Sunday, October 08, 2006

Grocery shopping paranoia

In this installment of the Paranoid Shopper, our reluctant yet intrepid anti-heroine finds herself in one of her favorite places, spending loads of money, hauling off bags of goods.

And, as she loads the sturdy paper bags into her trunk, marveling at the sunny yet cool Missouri afternoon, she is transfixed by one question:

How does Trader Joe's manage to do what it does? Surely some unfair labor practices must be involved?

Not that she's ever heard anyone make this accusation of good ol' Joe. No. It's just the hermeneutics of suspicion that she can't seem to shake. Something this good must come with some substantial suffering.

Because, as we know, Walmart sells cheap because it pays cheap. So how can Trader Joe's, with its lovely loaves of challah, its nicely priced French Roast coffee--how can Trader Joe's, even as it trades on class distinction, be different?

And so she wonders, and so she worries.

The challah, all the same, fried up into some might fine French toast for her breakfast this morning. She's happy that Trader Joe's exists, and only a 90-minute drive from her home. She wonders what to do with her residual paranoia. And so she writes.

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