After a rough late June and early July wher Laura was diagnosed with colitis, Laura was finally out of the hospital and recuperating. While Laura was going to stay at her mom’s house to get better, I took McKenna to the much less peaceful Abbott beach house for my family’s annual Outer Banks vacation. Since we had room in the car, and to make the trip better for McKenna, I offered to take her cousin Tabby.
Since there had been something like 5 million more shark attacks at North Carolina beaches this summer than in a typical year, we opted to go to the very flat Frisco beach. Only a very enterprising shark that was willing to risk suffocation in the shallow Frisco surf could get a swimmer there.
Later, we unpacked at the beach house. As always, the family realized that we were missing vital necessities, like coffee filters and water that doesn’t taste like the ass water from an Outer Banks tap, only after we settled into the house at Buxton. We were lacking enough supplies that we would have to make a trip to the only true grocery store on the entire island – the Food Lion in the village of Avon. This was the same grocery store that thousands of tourists, also realizing that that they were lacking coffee filters, would descend on shortly.
Fortunately, I was able to use my old man inability to sleep late to get to Food Lion before the majority of the grocery-less hordes. There are several keys to a successful visit to the Avon Food Lion, which I will graciously share here.
1. Go Sunday before noon if at all possible to take advantage of North Carolina’s half-hearted sabbath laws. It’s illegal for stores in North Carolina to sell alcohol before noon, which I guess means that the state keeps holy the sabbath until the vast majority of people get out of church and want to watch football. At any rate, unless you were totally irresponsible in your packing and inexplicably chose to pack “necessities” like “milk” instead of bringing beer, you should be able to do your grocery shopping before alcoholic beverages go on sale.
2. Do not fight against the natural current of the grocery store. At some point, you are going to think, “Damn, I forgot to pick up onions while I was in the produce section. It can’t be that hard to turn around and go back, can it?” YES, IT CAN. YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK.
3. If you can bring another person, deploy that person as a scout, sort of like the shuttles on Star Trek or Battlestar Gallactica. Just like a Battlestar, your cart, heavily laden with nonalcoholic beverages and all of the vegetables you remembered to pick up in your one and only sweep through the produce section, is too unmaneverable to engage in fact-finding missions to answer important questions like, “Where the hell is the peanut butter?!” and “Is this tortilla chip selection the extent of their stock or did some jackass put the rest on an end cap?” Detach a runner from the cart to answer these and other pressing grocery queries.
Once we had loaded up on coffee filters and non-ass water, it was back to the safety of the beach at Frisco.