Tonawanda News

January 26, 2014

DUVALL: Twitter livens up a banal grocery run

By Eric DuVall
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Some random thoughts while live tweeting a rare weekend trip to the grocery store Saturday morning:

• Spotted, a lady pushing a cart with a huge brown toy car tacked onto the front of it. Of course, her crummy kid wasn’t even sitting in the thing.

The way they pack grocery store aisles so full these days giving people those carts is ridiculous. It’s tough enough with a regular shopping cart not knocking over a stack of canned peas. Having to dodge that monstrosity is a bridge too far.

• Overheard, a conversation between two employees: “You can clean anything you want just stay away from the ladies room.” I’m sure there’s a perfectly logical explanation. It just sounds creepy.

• I’ll never understand why the breakfast sausage isn’t kept in the breakfast part of the frozen food section with the waffles and juice. It’s all the way on the other end of the store next to the fresh sausage.

If you ask me, it makes absolutely no sense to have the frozen sausage breakfast sandwiches and the frozen breakfast sausage you use to make your own breakfast sandwich a quarter-mile apart.

• The canned vegetables confused me. I have limited kitchen space and usually only cook for myself. The small cans of veggies were 69 cents. The full-sized cans were 49 cents.

I grumbled and bought the larger ones knowing I’ll probably wind up throwing away half of every can.

• Wegmans, my store of preference, really does listen to customers. They go an extra mile to make the shopping experience better. Take, for example, the large case of pre-weighed cold cuts next to the deli counter.

It’s such a simple idea but shaves sometimes 10 minutes off a trip when you can just grab your turkey, ham and cheese and continue on your way.

I don’t know why stores everywhere don’t do it.

• It’s the first time I’ve been in a Wegmans and not first gotten something to eat. Their prepared foods section is practically free when you factor in the impulse purchases you make when grocery shopping on an empty stomach.

• I usually do my shopping at night to avoid the crowds. This trip was during prime time, 11 a.m. on a Saturday.

I much prefer doing it all by my lonesome at midnight or later on my way home from work when the only people I have to dodge are the stock boys.

• Granted I was live-tweeting a trip to the grocery store so I probably did a fair amount of standing around myself but people really can be clueless. The number of people just standing in the middle of the aisle staring aimlessly was off the charts.

Maybe people really do need to debate the merits of elbow mac-and-cheese versus spiral. I don’t. Give me the elbows and let’s get this show on the road.

• Twitter is a funny place. A goofy idea to describe in entirely too much detail a banal trip to the grocery store generated more response from friends and followers than anything I’ve ever done.

Next up, a laundromat Tumblr?

• If you’re interested, I tagged all this mindless, insipid content with the hashtag #wegmansweekend. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person to ever use it so search it out an Twitter and see in full picture detail what Wegmans is like on a Saturday morning.

Or, you know, you can just go to the store yourself.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter, @EricRDuVall.