, Money, Guilt, Debt, Government, Boredom, Supermarkets, Bills, Melancholy, Pain, Depression, Work, and Waste)
What was that sound? That rustling noise? It could be heard in the icy North, where there was not one leaf left upon one tree, it could be heard in the South, where the crinoline skirts lay deep in the mothballs, as still and quiet as wool. It could be heard from sea to shining sea, o'er purple mountains' majesty and upon the fruited plain. What was it? Why, it was the rustle of thousands of bags of potato chips being pulled from supermarket racks; it was the rustle of plastic bags being filled with beer and soda pop and quarts of hard liquor; it was the rustle of newspaper pages fanning as readers turned eagerly to the sports section; it was the rustle of currency changing hands as tickets were scalped for forty times their face value and two hundred and seventy million dollars were waged upon one or the other of two professional football teams. It was the rustle of Super Bowl week...
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
At the center of the bouquet is a monstrous peony, probably purchased on sale at the supermarket. By Tuesday its curling petals had begun to collect at the bottom of the vase, infusing the room with the faint but unmistakable sweet odor of corruption and imminent death. ... In Tick's opinion there was something extravagantly excessive about the peony from the start, as if God had intended so suggest with this particular bloom that you could have too much of a good thing. The swiftness with which the fallen petals bean to stink drove the point home in case anybody missed it. As a rule, Tick leans toward believing that there is no God, but she isn't so sure at times like this, when pockets of meaning emerge so clearly that they feel like divine communication.
Richard Russo (Empire Falls)
What does it mean a 'greener life'? Well, let's be brutal. It doesn't meaning meditating in a centrally heated room on a macrame mat in front of an Amerindian dreamcatcher and a homemade candle surrounded by ugly spider plants, then rushing off in a gas-guzzling 4-wheel drive to collect the children from school and feeding them on pre-prepared supermarket meals heated in the microwave. If you have a faith, living a greener life demands a certain amount of self-sacrifice. You don't save the planet with notions and lip service. Like every adventure it requires a degree of suffering and getting your hands dirty.
Clarissa Dickson Wright
THE ORGANIC FOODS MYTH A few decades ago, a woman tried to sue a butter company that had printed the word 'LITE' on its product's packaging. She claimed to have gained so much weight from eating the butter, even though it was labeled as being 'LITE'. In court, the lawyer representing the butter company simply held up the container of butter and said to the judge, "My client did not lie. The container is indeed 'light in weight'. The woman lost the case. In a marketing class in college, we were assigned this case study to show us that 'puffery' is legal. This means that you can deceptively use words with double meanings to sell a product, even though they could mislead customers into thinking your words mean something different. I am using this example to touch upon the myth of organic foods. If I was a lawyer representing a company that had labeled its oranges as being organic, and a man was suing my client because he found out that the oranges were being sprayed with toxins, my defense opening statement would be very simple: "If it's not plastic or metallic, it's organic." Most products labeled as being organic are not really organic. This is the truth. You pay premium prices for products you think are grown without chemicals, but most products are. If an apple is labeled as being organic, it could mean two things. Either the apple tree itself is free from chemicals, or just the soil. One or the other, but rarely both. The truth is, the word 'organic' can mean many things, and taking a farmer to court would be difficult if you found out his fruits were indeed sprayed with pesticides. After all, all organisms on earth are scientifically labeled as being organic, unless they are made of plastic or metal. The word 'organic' comes from the word 'organism', meaning something that is, or once was, living and breathing air, water and sunlight. So, the next time you stroll through your local supermarket and see brown pears that are labeled as being organic, know that they could have been third-rate fare sourced from the last day of a weekend market, and have been re-labeled to be sold to a gullible crowd for a premium price. I have a friend who thinks that organic foods have to look beat up and deformed because the use of chemicals is what makes them look perfect and flawless. This is not true. Chemical-free foods can look perfect if grown in your backyard. If you go to jungles or forests untouched by man, you will see fruit and vegetables that look like they sprouted from trees from Heaven. So be cautious the next time you buy anything labeled as 'organic'. Unless you personally know the farmer or the company selling the products, don't trust what you read. You, me, and everything on land and sea are organic. Suzy Kassem, Truth Is Crying
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Your everyday supermarket now carries roughly 40,000 items - twice as many as a decade ago. There are so many products, so many brands and sub-species of those brands, that no consumer is safe from the bombardment of choice overload. A huge variety of product offering doesn't aid consumers. It is insanity. From the vast array of athletic shoes to bagels to portable CD players to bottled water, there quickly becomes a point at which mega-choices, like mega-information, do not serve the consumer; they abuse him.
Jeff Davidson (The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Things Done)
globalization and air transport mean that we are now exposed to a previously unheard-of overabundance of fruit. Pineapples from the tropics nestle on our supermarket shelves in the middle of winter, next to fresh strawberries from Mexico, and some dried figs from Morocco. So, what we label a food intolerance may in fact be nothing more than the reaction of a healthy body as it tries to adapt within a single generation to a food situation that was completely unknown during the millions of years of our evolution.
Giulia Enders (Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ)
If you want to work your stinking job and pay into a pension plan for the rest of your days then fine; if you want to visit the supermarket once a week and feel great about yourself for finding the best offers on low fat microwave meals then fine; if you want to click around them computers all night, chatting to your Aunt Sally in Honolulu then fine; if you want to drink in moderation so you don’t end up shitting the bed then fine; if you want to continue the cycle of obedient drones then fine; if you want to resent how average your life has turned out in return for a salary that buys you nothing more than permanent misery then fine. All fine and dandy. Go right ahead. Just leave me the fuck out of it.
Rupert Dreyfus (Prezident Scumbag! A Sick Bastard Novella)
Dare I admit it? Dare I confess? America, land of supermarkets and superhighways, of supersonic jets and Superman, of supercarriers and the Super Bowl! America, a country not content simply to give itself a name on its bloody birth, but one that insisted for the first time in history on a mysterious acronym, USA, a trifecta of letters outdone later only by the quartet of the USSR. Although every country thought itself superior in its own way, was there ever a country that coined so many “super” terms from the federal bank of its narcissism, was not only superconfident but also truly superpowerful, that would not be satisfied until it locked every nation of the world into a full nelson and made it cry Uncle Sam?
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
To me, at least in retrospect,26 the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it’s because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that’s where phrases like ‘deadly dull’ or ‘excruciatingly dull’ come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient low-level way, and which most of us27 spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing’s pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly… but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places anymore but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets’ checkouts, airports’ gates, SUVs’ backseats. Walkmen, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. This terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can’t think anyone really believes that today’s so-called ‘information society’ is just about information. Everyone knows28 it’s about something else, way down.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
I can’t blame all this for my drinking—I can’t blame my parents or my childhood, an abusive uncle or some terrible tragedy. It’s my fault. I was a drinker anyway—I’ve always liked to drink. But I did become sadder, and sadness gets boring after a while, for the sad person and for everyone around them. And then I went from being a drinker to being a drunk, and there’s nothing more boring than that. I’m better now, about the children thing; I’ve got better since I’ve been on my own. I’ve had to. I’ve read books and articles, I’ve realized that I must come to terms with it. There are strategies, there is hope. If I straightened myself out and sobered up, there’s a possibility that I could adopt. And I’m not thirty-four yet—it isn’t over. I am better than I was a few years ago, when I used to abandon my trolley and leave the supermarket if the place was packed with mums and kids; I wouldn’t have been able to come to a park like this, to sit near the playground and watch chubby toddlers rolling down the slide. There were times, at my lowest, when the hunger was at its worst, when I thought I was going to lose my mind.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
Dupa cum se pare, demnitatea vietii omului nu a fost prevazuta in planul globalizarii. Nelinistea e singurul lucru care a ajuns pe culmi niciodata banuite. Este o lume care traieste in perversitate, unde unii, putini, isi contabilizeaza castigurile pe seama amputarii vietii imensei majoritati. S-a ajuns la aparitia unui biet om care apartine lumii dezvoltate si care are acces la nenumarate produse dintr-un supermarket. Si in timp ce acel sarman nefericit doarme linistit, inchis in fortareata lui de aparate si ciurucuri, mii de familii trebuie sa reziste cu doar un dolar pe zi. Marginalizatii de la marele banchet al economistilor se numara cu milioanele.
Ernesto Sabato (Antes del fin)
We're constantly judging and grading other parents, just to make sure that they aren't any better than us. I'm as guilty as anyone. I see some lady hand her kid a Nintendo DS at the supermarket and I instantly downgrade that lady to Shitty Parent status. I feel pressure to live up to a parental ideal that no one probably has ever achieved. I feel pressure to raise a group of human beings that will help America kick the shit out of Finland and South Korea in the world math rankings. I feel pressure to shield my kids from the trillion pages of hentai donkey porn out there on the Internet. I feel pressure to make the insane amounts of money needed for a supposedly 'middle-class' upbringing for the kids, an upbringing that includes a house and college tuition and health care and so many other expenses that you have to be a multimillionaire to afford it. PRESSURE PRESSURE PRESSURE.
Drew Magary (Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First-Century Parenthood)
For many Westerners, “it’s natural” seems to mean “it’s good.” This view is wrong and comes from shopping in supermarkets and living in landscaped environments. Plants evolved toxins to deter animals, fungi, and bacteria from eating them. The list of “natural” foods that need processing to detoxify them goes on and on. Early potatoes were toxic, and the Andean peoples ate clay to neutralize the toxin. Even beans can be toxic without processing. In California, many hunter-gatherer populations relied on acorns, which, similar to manioc, require a labor intensive, multiday leaching process. Many small-scale societies have similarly exploited hardy, tropical plants called cycads for food. But cycads contain a nerve toxin. If not properly processed, they can cause neurological symptoms, paralysis, and death. Numerous societies, including hunter-gatherers, have culturally evolved an immense range of detoxification techniques for cycads. By contrast with our species, other animals have far superior abilities to detoxify plants. Humans, however, lost these genetic adaptations and evolved a dependence on cultural know-how, just to eat.
Joseph Henrich (The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter)
America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing. America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956. I can’t stand my own mind. America when will we end the human war? Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb. I don’t feel good don’t bother me. I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind. America when will you be angelic? When will you take off your clothes? When will you look at yourself through the grave? When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites? America why are your libraries full of tears? America when will you send your eggs to India? I’m sick of your insane demands. When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks? America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world. Your machinery is too much for me. You made me want to be a saint. There must be some other way to settle this argument. Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister. Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke? I’m trying to come to the point. I refuse to give up my obsession. America stop pushing I know what I’m doing. America the plum blossoms are falling. I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for murder. America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies. America I used to be a communist when I was a kid I’m not sorry. I smoke marijuana every chance I get. I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet. When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid. My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble. You should have seen me reading Marx. My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right. I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer. I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations. America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over from Russia. I’m addressing you. Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine? I’m obsessed by Time Magazine. I read it every week. Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore. I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library. It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me. It occurs to me that I am America. I am talking to myself again. ...
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
Is it why you feel everything and love harder and fight more ferociously than anyone else? Is it why you are the love of your sister’s life? Why you’ll be a writer of much more, one day, than a small supermarket column? How you can be my fiercest bloody critic, and someone with so much compassion she’ll buy glasses she doesn’t need because the man fell off his stool. Martha, when you are in a room, nobody wants to talk to anybody else. Why is that, if not for the life you have lived, as someone who has been refined by fire? And you have been loved for all your adult life by one man. That is a gift not many people get, and his stubborn, persistent love isn’t in spite of you and your pain. It is because of who you are, which is, in part, a product of your pain. You do not have to believe me about that but I know—I do know, Martha—that your pain has made you brave enough to carry on. If you want to, you can put all of this right. Start with your sister.
Meg Mason (Sorrow and Bliss)
Revere your senses; don't degrade them with drugs, with depression, with willful oblivion. Try to notice something new every day, Eustace said. Pay attention to even the most modest of daily details. Even if you're not in the woods, be aware at all times. Notice what food tastes like, notice what the detergent aisle in the supermarket smells like and recognize what those hard chemical smells do to your senses; notice what bare feet feel like; pay attention every day to the vital insights that mindfulness can bring. And take care of all things, of every single thing there is - your body, your intellect, your spirit, your neighbors, and this planet. Don't pollute your soul with apathy or spoil your health with junk food any more than you would deliberately contaminate a clean river with industrial sludge. You can never become a real man if you have a careless and destructive attitude, Eustace said, but maturity will follow mindfulness even as day follows night.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Last American Man)
New Rule: Republicans must stop pitting the American people against the government. Last week, we heard a speech from Republican leader Bobby Jindal--and he began it with the story that every immigrant tells about going to an American grocery store for the first time and being overwhelmed with the "endless variety on the shelves." And this was just a 7-Eleven--wait till he sees a Safeway. The thing is, that "endless variety"exists only because Americans pay taxes to a government, which maintains roads, irrigates fields, oversees the electrical grid, and everything else that enables the modern American supermarket to carry forty-seven varieties of frozen breakfast pastry.Of course, it's easy to tear government down--Ronald Reagan used to say the nine most terrifying words in the Englishlanguage were "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." But that was before "I'm Sarah Palin, now show me the launch codes."The stimulus package was attacked as typical "tax and spend"--like repairing bridges is left-wing stuff. "There the liberals go again, always wanting to get across the river." Folks, the people are the government--the first responders who put out fires--that's your government. The ranger who shoos pedophiles out of the park restroom, the postman who delivers your porn.How stupid is it when people say, "That's all we need: the federal government telling Detroit how to make cars or Wells Fargo how to run a bank. You want them to look like the post office?"You mean the place that takes a note that's in my hand in L.A. on Monday and gives it to my sister in New Jersey on Wednesday, for 44 cents? Let me be the first to say, I would be thrilled if America's health-care system was anywhere near as functional as the post office.Truth is, recent years have made me much more wary of government stepping aside and letting unregulated private enterprise run things it plainly is too greedy to trust with. Like Wall Street. Like rebuilding Iraq.Like the way Republicans always frame the health-care debate by saying, "Health-care decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not government bureaucrats," leaving out the fact that health-care decisions aren't made by doctors, patients, or bureaucrats; they're made by insurance companies. Which are a lot like hospital gowns--chances are your gas isn't covered.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
About these developments George Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four , was quite wrong. He described a new kind of state and police tyranny, under which the freedom of speech has become a deadly danger, science and its applications have regressed, horses are again plowing untilled fields, food and even sex have become scarce and forbidden commodities: a new kind of totalitarian puritanism, in short. But the very opposite has been happening. The fields are plowed not by horses but by monstrous machines, and made artificially fertile through sometimes poisonous chemicals; supermarkets are awash with luxuries, oranges, chocolates; travel is hardly restricted while mass tourism desecrates and destroys more and more of the world; free speech is not at all endangered but means less and less.
John Lukacs (Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred)
Eating in our time has gotten complicated — needlessly so, in my opinion. I will get to the “needlessly” part in a moment, but consider first the complexity that now attends this most basic of creaturely activities. Most of us have come to rely on experts of one kind or another to tell us how to eat — doctors and diet books, media accounts of the latest findings in nutritional science, government advisories and food pyramids, the proliferating health claims on food packages. We may not always heed these experts’ advice, but their voices are in our heads every time we order from a menu or wheel down the aisle in the supermarket. Also in our heads today resides an astonishing amount of biochemistry. How odd is it that everybody now has at least a passing acquaintance with words like “antioxidant,” “saturated fat,” “omega-3 fatty acids,” “carbohydrates,” “polyphenols,” “folic acid,” “gluten,” and “probiotics”? It’s gotten to the point where we don’t see foods anymore but instead look right through them to the nutrients (good and bad) they contain, and of course to the calories — all these invisible qualities in our food that, properly understood, supposedly hold the secret to eating well.
Michael Pollan (Food Rules: An Eater's Manual)
Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. "When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can't pronounce, ask yourself, "What are those things doing there?" Pollan says. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad. Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot. "There are exceptions -- honey -- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food," Pollan says. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. "Always leave the table a little hungry," Pollan says. "Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, 'Tie off the sack before it's full.'" Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It's a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. "Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?" Pollan asks. Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.
Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto)
What treasures lay inside! Yes, here were the colors that she had asked for: red, pink, yellow, blue, green, black- all in powder form, of course, not like the one or two bottles of liquid food color that were available at the Lebanese supermarket in town; those were not at all modern- some big blocks of marzipan, and, as always, June had included some new things for Angel to try. This time there were three tubes that looked rather like thick pens. She picked one upend examined it: written along its length were the words 'Gateau Graffito,' and underneath, written in uppercase letters, was the word 'red.' Reaching for the other two pens- one marked 'green' and the other 'black'- she saw a small printed sheet lying at the bottom of the bubblewrap nest. It explained that these pens were filled with food color, and offered a picture showing how they could be used to write fine lines or thick lines, depending on how you held them. It also guaranteed that the contents were kosher. Eh, now her cakes were going to be more beautiful than ever!
Gaile Parkin (Baking Cakes in Kigali)
This is always always always what she wished a bazaar to be. Demre, proudly claiming to be the birthplace of Santa Claus, was direly lacking in workshops of wonder. Small corner stores, an understocked chain supermarket on the permanent edge of bankruptcy and a huge cash and carry that serviced the farms and the hotels squeezed between the plastic sky and the shingle shore. Russians flew there by the charter load to sun themselves and get wrecked on drink. Drip irrigation equipment and imported vodka, a typical Demre combination. But Istanbul; Istanbul was the magic. Away from home, free from the humid claustrophobia of the greenhouses, hectare after hectare after hectare; a speck of dust in the biggest city in Europe, anonymous yet freed by that anonymity to be foolish, to be frivolous and fabulous, to live fantasies. The Grand Bazaar! This was a name of wonder. This was hectare upon hectare of Cathay silk and Tashkent carpets, bolts of damask and muslin, brass and silver and gold and rare spices that would send the air heady. It was merchants and traders and caravan masters; the cornucopia where the Silk Road finally set down its cargoes. The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul was shit and sharks. Overpriced stuff for tourists, shoddy and glittery. Buy buy buy. The Egyptian Market was no different. In that season she went to every old bazaar in Sultanahmet and Beyoğlu. The magic wasn’t there.
Ian McDonald (The Dervish House)
The practice of magic also demands the development of what is called the magical will. Will is very much akin to what Victorian schoolmasters called "character": honesty, self-discipline, commitment, and conviction. Those who would practice magic must be scrupulously honest in their personal lives. In one sense, magic works on the principle that "it is so because I say it is so." A bag of herbs acquires the power to heal because I say it does. For my word to take on such force, I must be deeply and completely convinced that it is identified with truth as I know it. If I habitually lie to my lovers, steal from my boss, pilfer from supermarkets, or simply renege on my promises, I cannot have that conviction. Unless I have enough personal power to keep commitments in my daily life, I will be unable to wield magical power. To work magic, I need a basic belief in my ability to do things and cause things to happen. That belief is generated and sustained by my daily actions. If I say I will finish a report by Thursday and I do so, I have strengthened my knowledge that I am a person who can do what I say I will do. If I let the report go until a week from next Monday, I have undermined that belief. If course, life is full of mistakes and miscalculations. But to a person who practices honesty and keeps commitments, "As I will, so mote it be" is not just a pretty phrase; it is a statement of fact.
Starhawk (The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess)
Remember the first time we kissed? he said. At the party. And I said I didn’t think the utility room was a good place to be kissing and we left. You know I went up to my room and waited for you, right? I mean for hours. And at first I really thought you would come. It was probably the most wretched I ever felt in my life, this kind of ecstatic wretchedness that in a way I was practically enjoying. Because even if you did come upstairs, what then? The house was full of people, it’s not like anything was going to happen. But every time I thought of going back down again I would imagine hearing you on the stairs, and I couldn’t leave, I mean I physically couldn’t. Anyway, how I felt then, knowing that you were close by and feeling completely paralyzed by it, this phone call was similar. If I fold you were my car was right now, I don’t think I’d be able to leave, I think I would have to stay here just in case you changed your mind about everything. You know, I still have that impulse to be available to you. You'll notice I didn't buy anything in the supermarket.
Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends)
How old is she now?” “Oh, she’s twenty now.” She hesitated. She was obligated to end our little chat with a stylized flourish. The way it’s done in serial television. So she wet her little bunny mouth, sleepied her eyes, widened her nostrils, patted her hair, arched her back, stood canted and hip-shot, huskied her voice and said, “See you aroun’, huh?” “Sure, Marianne. Sure.” Bless them all, the forlorn little rabbits. They are the displaced persons of our emotional culture. They are ravenous for romance, yet settle for what they call making out. Their futile, acne-pitted men drift out of high school into a world so surfeited with unskilled labor there is competition for bag-boy jobs in the supermarkets. They yearn for security, but all they can have is what they make for themselves, chittering little flocks of them in the restaurants and stores, talking of style and adornment, dreaming of the terribly sincere stranger who will come along and lift them out of the gypsy life of the two-bit tip and the unemployment, cut a tall cake with them, swell them up with sassy babies, and guide them masterfully into the shoal water of the electrified house where everybody brushes after every meal. But most of the wistful rabbits marry their unskilled men, and keep right on working. And discover the end of the dream. They have been taught that if you are sunny, cheery, sincere, group-adjusted, popular, the world is yours, including barbecue pits, charge plates, diaper service, percale sheets, friends for dinner, washer-dryer combinations, color slides of the kiddies on the home projector, and eternal whimsical romance—with crinkly smiles and Rock Hudson dialogue. So they all come smiling and confident and unskilled into a technician’s world, and in a few years they learn that it is all going to be grinding and brutal and hateful and precarious. These are the slums of the heart. Bless the bunnies. These are the new people, and we are making no place for them. We hold the dream in front of them like a carrot, and finally say sorry you can’t have any. And the schools where we teach them non-survival are gloriously architectured. They will never live in places so fine, unless they contract something incurable.
John D. MacDonald (The Deep Blue Good-By)
How happily we explored our shiny new world! We lived like characters from the great books I curled up with in the big Draylon armchair. Like Jack Kerouak, like Gatsby, we created ourselves as we went along, a raggle-taggle of gypsies in old army overcoats and bell-bottoms, straggling through the fields that surrounded our granite farmhouse in search of firewood, which we dragged home and stacked in the living room. Ignorant and innocent, we acted as if the world belonged to us, as though we would ever have taken the time to hang the regency wallpaper we damaged so casually with half-rotten firewood, or would have known how to hang it straight, or smooth the seams. We broke logs against the massive tiled hearth and piled them against the sooty fire back, like the logs were tradition and we were burning it, like chimney fires could never happen, like the house didn't really belong to the poor divorcee who paid the rates and mortgage even as we sat around the flames like hunter gatherers, smoking Lebanese gold, chanting and playing the drums, dancing to the tortured music of Luke's guitar. Impelled by the rhythm, fortified by poorly digested scraps of Lao Tzu, we got up to dance, regardless of the coffee we knocked over onto the shag carpet. We sopped it up carelessly, or let it sit there as it would; later was time enough. We were committed to the moment. Everything was easy and beautiful if you looked at it right. If someone was angry, we walked down the other side of the street, sorry and amused at their loss of cool. We avoided newspapers and television. They were full of lies, and we knew all the stuff we needed. We spent our government grants on books, dope, acid, jug wine, and cheap food from the supermarket--variegated cheese scraps bundled roughly together, white cabbage and bacon ends, dented tins of tomatoes from the bargain bin. Everything was beautiful, the stars and the sunsets, the mold that someone discovered at the back of the fridge, the cows in the fields that kicked their giddy heels up in the air and fled as we ranged through the Yorkshire woods decked in daisy chains, necklaces made of melon seeds and tie-dye T-shirts whose colors stained the bath tub forever--an eternal reminder of the rainbow generation. [81-82]
Claire Robson (Love in Good Time: A Memoir)
I had watched organics and fair trade explode into billion-dollar industries. But it was hard to say the world was becoming a better place for the marginal spending. In fact, it felt like it was becoming a more insulated one. I kept thinking of the medieval practice of simony, where the wealthy could pay money to be released from their sins. The grocery store felt like it was becoming a smug secular update. The seals and certifications acting like some sort of moral shield, allowing those of us with disposable income to pay extra for our salvation, and forcing everyone else to deal with the fact that on top of being poor, they were tacitly agreeing to harm the earth, pollute their children via their lunch boxes, and exploit their fellow man each time they made a purchase.
Benjamin Lorr (The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket)
The Sun King had dinner each night alone. He chose from forty dishes, served on gold and silver plate. It took a staggering 498 people to prepare each meal. He was rich because he consumed the work of other people, mainly in the form of their services. He was rich because other people did things for him. At that time, the average French family would have prepared and consumed its own meals as well as paid tax to support his servants in the palace. So it is not hard to conclude that Louis XIV was rich because others were poor. But what about today? Consider that you are an average person, say a woman of 35, living in, for the sake of argument, Paris and earning the median wage, with a working husband and two children. You are far from poor, but in relative terms, you are immeasurably poorer than Louis was. Where he was the richest of the rich in the world’s richest city, you have no servants, no palace, no carriage, no kingdom. As you toil home from work on the crowded Metro, stopping at the shop on the way to buy a ready meal for four, you might be thinking that Louis XIV’s dining arrangements were way beyond your reach. And yet consider this. The cornucopia that greets you as you enter the supermarket dwarfs anything that Louis XIV ever experienced (and it is probably less likely to contain salmonella). You can buy a fresh, frozen, tinned, smoked or pre-prepared meal made with beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, prawns, scallops, eggs, potatoes, beans, carrots, cabbage, aubergine, kumquats, celeriac, okra, seven kinds of lettuce, cooked in olive, walnut, sunflower or peanut oil and flavoured with cilantro, turmeric, basil or rosemary … You may have no chefs, but you can decide on a whim to choose between scores of nearby bistros, or Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Indian restaurants, in each of which a team of skilled chefs is waiting to serve your family at less than an hour’s notice. Think of this: never before this generation has the average person been able to afford to have somebody else prepare his meals. You employ no tailor, but you can browse the internet and instantly order from an almost infinite range of excellent, affordable clothes of cotton, silk, linen, wool and nylon made up for you in factories all over Asia. You have no carriage, but you can buy a ticket which will summon the services of a skilled pilot of a budget airline to fly you to one of hundreds of destinations that Louis never dreamed of seeing. You have no woodcutters to bring you logs for the fire, but the operators of gas rigs in Russia are clamouring to bring you clean central heating. You have no wick-trimming footman, but your light switch gives you the instant and brilliant produce of hardworking people at a grid of distant nuclear power stations. You have no runner to send messages, but even now a repairman is climbing a mobile-phone mast somewhere in the world to make sure it is working properly just in case you need to call that cell. You have no private apothecary, but your local pharmacy supplies you with the handiwork of many thousands of chemists, engineers and logistics experts. You have no government ministers, but diligent reporters are even now standing ready to tell you about a film star’s divorce if you will only switch to their channel or log on to their blogs. My point is that you have far, far more than 498 servants at your immediate beck and call. Of course, unlike the Sun King’s servants, these people work for many other people too, but from your perspective what is the difference? That is the magic that exchange and specialisation have wrought for the human species.
Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves)
Over the years I have read many, many books about the future, my ‘we’re all doomed’ books, as Connie liked to call them. ‘All the books you read are either about how grim the past was or how gruesome the future will be. It might not be that way, Douglas. Things might turn out all right.’ But these were well-researched, plausible studies, their conclusions highly persuasive, and I could become quite voluble on the subject. Take, for instance, the fate of the middle-class, into which Albie and I were born and to which Connie now belongs, albeit with some protest. In book after book I read that the middle-class are doomed. Globalisation and technology have already cut a swathe through previously secure professions, and 3D printing technology will soon wipe out the last of the manufacturing industries. The internet won’t replace those jobs, and what place for the middle-classes if twelve people can run a giant corporation? I’m no communist firebrand, but even the most rabid free-marketeer would concede that market-forces capitalism, instead of spreading wealth and security throughout the population, has grotesquely magnified the gulf between rich and poor, forcing a global workforce into dangerous, unregulated, insecure low-paid labour while rewarding only a tiny elite of businessmen and technocrats. So-called ‘secure’ professions seem less and less so; first it was the miners and the ship- and steel-workers, soon it will be the bank clerks, the librarians, the teachers, the shop-owners, the supermarket check-out staff. The scientists might survive if it’s the right type of science, but where do all the taxi-drivers in the world go when the taxis drive themselves? How do they feed their children or heat their homes and what happens when frustration turns to anger? Throw in terrorism, the seemingly insoluble problem of religious fundamentalism, the rise of the extreme right-wing, under-employed youth and the under-pensioned elderly, fragile and corrupt banking systems, the inadequacy of the health and care systems to cope with vast numbers of the sick and old, the environmental repercussions of unprecedented factory-farming, the battle for finite resources of food, water, gas and oil, the changing course of the Gulf Stream, destruction of the biosphere and the statistical probability of a global pandemic, and there really is no reason why anyone should sleep soundly ever again. By the time Albie is my age I will be long gone, or, best-case scenario, barricaded into my living module with enough rations to see out my days. But outside, I imagine vast, unregulated factories where workers count themselves lucky to toil through eighteen-hour days for less than a living wage before pulling on their gas masks to fight their way through the unemployed masses who are bartering with the mutated chickens and old tin-cans that they use for currency, those lucky workers returning to tiny, overcrowded shacks in a vast megalopolis where a tree is never seen, the air is thick with police drones, where car-bomb explosions, typhoons and freak hailstorms are so commonplace as to barely be remarked upon. Meanwhile, in literally gilded towers miles above the carcinogenic smog, the privileged 1 per cent of businessmen, celebrities and entrepreneurs look down through bullet-proof windows, accept cocktails in strange glasses from the robot waiters hovering nearby and laugh their tinkling laughs and somewhere, down there in that hellish, stewing mess of violence, poverty and desperation, is my son, Albie Petersen, a wandering minstrel with his guitar and his keen interest in photography, still refusing to wear a decent coat.
David Nicholls (Us)
It's an old story," Julia says, leaning back in her chair. "Only for me, it's new. I went to school for industrial design. All my life I've been fascinated by chairs - I know it sounds silly, but it's true. Form meets purpose in a chair. My parents thought I was crazy, but somehow I convinced them to pay my way to California. To study furniture design. I was all excited at first. It was totally unlike me to go so far away from home. But I was sick of the cold and sick of the snow. I figured a little sun might change my life. So I headed down to L.A. and roomed with a friend of an ex-girlfriend of my brother's. She was an aspiring radio actress, which meant she was home a lot. At first, I loved it. I didn't even let the summer go by. I dove right into my classes. Soon enough, I learned I couldn't just focus on chairs. I had to design spoons and toilet-bowl cleaners and thermostats. The math never bothered me, but the professors did. They could demolish you in a second without giving you a clue if how to rebuild. I spent more and more time in the studio, with other crazed students who guarded their projects like toy-jealous kids. I started to go for walks. Long walks. I couldn't go home because my roommate was always there. The sun was too much for me, so I'd stay indoors. I spent hours in supermarkets, walking aisle to aisle, picking up groceries and then putting them back. I went to bowling alleys and pharmacies. I rode buses that kept their lights on all night. I sat in Laundromats because once upon a time Laundromats made me happy. But now the hum of the machines sounded like life going past. Finally, one night I sat too long in the laundry. The woman who folded in the back - Alma - walked over to me and said, 'What are you doing here, girl?' And I knew that there wasn't any answer. There couldn't be any answer. And that's when I knew it was time to go.
David Levithan (Are We There Yet?)
I saw a group of women standing by a station wagon. There were seven of them, pushing cartons and shopping bags over the open tailgate into the rear of the car. Celery stalks and boxes of Gleem stuck out of the bags. I took the camera from my lap, raised it to my eye, leaned out the window a bit, and trained it on the ladies as if I were shooting. One of them saw me and immediately nudged her companion but without taking her eyes off the camera. They waved. One by one the others reacted. They all smiled and waved. They seemed supremely happy. Maybe they sensed that they were waving at themselves, waving in the hope that someday if evidence is demanded of their passage through time, demanded by their own doubts, a moment might be recalled when they stood in a dazzling plaza in the sun and were registered on the transparent plastic ribbon; and thirty years away, on that day when proof is needed, it could be hoped that their film is being projected on a screen somewhere, and there they stand, verified, in chemical reincarnation, waving at their own old age, smiling their reassurance to the decades, a race of eternal pilgrims in a marketplace in the dusty sunlight, seven arms extended in a fabulous salute to the forgetfulness of being. What better proof (if proof is ever needed) that they have truly been alive? Their happiness, I think, was made of this, the anticipation of incontestable evidence, and had nothing to do with the present moment, which would pass with all the others into whatever is the opposite of eternity. I pretended to keep shooting, gathering their wasted light, letting their smiles enter the lens and wander the camera-body seeking the magic spool, the gelatin which captures the image, the film which threads through the waiting gate. Sullivan came out of the supermarket and I lowered the camera. I could not help feeling that what I was discovering here was power of a sort.
Don DeLillo (Americana)
Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace him. If he were to quit, he might help himself, but he would not help his company, society, or country. I urged him to remain the director of his firm, to bring mindfulness into his daily work, and to use his position to communicate his concerns and doubts about the production of atomic bombs. In the Sutra on Happiness, the Buddha says it is great fortune to have an occupation that allows us to be happy, to help others, and to generate compassion and understanding in this world. Those in the helping professions have occupations that give them this wonderful opportunity. Yet many social workers, physicians, and therapists work in a way that does not cultivate their compassion, instead doing their job only to earn money. If the bomb designer practises and does his work with mindfulness, his job can still nourish his compassion and in some way allow him to help others. He can still influence his government and fellow citizens by bringing greater awareness to the situation. He can give the whole nation an opportunity to question the necessity of bomb production. Many people who are wealthy, powerful, and important in business, politics, and entertainment are not happy. They are seeking empty things - wealth, fame, power, sex - and in the process they are destroying themselves and those around them. In Plum Village, we have organised retreats for businesspeople. We see that they have many problems and suffer just as others do, sometimes even more. We see that their wealth allows them to live in comfortable conditions, yet they still suffer a great deal. Some businesspeople, even those who have persuaded themselves that their work is very important, feel empty in their occupation. They provide employment to many people in their factories, newspapers, insurance firms, and supermarket chains, yet their financial success is an empty happiness because it is not motivated by understanding or compassion. Caught up in their small world of profit and loss, they are unaware of the suffering and poverty in the world. When we are not int ouch with this larger reality, we will lack the compassion we need to nourish and guide us to happiness. Once you begin to realise your interconnectedness with others, your interbeing, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to see, 'I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources.' Entire companies can also adopt this way of thinking. Companies have the right to pursue economic growth, but not at the expense of other life. They should respect the life and integrity of people, animals, plants and minerals. Do not invest your time or money in companies that deprive others of their lives, that operate in a way that exploits people or animals, and destroys nature. Businesspeople who visit Plum Village often find that getting in touch with the suffering of others and cultivating understanding brings them happiness. They practise like Anathapindika, a successful businessman who lived at the time of the Buddha, who with the practise of mindfulness throughout his life did everything he could to help the poor and sick people in his homeland.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World)
Corn is what feeds the steer that becomes the steak. Corn feeds the chicken and the pig, the turkey, and the lamb, the catfish and the tilapia and, increasingly, even the salmon, a carnivore by nature that the fish farmers are reengineering to tolerate corn. The eggs are made of corn. The milk and cheese and yogurt, which once came from dairy cows that grazed on grass, now typically comes from Holsteins that spend their working lives indoors tethered to machines, eating corn. Head over to the processed foods and you find ever more intricate manifestations of corn. A chicken nugget, for example, piles up corn upon corn: what chicken it contains consists of corn, of course, but so do most of a nugget's other constituents, including the modified corn starch that glues the things together, the corn flour in the batter that coats it, and the corn oil in which it gets fried. Much less obviously, the leavenings and lecithin, the mono-, di-, and triglycerides, the attractive gold coloring, and even the citric acid that keeps the nugget "fresh" can all be derived from corn. To wash down your chicken nuggets with virtually any soft drink in the supermarket is to have some corn with your corn. Since the 1980s virtually all the sodas and most of the fruit drinks sold in the supermarket have been sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) -- after water, corn sweetener is their principal ingredient. Grab a beer for you beverage instead and you'd still be drinking corn, in the form of alcohol fermented from glucose refined from corn. Read the ingredients on the label of any processed food and, provided you know the chemical names it travels under, corn is what you will find. For modified or unmodified starch, for glucose syrup and maltodextrin, for crystalline fructose and ascorbic acid, for lecithin and dextrose, lactic acid and lysine, for maltose and HFCS, for MSG and polyols, for the caramel color and xanthan gum, read: corn. Corn is in the coffee whitener and Cheez Whiz, the frozen yogurt and TV dinner, the canned fruit and ketchup and candies, the soups and snacks and cake mixes, the frosting and candies, the soups and snacks and cake mixes, the frosting and gravy and frozen waffles, the syrups and hot sauces, the mayonnaise and mustard, the hot dogs and the bologna, the margarine and shortening, the salad dressings and the relishes and even the vitamins. (Yes, it's in the Twinkie, too.) There are some forty-five thousand items in the average American supermarket and more than a quarter of them now contain corn. This goes for the nonfood items as well: Everything from the toothpaste and cosmetics to the disposable diapers, trash bags, cleansers, charcoal briquettes, matches, and batteries, right down to the shine on the cover of the magazine that catches your eye by the checkout: corn. Even in Produce on a day when there's ostensibly no corn for sale, you'll nevertheless find plenty of corn: in the vegetable wax that gives the cucumbers their sheen, in the pesticide responsible for the produce's perfection, even in the coating on the cardboard it was shipped in. Indeed, the supermarket itself -- the wallboard and joint compound, the linoleum and fiberglass and adhesives out of which the building itself has been built -- is in no small measure a manifestation of corn.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
A wealth of research confirms the importance of face-to-face contact. One experiment performed by two researchers at the University of Michigan challenged groups of six students to play a game in which everyone could earn money by cooperating. One set of groups met for ten minutes face-to-face to discuss strategy before playing. Another set of groups had thirty minutes for electronic interaction. The groups that met in person cooperated well and earned more money. The groups that had only connected electronically fell apart, as members put their personal gains ahead of the group’s needs. This finding resonates well with many other experiments, which have shown that face-to-face contact leads to more trust, generosity, and cooperation than any other sort of interaction. The very first experiment in social psychology was conducted by a University of Indiana psychologist who was also an avid bicyclist. He noted that “racing men” believe that “the value of a pace,” or competitor, shaves twenty to thirty seconds off the time of a mile. To rigorously test the value of human proximity, he got forty children to compete at spinning fishing reels to pull a cable. In all cases, the kids were supposed to go as fast as they could, but most of them, especially the slower ones, were much quicker when they were paired with another child. Modern statistical evidence finds that young professionals today work longer hours if they live in a metropolitan area with plenty of competitors in their own occupational niche. Supermarket checkouts provide a particularly striking example of the power of proximity. As anyone who has been to a grocery store knows, checkout clerks differ wildly in their speed and competence. In one major chain, clerks with differing abilities are more or less randomly shuffled across shifts, which enabled two economists to look at the impact of productive peers. It turns out that the productivity of average clerks rises substantially when there is a star clerk working on their shift, and those same average clerks get worse when their shift is filled with below-average clerks. Statistical evidence also suggests that electronic interactions and face-to-face interactions support one another; in the language of economics, they’re complements rather than substitutes. Telephone calls are disproportionately made among people who are geographically close, presumably because face-to-face relationships increase the demand for talking over the phone. And when countries become more urban, they engage in more electronic communications.
Edward L. Glaeser (Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier)