Who doesn’t like spending a lazy Saturday afternoon in a grocery store casually checking out the fresh fruit, smelling bread still warm from the oven, and perusing the processed cheese aisle in search of the perfect combination of sweet yellow dye #5, various hydrogenated oils, and dairy by-products?
As you wander the store, maybe you make eye contact with a girl who you swear you saw on Tinder the other day, but going over and saying “Hi. I’m Jimmy. Can you buy me a drink?” would just be too much work. You decided you to stalk her online when you get home. Later, at home, you tell yourself how you should have just gone over and talked to her when you saw her in person. The lesson here: Why do something today when you can procrastinate indefinitely?
Even with the Tinder disaster, the day is going well until you hit the sample aisle. It’s like Russia before the Wall came down. Chaos is the norm here; mothers trampled by their own children, screams of hunger fill the cavern, and shopping carts strategically stacked providing roadblocks for advancing samplers. This field of weekend warriors makes the annual “rush the superstore near you on Thanskgiving for a $25-TV after waiting three days in freezing temperatures hence effectively valuing your time at $2.76/hour” riot look like a line of children receiving their First Communion. Amid the craziness, you find solace in knowing that the Greek goddess Eris still haunts the souls of man.
Before you freak out and forgo your claim on free food, read this simple guide to understanding those who inhabit the sample aisle so you can understand their motives, beat out their weaknesses, and satisfying the base level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
This person silently stalks the serving table attempting to play coy, but strikes quickly when either a straight shot at the samples present themselves or the food service employee turns away from the display to tend to other duties.
How to strike first: Due to The Looker’s attempt to slow-play the samples, do not hesitate to jut in front of The Looker and make the first move at your prize. Your ability to act without fear or hesitation will give you the upper hand.
The Over-Sampler (AKA: The Meal Maker):
The Over-Sampler is the reason the food service employees assembles their product behind a bullet-proof shield before laying it out for the masses. The Over-Sampler deftly drives in towards their objective taking as many samples as they can carry without remorse to their fellow man who may go hungry until the next tray is brought out.
How to strike first: The Over-Sampler is one of the more difficult creatures to combat and you should not attempt to take these people head-on unless you are armed with a stack of 2 for 1 unexpired coupons which can be carpet bombed in front of them or a personal body odor problem.
An Over-Sampler protégé, these soldiers are far less aggressive than their mentors in terms of following their directive and claiming their booty. They tend to linger closely near the food service employee and use their body or shopping cart to block out their competitors.
How to strike first: Unlike the disciplined Over-Sampler, the Hounder is much more sympathetic to the aged of society as well as mothers bearing children. He will look at his peers as a direct challenge and is prone to outbursts inclusive of grunting, extreme salivating, and possibly even a death stare. Proceed with caution, but do not hesitate to confront directly. Often times, the threat of a showdown is enough to make The Hounder back away from the baked, breaded spinach and head towards samples are easier to acquire.
As long as grocery stores hand out free food, it is your duty as a store patron to eat what you can get your hands on. Nothing says “full-course dinner” like a handful of hot dog weenies and crustless PB and J sandwiches fresh out of the package washed down with an orange flavored water served in a Dixie cup. Get out there and justify your trip to the grocery store by eating your way through it.