Dear reader, have you been to Trader Joe's lately? Because holiday season is right around the corner so if you go, don't think it'll be a quick trip to granny's house. You'll be off the path in NO TIME, wandering through the forest and meeting all kinds of dark, nefarious characters.
To wit: the first bad influence to greet me as I entered the store was a cluster of these hooligans. I drew nearer, fascinated, whispering their name aloud:
milk chocolate covered potato chips.
Someone gasped and recoiled as if I'd said a dirty word. A mother covered her child's ears and hurried away. I flushed, feeling both revolted and strangely curious at once.
I managed to tear myself away and go about my regular business. But when it came time to pay for my groceries, I noticed the chocolate potato chips were also loitering at the check out stand.
What is that? Is that like, even legal? To mix together two highly addictive subtances in the first place, and then to stash them all over one's store until a shopper finally wears down and succumbs to the madness?
Because as the TJ's associate was checking out my groceries, she noticed me moving toward the potato chips like a moth to the flame.
"Do you wanna try those?," she asked.
"What? ME?! No. Noooooooo.," I said, shaking my head and pretending to examine my fingernails.
"Here, give me a bag," she said, reaching for one from the display.
And just like that, she tore it open and waved a milk chocolate covered potato chip not five inches from my nose! And I blushed madly while everyone else in the checkout line began to chant: Do it! Do it! Do it!
I don't even remember what happened next, how many standards of ethical marketing were violated, how many pagan rites were resurrected, but the next thing I knew I was back home unpacking groceries, chocolate smeared all over my face, discovering I'd come away from the store with much more than I'd bargained for.
So just a word of warning, dear reader. You can be the most innocent, pink cheeked lass in the entire world, but the next time you stray into Trader Joe's you better strap on some street smarts, fast.
Because holiday season is on its way, and if you're not careful you're going to walk out of there feeling as if you'd been sprinkled with salt and dipped in chocolate, and that your once wide-eyed wonder over such treats has been forever replaced by a jaded barfly who wouldn't think twice before consuming an entire trough of those things.