Eating out is a privilege, made all the sweeter because we don’t have to prepare the meal ourselves, which means we don’t have to go to the grocery store, which, if you’ve ever been, you know can be a heart-palpitating nightmare.

Going to the grocery store to pick up enough food and supplies to last the week shouldn’t be that tough, but it usually is, thanks to the motley crew of people populating your local grocery store. Here’s a look at 10 people you’ll no doubt see filling the aisles whenever you choose to go:

The exhausted mother

Kids fighting

This poor woman is in way over her head. Once the hottest woman in her sorority, she’s now wearing a velvet track suit with hair curlers and is a few years away from the inevitable move to a muumuu. All she wants to do is buy healthy food for her family, but she ends up spending more time running interference with her kids — you know, the four-year-old who inevitably knocks down the display case of Chips Ahoy. While she’s helping to clean up that mess, her six-year-old wanders off into the liquor department and winds up with a six-pack of Guinness. Which leads us to…

The little kid

Upset Baby

In aisle one, he picks up animal crackers. In aisle two, he puts them down and replaces them with a SpongeBob toothbrush. In aisle three, he puts that down and replaces it with a Yo Gabba Gabba fruit roll-ups. Are you sensing a pattern? His irritating pleas of “I want this!” are superseded only by his bourgeoning case of ADD, but you can’t worry about that when he decides to throw a temper tantrum by staging a not-so-silent protest via sitting down outside the Chips Ahoy display until he gets his way.

The extreme couponer

Supermarket Shopping

If you’ve ever watched ‘Extreme Couponing,’ you know who this person is. She’s the lady who buys 600 Glade Plug-Ins because it’s on sale for 40 cents off and she has coupons that will essentially make them free. In reality, she needs the Glade Plug-Ins because she also bought 600 cans of Beef-a-Roni for a dollar off each, topped by the supermarket’s triple coupon day, and well, something, has to cover up what’s bound to bombard the bathroom.

We cannot caution you enough about the importance of NOT getting behind this person in line. The extreme couponer watches every single item as it’s run over the scanner like a hawk. And if she thinks the cashier only took 40 cents off the tub of Wisk instead of 80, well, then prepare to witness something called what can best be labeled “demonfire.” The extreme couponer is there for the savings and will do anything to get them, which leads us to…

The cashier who inspects every single coupon you present


Forget the fact the cashier is earning $11 an hour. The diligence with which she looks over each coupon makes you think she personally stands to lose the money you’re saving. And there’s nothing worse than when she studies the coupons after scanning all your items and thinks she caught you. She has a coupon for a dollar off Men’s Centrum, but she’s pretty sure you bought Centrum for women over 50, so she has no qualms about sifting through all your bags in order to bust you, like she’s some crack member of the grocery police. This cashier is the bane of the extreme couponer’s existence and their mutual disdain for each other stirs up the kind of animosity not seen since the Hatfields and McCoys were in their heyday.

The shopper who switches lines

Busy shoppers

Admit it — you’ve done this. You’re in a long line when another lane frees up and the cashier announces, “I’m open.” You slip into that line, somehow managing to jump ahead of the person you were just standing behind, even though you’ve clearly got more groceries. The person who’s now behind you is staring you down like a boxer before a title fight. Congratulations — you’re officially a jerk.

The old lady

Older lady

When you arrive at the deli, you’ll notice an old lady is already there, ordering her food. It’s just you and her, so you figure you can wait the few minutes before getting your two pounds of Swiss cheese. Unfortunately, there’s only one person working at the deli and, even more unfortunately, this 85-pound octogenarian has apparently decided today is the day to buy enough cold cuts to feed the local varsity football team.

While she loads up on pimento loaf, all you can do is wander off to buy some bananas and hope you remain within earshot when the poor sucker behind the display case announces your number, which may or may not be sometime before sundown.

The teen who Hates his job


The look on this kid’s face says it all. More specifically, it says, “I can’t believe I’m stuck working here.” The teen doesn’t make eye contact, doesn’t say hello, doesn’t say, “Have a nice day.” All the teen is thinking about is how his father is lame for making him get a job and learn responsibility. If the teen does talk, it’s to an equally miserable teen co-worker and the conversation usually revolves around how they plan to switch their hours, a scheme so convoluted not even a Google algorithm can shed light on it.

The confused husband

Confused Shopper

Remember how confused Michael Keaton got while food shopping in ‘Mr. Mom?’ Well, it’s right on the money. Legislation needs to be introduced banning a husband from going to a supermarket by himself if he’s shopping for other people in his family because he will, without fail, screw up, forcing his wife to yell at him in front of their children, making the little ones believe that their dad is the dumbest person in the world — all because he bought stewed tomatoes, when he was told to buy diced.

The confused husband has been given a reprieve in recent years due to the proliferation of cell phones, which enables him to call his significant other when he’s stumped to make sure he buys the right product. Score one for technology.

The annoyed shopper

Annoyed Shopper

Like the confused husband, it’s probably for the best this person stay home. Inevitably, she wants to cash in on that Perdue special where chicken breasts are going for $1.79 a pound, but is furious when she finds out the store has run out. Then, she’s up in arms when the woman in front of her decides to turn her cart around, causing traffic mayhem.

Finally, she’s the one who gets peeved when there’s an issue at the checkout line, like if a cashier can’t verify the cost of grapes or needs to get singles from a manager. The annoyed shopper will usually vent by saying, “Come on!” under her breath just loud enough to be heard, but not loud enough to start an ugly confrontation.

The creepy guy who collects the shopping carts

Target carts

If you’re going to take one thing away from this story, it should be this: keep away from this guy. And it is always a guy, never a woman. The poor sap who’s assigned the not-so-plum gig of lugging carts from the uncivilized edges of the weed-infested parking lot back towards the front of the store is either a pimply kid who has yet to graduate to cashier or a chain-smoking ex-con with an addiction to getting tattoos and anger management issues.

He’s the one who has to push the stack of 40 carts through the parking lot and is always furious when a car gets in his way. Heaven forbid you decide to leave your cart in the front of your parking spot and not in one of the designated drop-off places scattered throughout the lot because this fella might hunt you down like Robert De Niro in ‘Cape Fear.’

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