Friday, January 11, 2008

Rusty Pails #3
Truman Goes Shopping

by Rocky Macy

Truman Treetopper is a friend whose worth is beyond measure. If you don’t believe me, just spend the day with him sometime – like I did last Saturday.

Truman was on my doorstep just as the first pot of coffee was starting to perk. After being “coaxed” to help me put down a “fair to middlin” country breakfast and a second pot of coffee, he invited me to go into town with him for some weekend grocery shopping.

Now, first off, let me warn you that being invited anywhere with Truman means that you need to start looking for your keys. He has never driven in his life -- doesn’t need to if his friends will! Truman is not too quick in picking up a check, either. So his buddies know to carry a little extra US cash money when they're about to spend some quality time with Truman.

We arrived at “Groceries Galore," the big, new food store out on the highway, just at 9:00 a.m. It was my first visit to the giant food emporium, but I could tell by the pained expressions of some of the cashiers that Truman had probably shopped there before. After insisting on individual carts (a conscious effort on my part to keep our groceries – and grocery bills – separate), I followed Truman off into his big adventure.

Baked goods was the first stop. Truman carefully piled several loaves of bread onto the floor so he could reach a fresh loaf in the back. Diabolical deliverymen, he explained, always hid the good stuff! I carefully picked up the remnants of this assault and re-shelved them as Truman pushed off down the aisle. At “Jellies” he began to empty another shelf. This time he was looking for older merchandise, a jar of jam that some careless grocery clerk might have overlooked while raising prices.

After quickly restocking the jelly shelf, I hurried my cart around the corner and nearly ran over my friend. Truman had dropped his coupons and was down on all fours trying to collect and organize these money-savers. Even with my help, he managed to block all traffic in the canned vegetables aisle for fifteen minutes.

The butcher shop was memorable also. Service almost came to a standstill as the butcher had to open several packages for Truman and repack the meat into smaller servings. And the fruits and vegetables took a real thumping! There probably aren’t a half a dozen apples or tomatoes in Sprung Hinge that don’t bear a Truman Treetopper bruise.

We made it to the checkout stand right at noon, but it was nearly another half-hour before Truman successfully defended the last of his coupons. When the smoke cleared, his four bags totaled slightly less than my two did -- and, Truman’s bill was just a few dollars more than what he had in his pocket. It’s a good thing that his friend was there! Next Saturday I think I’ll take in an auction!

Auction Tip: Yard sales are a great place to uncover bargains. Smart shoppers arrive before the yard sale is scheduled to begin and pluck up the “real steals” while the competition is still snoring!

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