A Fortune in Food

I saw something today I have never seen before. A supermarket shopping spree that broke records.

I was in my local supermarket in Burbank, California at 2 PM on a Wednesday, had finished shopping and was checking out, when a checker came over and told my check out person (the manager on duty) that a customer, at the checkout stand 2 aisles over, was buying a lot of groceries, so many groceries that the checker could not finish checking the guy out, because the system was full and would not ring up any more items. What? Can't check out because you're buying too many items!? In all my life, I had NEVER seen that! The checker told the manager that the customer was buying $3,000 worth of groceries. WOW! The manager asked the checker how the guy was paying and the checker said she didn't know but would find out. She went back to her checkout stand, a little shook up. The manager looked at me and said, "In my many many years here, I have never seen anyone buy anywhere near $3,000 worth of groceries in one shopping trip." Neither had I and I have been shopping there for 30 years.

I was obviously interested in why the guy was buying so many groceries. As I was leaving the store, I looked over and saw a line of full shopping carts. Maybe 5-6 full shopping carts. The carts had EVERYTHING in them; food items, household cleaning items, kids' cereals, everything. I looked over at the customer, a medium sized good looking black male, about 30 years old. He looked comfortable standing there in a black t-shirt and pants and waiting to be processed and to pay, like he bought thousands of dollars of groceries all the time. A rich, hungry guy in L.A. Huh, there's no shortage of those. I wondered why he was buying so much stuff. Big party? Stocking a huge house? Feeding a huge family? $3,000 worth of groceries is a LOT of groceries. I was very curious but did not want to intrude and ask him. No one else wanted to ask him either.

I left the store and walked to my vehicle. Speaking of vehicles, I wondered how the big spender was going to transport all the groceries. I looked around the parking lot and saw no convoy of SUVs or trucks. I assumed that he was going to have to have the supermarket deliver it all.

I drove away. As I drove away, I had another thought about the giant purchase, a fortune of food.

As I live in the middle of the Hollywood entertainment industry, among numerous major studios, it also occurred to me that such a large purchase might be part of a movie, TV or music production. A cast party? Props? There are always a lot of entertainment business productions going on nearby. In fact, the TV show, "Superstore", is produced right down the street from the supermarket. Though I had not seen the show, "Superstore" is about the goings on in a "hypermarket", a superstore that sells a ton of different products, including groceries. Aha! Maybe the show was restocking its shelves and needed to show real food and lots of real grocery items - and sent the guy to a real supermarket, the closest supermarket, to buy real stuff to film on the shelves on the fake TV store. Weird, but that makes a lot of sense.

And, until and if I learn the truth, I'm going to speculate that this was why someone spent a record $3,000 buying every imaginable type of grocery product in the supermarket. Welcome to Hollyweird. And a fortune of food.

The next time I went to the supermarket the checker who rang up that huge order confirmed to me that it was indeed the TV show, "Superstore", that made the $3,000 purchase of groceries.