4/19/19 Public Eye

Grocery shopping in my household has taken a new turn, no doubt inspired by national circumstances.

I say this after receiving a copy of the grocery list that had been ... REDACTED.

“Hey,” I said as my wife prepared to depart on the quarterly trip to the food-and-other-things warehouse, “what’s with the redacted grocery list?”

And there it was: “paper towels, white vinegar, salsa, canned goods, XXXXXX, ribs, and XXXXXX.”

“Sorry,” she  said, “some information involves sensitive matters, executive privilege, entries that might be embarrassing to individuals who have committed no wrongdoing, or  are related to intelligence and cannot be revealed for reasons of household security.”

And with that she was out the door on what evidently would be a covert mission to BJ’s Wholesale.

Unfortunately, it turns out that I have no subpoena power over a grocery list, argue as I might that I have a right to know.

My only recourse was to wait for her return and then conduct my own investigation to see if I could find anything in stock that might have been XXXXXX on the list.

“Hmmmm,” I mused as I surveilled the contents of the pantry after its restocking. “I see 45 boxes of pasta, chips beyond our wildest dreams, enough salsa to feed several mariachi bands, a national forest of paper products and … is that all? No XXXXXX?”

“If you don’t see it, I guess that’s it,” she replied.

Having been a reporter for  several decades now, I find it difficult to turn off the curiosity switch and focus on something else instead. So I struggled for hours trying to overcome the not-knowing business until the evening hour, when she said, “close your eyes and hold out your hand.”

Bear in mind this doesn’t always mean something good is coming my way. Just recently, in fact, I almost ate a sow bug that I mistook for something else after she dropped it into my outstretched mitt.

“Oooh, a tiny Tic-Tac thing. What flavor is it?” I asked as my hand headed upward.

“STOP!” she yelled. “Don’t eat it! It’s a bug! I thought you might like to see it.”

So naturally, when I am told to close my eyes and hold out my hand, I don’t get my hopes up.

Plop, plop. Two lightweight objects fell into my palm.

“Okay, open your eyes.”

“Wow! Two M&M Peanuts! I love M&M Peanuts. Was that one of the XXXXXX on the list? And, if so, where are they?”

“Yes to the first question, and I’m not telling.”

“Why and why not?”

“Because if you knew I was buying them, you’d have too much time to think about eating them, and if I told you where they were, all five pounds of them would disappear in two days.”

“OK, but what about the other XXXXXX?”

“I did that as an inside joke,” she said.

“Meaning what?”

“Those are the size pants you’ll be wearing if you don’t stop eating those XXXXXX M&Ms.”

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