All / Originally Posted on Skirt

Grocery Store Rumble

I was going to write an entry on the British newspaper The Daily Mail, and how my dad likes to buy it to help me keep up with events in the UK even though it’s possibly the worst newspaper of all time.  Then I realized that I have a unique Superbowl perspective to share, so the Mail will have to wait.  Don’t worry, it’s so ridiculous that it  will still be funny when I get around to it.

As you may or may not know, the Superbowl is just about to begin in Tampa.  Normally this time of year would be high season for Florida tourism, but due to the shrinking economy it’s been very slow down here.  Until this week. 

A few days ago my mom and I went out for lunch and then to the grocery store.  When we got out of the car it was probably 57 degrees and gusty.  For us, this was chilly.  Wishing I’d brought a scarf or something, I scooted into the warmth of the restuarant and ordered some soup.  After we’d been sitting there for about ten minutes we saw through the window that some people had arrived and decided to sit outside.  “Ah,” we said to ourselves.  “Out-of-towners.” 

It became clear that they were not only out-of-towners but that they were football fans down for the game.  They were all slightly overweight men of a certain age in t-shirts and jerseys, and they’d chosen a British/Continental restaurant (which has pretensions of being a Fine Dining Experience) for lunch.  Obviously nobody’d had time to point them to one of the many bars serving fried food along our stretch of beach. 

We then retired to the grocery store, which was mobbed with people who had clearly never been in a Publix chain before and were wandering around bashing into one another with carts full of Bud Light and sale-price short ribs.  Most tellingly: some of them were near my own age.  Many of them were wearing primary colors, or even subdued wintry shades, rather than the summery pastels favored by locals.  They wear these shades even in their wintry clothes – the muumuu mittens style. 

Driving has been interesting for the past few days.  Anyplace there’s a lane decrease or an exit only lane I’ve learned to leave loooots of space in front of me for the inevitable last-minute confusion and sudden swerving. 

This may sound like a lot of complaining, but mostly it’s fun to have the excitement.  The football crowd is different than the usual vacationers so there’s an entirely different vibe.  Plus I love laughing at people sitting outside in the freezing cold, even as they are laughing at me for huddling indoors over my soup.