What’s the deal with grocery stores?
Yes, I did say that in my best Jerry Seinfeld voice. (Admittedly, my best Jerry Seinfeld sounds more like Kermit than Jerry Seinfeld.)
Grocery stores are weird places. They’re like the airports of everyday life. Nobody really wants to be there. Everybody is a little bit too loud. Almost no etiquette exists.
If you really try, though, you can make your own fun at these often hellish places.
For instance, try to find the saddest tagline in the grocery store.
WAIT, I FOUND IT!
I was able to get a list of the rejected taglines that the Celeste pizza company didn’t go with and guys, some of them are grim.
- Celeste Pizza. Pizza for just you because you’re so very, very alone.
- Celeste Pizza. Might as well buy some cats.
- Celeste Pizza. Kill yourself after.
Then there are the weird products you see. For instance, I saw Peeps flavored milk and eggnog.
Peeps are probably the most divisive candy out there. (Only slightly more disgusting than Cadbury creme eggs.) So, why would we ruin delicious milk with with the horror of a Peep? The people who make Celeste pizzas should sell them together.
- Celeste Pizzas, now with Dessert Peeps. A cry for help!
And then, there’s this.
Remember the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld? Apparently he has a line of soups that are sold in grocery stores.
If you don’t remember the episode (which is now 20 years old), it’s actually based on a real guy, Al Yegeneh. He was widely considered to make the best soup in Manhattan, but was also widely considered the meanest guy in the entire world.
It seems he has a bit of an empire now–lots of locations for soup, a soup line sold nationwide in gro stos, a soup line that is hawked by Shaq. Cause nothing says soup like Shaq.
Seriously, this is from the press release about their company, The Original Soupman:
Shaquille O’Neal serves as an advisor to and equity partner in the Company, as does Mr. October, Reggie Jackson and Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated and Tony Award® winning actor Jason Alexander.
What must those board meetings be like?
Naturally, I bought two boxes. Peeps milk I will never try. But kitschy sitcom soup from Shaq and Mr. October?? Sure. Why not?
First of all, this is the busiest packaging ever.
If you look at it, it’s got heating instructions! Details about Al and Seinfeld! Information about New Yorkers and their queueing habits! Potential soup side effects! They forgot one: eye rolls.
Do you see the bottom there? Al signed his name under the phrase “Love Life, Love Soup.” Do you think that Al Yegeneh ACTUALLY says “Love Life, Love Soup”? Like that’s how he signs his holiday cards or business emails or the Tetra Paks of soup that he signs at all the Soup Trade Shows?
I tried two of the soups: crab and corn chowder and the lobster bisque. Neither of them look particularly appetizing here.
Actually, they look pretty gross. Neither were anything to write home about. (Apparently, they were interesting enough to blog about, though.) I’d say that the lobster bisque was probably the best packaged soup I’ve ever had. I could actually taste sherry, so it had that going for it. I did go back for seconds with my tiny bowl.
Maybe there are more surprises to be found at the grocery store. Maybe there’s a line of Kimmy Gibbler rainbow macarons. Or Steve Urkel sliced deli cheese.
Maybe the grocery store isn’t so weird after all. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a little bit magical.
Love Life, Love Soup.