Ah, shopping with my father-in-law. If it's not a trip out to Home Depot to test the physical limits of a Dodge Caravan, it's a rice run to Chinatown. Whatever it is, it's always an adventure.
Every weekend we have a father (in-law) and son trip to the grocery store. That is a weekly treat in itself. My FIL has gifts. Skilz. And they are mad. Imagine you are in the meat section, a meat section full of every cut of meat possible from an entire herd of cattle. Imagine one of those thousands upon thousands of packages of meat is broken open and leaking blood. This is the package my FIL will choose. It doesn't matter if it's buried under a literal tonne of meat. It doesn't matter if it's still in the back and hasn't been brought out yet. Hell, it doesn't matter if it hasn't actually been wrapped up yet and put out on display. If it hasn't, if it will be wrapped shortly and fate has determined it will fall to the ground or be crushed under something else causing a tear in the cellophane, my father-in-law will wait for it. His senses are that good.
Beef, pork, poultry or seafood, he will find it. On a good day he'll find more than one. His other ability, which I believe to be supernatural, is to choose a broken package that I will not notice until I'm picking it up to give to the cashier. Why just get blood over the rest of the groceries when you can get it all over your son-in-law's hands? The show stopper though? Bones. Bones are much better because not only do they cause the container (I'm trying to stop writing package. Did you read Steenky yesterday?) to break, but they also stab your son-in-law! I love that. LOVE IT! Wondering what kind of bovine, porcine... um... chicken or fish disease is coursing through my veins as I empty the rest of the cart warms my heart. Or maybe that's the poison?
Last weekend was a trip to Chinatown for rice. Now for all my non-Asian readers, when an Asian family buys rice, it's not a family sized box of Rice-a-Roni. We're talking 50lb bags. Bags plural. My father-in-law likes to tell me about these trips at the last possible moment so I have no time to prepare, either mentally or with an excuse. Joking! I'd never make up an excuse. Honest.
Driving in Chinatown. How does one describe it? The throngs of pedestrians, the stream of cars fighting for non-existent parking, delivery trucks parked in the middle of the street, rabid sea gulls and pigeons, old men with cleavers hollering at you in Cantonese to buy something that, quite frankly, frightens the hell out of you. Oh, and those fifty pound bags of rice? They don't walk themselves to your car so you need one of those non-existent parking spots. (Ok, that's stretching it a bit, they will carry the rice to your car on a dolly, but it kind of spoils the story.) Imagine drinking a six-pack of Red Bull and then playing Need for Speed on your Xbox. Kinda like that. And then your father-in-law mentions, oh ya, heh heh, it's Chinese New Year next week. Ya. It's kinda like that.
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