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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Best Practices for Getting Out of Berkeley Bowl Alive

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 4:00 PM

click to enlarge screen_shot_2011_11_30_at_2.12.04_pm.png
Berkeley Bowl. You hear its siren song, beckoning you, telling of a grocery store built from your dreams. Aisles packed with fair-trade cocoa, bulk bins overflowing with every type of spelt pretzel, and a produce section that'll make you slap your mama. It truly is a paradise, but as Sartre so famously wrote, hell is other people, and nowhere is this more true than when you're trapped in the Bowl. You're acting purely on instincts, and you'll learn things about yourself, things you might not be so comfortable knowing. Will you fight or will you flee? We're here to help you fight. You will have your organic massaged kale salad, and you will live to enjoy eat it, too!

1. Gird yer loins
Before you even enter the store, you need to do the following things: 1) drink 15 Diet Cokes; 2) perform running chest bumps with a car; and 3) spend at least 10 minutes yelling, "Come at me, bro!" to a wall. When you feel like you could win a wrestling match with Carrot Top, you're ready. Alternate plan: Shop only when high as a kite. It ups your tolerance for the hippie bullshit, but if you go this route, you better have a list that you'll stick to. If you don't, your bill could run into the millions of dollars and all you'll have to show for it is Doritos and peanut butter cups. Delicious Doritos and peanut butter cups.

2. Dress appropriately.
Closed-toed shoes are a must because your shit WILL be run over by a cart full of chia seeds. If you biked over (AND YOU DID, RIGHT? Because that's a whole 'nother issue!), wear your helmet inside -- that thing could save your life if when it turns ugly. Also, if you can remove your shoulders, now would be a good time to bust out that party trick. Finally, clean underwear; if there was ever a chance you might end up in the ER, today is the day.

3. Check your soul at the door.
Because you must be ready to body check your own grandmother (YOUR OWN GRANDMOTHER) for the last delicious tub of delicious coconut cream. I've done it, and I'm not proud of it. But I'm alive, and who knows what happened to the other guy?

4. Park and run! RUN!
Park your cart as far out of the way as possible (in the Walgreens parking lot? There's room there!) and then make like Supermarket Sweep (you always wanted to be on that!): Run (RUN!) down the aisles grabbing your goods like a madman. Take what is yours! Have your list handy and know the store layout like the back of your hand (practice at home!) so you're not looking for flax oil in the olive oil section, like a real idiot.

5. Hit the pastries first!
AND THEN DON'T BUY ANY. Seriously, fuck them for making you pay for your pastries separately. Berkeley Bowl thinks it's a food court and it's not, YOU'RE A GROCERY STORE SO ACT LIKE EVERY OTHER GROCERY STORE. You can't reinvent the wheel, baby! Especially when your new wheel is all misshapen and inconvenient to me.

6. Next up, bulk.
Seriously, do not go in there. NEVER GO IN THERE. You must promise me. PROMISE ME.

7. Pick a fucking hummus already.
I don't care if that shit is made with white beans and agave nectar, it all tastes the same! GODDAMMIT.

8. Pack your own damn bags
The employees are too busy being high, flirting, or talking shit about you in front of you to help, OK? Can you blame them, they're waiting on our ungrateful asses for chump change, and they just had to run all the way back to the organic produce section to get a fresh bunch of kale because some entitled hippie b thought hers had a few wilted leaves. And they didn't even get to murder her! Even if you clean public urinals in hell as a vocation, you're still one step ahead of these poor souls.

9. REPEAT!
You made it out alive, safely home, and you're unpacking your hemp bags when CHUNG CHUNG! (that was my Law & Order noise, not a racist thing), you realize you forgot your own organic kale!? SEE YOU IN HELL!

Laura Beck is a founding editor of Vegansaurus! and tweets at mrpenguino. Follow SFoodie on Twitter: @SFoodie, and like us on Facebook.
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Laura Beck

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