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Have you ever wanted to appear on a national television show, one where you didn’t have to digest the former internal organs of farm livestock or hang from an airplane wearing only a beanie and a burlap sack?

Well, if the camera operators for the television show COPS had been hanging around this area, you probably would have seen me on it because this past week I had an encounter with a

psychotic grocery


Now before you begin to draw a mental picture of Norman Bates pushing a grocery cart and calling a bag of carrots “mother,” allow me to explain. It was a day that started as any other, with birds chirping, the sun shining and my dog prolifically producing piles of presents all over the driveway. I had several errands to run that day, one of which included taking my dog to the veterinarian for my annual expenditure of $40 dollars for the privilege of having the pet physician tell me “nothing is wrong” with my four-legged friend. I decided to take my dog with me on my other errands to save time.

My first stop on the day’s itinerary was a trip to the nearby City of Knoxville. I was doing some shopping for some special recording equipment for projects I’m working on and decided to pay a visit to the local Radio Shack. (Author’s note: This is not an endorsement for Radio Shack nor a paid advertisement for the company, although contributions of a new truck, a 100-foot luxury yacht and the space shuttle would be greatly appreciated. It is just a statement of fact.) Anyway, I made it to the store, found what I was looking for and went to pay for it by check. It was then and only then I discovered the “brilliant” new plan by the Tennessee Department of Transportation to irritate and infuriate local shoppers. The department decided to change the drivers license format from the standard eight digits to nine digits on the new licenses, one of which I have. Unfortunately, the state didn’t consult business owners, whose computers are only equipped  to handle eight digit license numbers. So, in other words, my license number on the check gave the computer the machine equivalent of instant brain death. The store manager tried to help me, but alas, the nine-digit disease forced me to take my business elsewhere.

Needless to say, I was somewhat irritated as I headed back home. I was approaching an intersection in the town of  Farragut, where roadway construction had forced two lanes of traffic into one as the road passed over a small bridge. As I approached the construction area, I slowed in the stop-and-go traffic. Unfortunately, the lady behind me didn’t stop when the rest of the traffic did and she ran into the rear of my truck. 

Well, I pulled off the main road onto a nearby parking lot and she followed behind me. I was upset, but I relaxed somewhat when I saw her bump into me had done no damage to my rear bumper. She, however, was not quite so calm. I knew I might need the authorities when the first words out of her mouth were “Are you some kind of idiot?”

Now, considering she had run into me I had expected a more quiet, adult-like manner in which to handle the accident. I began to sense, however, there might be trouble when she accused me of being in reverse and purposely running into her. If my truck was a standard that might have been possible when I pushed the clutch. My truck is an automatic, however, and there was little possibility of this


I told the lady I was going to a nearby office to call the police and as I walked away, she proceeded to tell me how I was going to pay for all the groceries in her car. I asked the office receptionist to call the police and tell them to hurry before I was forced to wield my present-producing pooch like a machine gun at this psychotic grocery shopper. When I returned to my truck, the woman proceeded to tell me how I was going to have to pay for her melting ice cream.

The authorities arrived and cited her for the accident, but even as I was pulling away she screamed at the officers to stop me and make me pay for her ice cream.

So remember the next time you are in a grocery store, beware of the person lovingly stroking a carton of ice cream. They could get you on television.


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