Dartoids World

Column #626 Takin’ out BIG FINISHES – at the grocery!

Wednesday, August 9, 2023
Column 626
Takin’ out BIG FINISHES – at the grocery!

If you’re anything like me – married and male – you seldom go to the grocery, except to buy beer or, perhaps, on weekend game days to tag along with your wife and fill up on the sample products the little old ladies give away for free.

Forty years ago, shortly after I was married, my wife handed me a list and asked me to go shopping for her.  I agreed because, well, that’s what new husbands or husbands who’ve been married for years do.  (In the middle marriage years, we go temporarily INSANE and argue about such things, but gradually learn that happily agreeing to any request is the only safe way to proceed.)

I went to Kroger’s and pushed a cart around the aisles.  I picked up item after item on the list, looked at the price and put it back on the shelf.  NO WAY was I going to spend fifty cents for a loaf of bread!  NO WAY was I going to spend $1.59 for a pound of hamburger!  Hell, the damn hamburger cost forty cents MORE than a damn gallon of gas!  Remember these days?

So, I found the aisle with the generic products in the black and white packaging.  It was here that I filled up my cart with everything from canned tuna to paper towels.  I was proud when I arrived home with every single item my wife requested.  I was pleased to have successfully completed my assigned task AND saved about ten bucks.  My wife was HORRIFIED and promptly fired me from grocery duty forever and all time.

And, pretty much, that’s the way things have remained in the Dartoid household for the past four decades.  My wife buys the food.  My dogs and I eat the food.  It’s a good arrangement.

Still, occasionally, I follow along…

As we maneuvered our way along the first aisle this past Saturday it was I who was horrified.  I was astonished at the prices: over SEVEN bucks for a hunk of cheese, over NINE bucks for a package of sliced pastrami, almost TWENTY-FIVE bucks for a sack of dog food!

But the more we weaved through the aisles and my wife continued to load the cart – red vodka spaghetti sauce ($8.49), V8 vegetable juice ($6.39), a package of hotdogs ($9.00) – and as I began to get PISSED OFF, I noticed something: not everything was so absurdly priced.

Seriously, what I was calculating is, HOLY CRAP, it’s costing me frickin’ sixty bucks a week to fill up my car so my wife can go to the grocery and spend frickin’ $300 bucks so I can eat and be strong enough to go to frickin’ work and, maybe, have a few frickin’ bucks left at the end of the week to buy a beer at darts.

So, without completely thinking things through (men do this sometimes) I say to my wife: “I’ll BET you I can find a dozen things that each cost less than an out shot and eat fine for a week.”

She smiled.  “Go get yourself a cart.”

So, damnit, I did!

It took about an hour, mainly because the little old lady in Aisle 5 wasn’t so little or old – and she was giving away slices of pizza – but I filled up my cart just fine.  Not one product cost me more than a sweet t20, t19, bull finish (that’s right, I opted to stick with my relatively expensive tin of Bumble Bee tuna because, even at $1.67, I rather like the surprising and tasty crunch of occasional bits of dolphin).

A can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup cost me a ton but only two other items ran me more.  I closed a box of Rice-a-Roni quite nicely with a t19, t10, d18 and a small bottle of French’s mustard for a slick t20, 19, tops.  The mustard was to go with my can of Libby’s Vienna sausages (which I nabbed without a second thought for a relatively comfortable 13, 18, d16).  (Yeah, I missed the t13.)

As I rolled through the checkout counter and headed to the car to show my wife what I’d accomplished I was quite pleased with my day at the (grocery) line.  In addition to the tuna and soup and rice and sausages and mustard, I had some Bush’s baked beans (93 cents), a Swanson’s chicken pot pie (83 cents), a small bottle of milk (99 cents), a can of Chef Boyardee Spaghetti O’s (83 cents), a miniature box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies (59 cents), a little bag of M & M’s (59 cents) and a can of Hunt’s tomato paste (60 cents).

Don’t ask me what the tomato paste was for – I’ve just always felt pretty good about laying one just under the d20 and then sticking my final dart.  So, I took this one out just because I could.

It was a successful shopping experience.  At the end of the day, I closed every damn number for less than the maximum finish possible.  Moreover, for just $11.08 I’d scored enough food to feed myself for a week, possibly longer.

Proudly and enthusiastically, I explained this to my wife when I arrived at the car.  She smiled…

“So, you’ll be fixing your own meals this week?”

“Damn straight,” I replied, “I’m going to CHOW DOWN and use the money I saved to buy more beer at darts.”

Again, she just smiled.  Into traffic we edged…

My food lasted one day.  And I still have a can of tomato paste.

From the field,



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  • Dartoid

    "Dartoid" is the pseudonym of Paul Seigel, a prominent chronicler of darts for over 35 years. His columns are celebrated for their wit and insight, often detailing his quest for a game in exotic locales worldwide. His writing offers vibrant commentary on the competitive darts landscape, including players, organizations, tournaments and the sport's unique culture. Dartoid's articles are highly regarded among darts enthusiasts, solidifying his role as a pivotal figure in promoting and documenting darts as both a recreational pastime and professional sport.