A new retirement job to occupy spare time

And the number one question I get after leaving radio in 2014 is, “How do you like retirement?” I finally got tired of telling people I’m only partly-retired.

“I left WZID so I could spend more time going to the grocery store every day,” is my new response. It gives Barb a break from me for an hour. She still makes fun of me for it, but I explain it goes back to caveman days when the hunter/gatherer had to round up the daily meal because back then, Market Basket was still 500,000 years in the future. It’s a reverse evolution thing.

So, I drag my knuckles, walking somewhat erect into the market every day, with the front entrance smelling like a bad cinnamon potpourri climate change. I fight the gag reflex and pick up a hand basket, moving on to produce.

Produce is the home of my new favorite vegetable: spaghetti squash. Whoever decided you could open one up and scrape out pasta-like strands with a fork, thus saving 500 calories a meal, is my hero. I love pasta, but after two glasses of Cabernet, I forget I’m eating squash with sauce and meatballs with an added bonus of pants that still fit the next day.

I always enjoy the periodic manager announcements over the store’s P.A. system. Actually, every so often a manufacturer’s representative will be at Market Basket handing out free coupons and marked-down product.

“Welcome to Market Basket, shoppers,” comes the booming voice of Sean. “Ernie the Keebler elf is here today with dollar-off coupons for boxes of Keebler Whoopsy Fudge Stripes cookies. Get ’em while they last. Limit 500 boxes per customer.” While crowds surround Ernie, I take advantage of uncluttered aisles and finish my shopping. As a side note, Ernie the Keebler elf has his own social media page on Twitter (@KeeblerElves). I realized that my social media presence is an epic fail, considering Ernie has 19,800 followers. Ernie is, however, a Twitter snob, following only 116 other Twitter members.

Back to shopping. I am in my first year of Costco club membership at the Nashua store. I like that I can buy three-packs of canned whipped cream for short money. The star of the Costco selection for me is their rotisserie chickens. These babies are ginormous. With Thanksgiving 24 days away, I’m thinking of adding mini chef hats to the chicken drumsticks and passing it off as a turkey this year. I should add that Costco pumpkin pies are the size and weight of manhole covers.

I like that grocery stores try to do it all. I recently ducked in to get my free flu shot, followed the next day with the shingles vaccine (not free-$160). I noticed a sign announcing they will be offering appendectomies while you wait for your deli order to be filled. Can kidney transplants be far behind? And why is it always 38-degrees in the supermarket? Poor Ernie is in danger of freezing his oyster crackers off.