Men should be banned from shopping.
Oh, maybe a sporting goods store could be an exception.
And the pro shop at a golf course, perhaps, if we’re relentlessly careful — or leave all the credit cards at home.
But when it comes to Super 1 Foods, Walmart, Costco or any other grocery emporium …
Those places are not part of our natural environment, and creatures placed in new and unusual circumstances never fare well.
That’s a fact of nature.
You wouldn’t put a goldfish on the couch, or try training your ferret to sleep standing up.
By that same reasoning, men shouldn’t be allowed to wander alone through the bakery section, not with those boxes of chocolate doughnuts just begging to be loved.
When I use the generic term “men” here, of course I’m actually talking about myself.
But honestly, I don’t know any other guys who handle themselves well in a grocery store.
On my last trip into this strange and dangerous world, I had two specific goals: first, to return some pet food because it turns out Sammie the World’s Greatest Cat won’t eat salmon; and second, to get some milk and butter because I’m just about out of both.
The first job turned into an embarrassment, because somehow I’d lost the receipt for the cat food.
I’d been so careful, too, putting it with my important papers so I could avoid this very catastrophe.
In the end, the kind folks at Super 1 realized that I wasn’t trying to scam anyone. No, I was just a doofus who couldn’t hold on to a tiny piece of paper for one car trip.
They let me exchange the cans for another flavor of Friskies.
No harm, no foul.
Their expressions said it all: “This is what happens when men try to be actual shoppers.”
THEN CAME the second mission: Find the milk and butter.
Eventually (about 40 minutes later), I had those items safely in my cart, and paid my $73.40 at the register.
Yeah, that does seem a bit much for milk and something called “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.”
I think that’s margarine, but I was too shy to ask.
Meanwhile, the bakery section did trap me (giant chocolate chip cookies) because I had to walk past it to reach the milk.
And hey, I’m out of crinkled potato chips and they were on sale. Had to go with three bags.
At that point, my “grocery store stupor” had set in, and I began tossing things in the cart for the oddest reasons.
I snagged some frozen meals, because I’d just read that the frozen food industry was turning a decent profit for the first time in a while — mostly because it offers the one type of item that the story called “Amazon-proof.”
That’s worth a smile, so I decided to help the cause.
Bagels, because I found the rare “Chocolaty Banana” flavor.
There was some other stuff, too, but I’m past trying to remember.
Actually, it wasn’t a total disaster.
Not too long ago, I stopped at Safeway for ONE item and spent $168.
I could probably buy a yacht with the money I’ve thrown away on food that, umm …
Also got thrown away.
Do you see why men should be banned from these places?
Surely you do.
Steve Cameron is a columnist for The Press.
A Brand New Day appears Wednesday through Saturday each week. Steve’s sports column runs on Tuesday.