I am a deeply flawed person with many bad habits. One of my bad habits is being fed by the availability of old Supermarket Sweep episodes. Deb and I used to watch the show when we were first married. We’d tell each other we watched for the program's high kitsch value. The truth is, we love the excitement of watching people scramble around a grocery store trying to grab as many gold-wrapped hams or four-foot salamis as they could in two or three minutes.
Now that reruns of the show are available to us, we’re watching them with the girls. The difference now is I’m screaming obscenities at the screen. I noticed that when I said something horrible about one of the contestants, it seemed to amuse Deb and the girls. If a little was funny, then a lot had to be hilarious - so I escalated. Now I find myself ranting, yelling and saying some truly awful stuff about everyone on the screen.
It's not necessary. There are exceptions, like the guy who was looking for Pop-Tarts in the freezer section. We all have carte blanche to roast this useless moron. But, most of the time, I’m just mean and obscene.
It’s time to stop. I’ve taken shock value and inflated that balloon until it burst. Now I’m just pumping foul smelling air into shredded latex. I will miss the catharsis but I should be getting that at the gym. The real problem is, my game show rants are seeping into everyday life with regularity. I always swear a little during my morning commute, but today I unleashed a string of truly foul words on a person in a Ford Escape. She didn’t hear me, but that only made it worse. I wasn’t just a lout, I was a cowardly lout. Plus, it was clear she didn’t really deserve any hatred at all.
I put my hand on my chest and said, “Whoa.”
It’s clearly time to clean my act up. It will be difficult but, I think a kinder, more civil Greg is worth it.
So, the next time you’re at the store and you hear that beep, think of all the genteel and supportive things you’ll hear me softly say when I watch Supermarket Sweep!