Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cigars and Ice Cream


I have this amusing (to me) habit of editing people's grocery lists. If I'm at their house and their grocery list is on the fridge or counter, I will secretly add two items, "cigars" and "ice cream". I will try to copy their handwriting as much as possible. I do not stick around to see if they notice. I have been caught only once.

Diana's post at Please Sir yesterday sends you to {this is glamorous} which in turn sends you to artist Frances Trombly, who has recreated everyday objects out of fabric and yarn, including a Publix grocery receipt. This reminded me (a) I love the internet and (b) of this book Milk Eggs Vodka, which I once stood laughing over in Borders for way too long (without buying, sorry Bill Keaggy). Bill has collected hundreds of discarded shopping lists and assembled them into a
sometimes sad ("if enough money, buy chips"), often humorous ("squirt gun, hot peppers, bee trap, pie pans") but always fascinating snapshot of how random our collective needs are (and how bad our collective spelling is). The more incongruous the list of items, the more you have to wonder about who was buying them and why. He even wrote a Short Story About Life Based on Other People's Grocery Lists (note, you have to hover your mouse over the lists to get the advance arrows). Here are a few of the many lists he features in the book:

{My grandma used to recycle old envelopes and reuse them for phone messages and shopping lists. To my knowledge she never used the credit card payment form though. You know, the one with the credit card account number on it and your full address? Not too bright Mr. Coffee and Beer...}


{Note the second line "if you buy more rice I'll punch you!" I'm thinking one spouse writes the list and the other spouse is bad shopper...}


{I've been there sister.}

Since he is still collecting lists, there are hundreds more on his website, but so far none of them say "cigars" and "ice cream". Yet.

22 comments:

pve design said...

My husband gave me the "budget" spread sheet after our twins were born - he listed
Wine
Diapers
I said, Why does the Wine take precedence of the diapers? His reply-
I need a glass in order to master changing them both!
We still laugh over that one.

papasan said...

That looks like my shopping list. I have been known to go to Costco for only those 3 items [but I have to go alone].

littlebyRD said...

This made me laugh so much. I think it is so funny - you adding a couple of things to someones list!! Thanks for sharing this - it's awesome!

Fifi Flowers said...

FUNNY! Thanks for the laugh!

diana @ please sir said...

This looks great, and thanks for the link love! I have to start doing that - adding items to a friend's grocery list - too funny!

Kathleen said...

Oh my - a good laugh in midst of stressful day of endless work!!
Reminds me of when I was married, and my husband & I kept buying treats for each other - Bailey's & fig newtons. Trouble was that neither of us liked either of those.--Doomed marriage you say?!

Mrs.French said...

This made my day...especially the last one! So, so, so true!

Mumsie said...

Too bad we know your trick missy. This is why we don't leave our list around. Although it would be entertaining to see what new stuff you come up with.
Oh, and for PAPASAN, you can go to Costco all by yourself tomorrow. FYI I have bribed them to remove all vodka bottles from the shelves.

amy said...

this book looks hilarious -- perfect for summer reading. found your blog via littlebyrd's' blog. cool site!

Marie Louise said...

Cigars and Ice Cream? Is this a hobby of yours? Or are you a closet smoker of Cubans? If so you must use Febreeze!

Hooked on Houses said...

This post is just too much fun. I loved all of it--including the admission that you sneak items onto other peoples' shopping lists! -Julia

knitseashore said...

Too funny! My grandmother recycles scraps of paper too, old packing slips from the factory where she worked many years ago. It kind of makes me wonder where they are all hidden?

A-M said...

Oh that's hilarious. What a great idea.. I'm going to carry this on over my way. Thanks for your kind words on my blog. Up and about and so keen to get back to the blog world. Can't even stand to be away for 3 days! Created a monster! A-M xx

S.HOPtalk said...

I love this post and am still LOL at your comment on the last one. I can't wait to check out this book in more detail. Thanks so much for sharing!!

P.S. I LOVE your sneaky little shopping list game. How fun.

Joanna Goddard said...

that last one is SO cute.

Marnie said...

very funny - my mother always wrote her list on the back of an envelope

Brenda said...

Ah, so my daughters aren't the only ones adding mischief to the grocery list! No cigars or ice cream though - just a pony :)

The Nester said...

I have seen that book too and it is captivating in the most embarrasing way possible!

Mademoiselle Frou-Frou said...

i've heard about that book - pretty clever idea. i always think of it when i find an old crumpled list in my grocery basket!
xo

Bonbon Oiseau said...

hilarious!

The Lil Bee said...

I love that you write in stuff on peoples' grocery lists...that is hilarious! Reminds me of when I was younger and my friend and I would drop Pepto Bismol and Ex-lax in unsuspecting shoppers' grocery carts, and then watch them look completely confused at the check-out!

P said...

Hilarious! The thought of someone looking at my grocery lists is somewhat terrifying. They are incredibly bossy and overly detailed, especially when it's my boyfriend's turn to shop. "Feta - the GREEK kind, not the Bulgarian. That stuff is rubbery crap." etc, etc.

I'm sure analysis would reveal all sorts of terrible things about my personality that I would rather keep safely tucked away....

That is so awesome that you write random stuff in people's grocery lists. "Seven bottles Ensure" might be your next addition...