Ode to the grocery store: Day 2

This is Day 2 in my groundbreaking series on grocery stores.

Trader Joe’s

You will NEVER guess what happened to me at Trader Joe’s last week. I’m still reeling. This is how it went down:

I was minding my own business, loitering in the granola bar aisle trying to decode a nutrition label, when a man in a striking dark suit approached me.

“Excuse me, Miss. I was wondering if I could ask you a question?”

Well, I thought, he called me “miss” and not “ma’am,” so this guy’s already okay in my book. I replied that he could ask away.

“I need a bit of a favor. It’s crucial that a very important package be delivered today, but I’m so swamped at work that I just don’t have the time. Would you be able to run the errand for me?”

Now of course, this sounded super weird. He must have seen the confusion on my face, because before I could tell him no, he continued.

“I would provide you my car for the delivery. The package is secured there.”

“Your car?” It was then that I noticed a five-inch scar across the side of his cheek.

“Yes, mine, an Audi A8.”

I admit, I was tempted to swap out my minivan for an Audi, just for the day. It was just so—crazy. But then, he sweetened the deal.

“And Miss, you’d be compensated quite well.” It was at this point that the man pulled out an envelope and flashed a whole lot of green in my direction. “That’s $20,000. Feel free to count it.”

Twenty thousand dollars?!? He keeps calling me Miss?!? Somehow the words “hell yeah” came out of my mouth. In a matter of seconds, he had grabbed me by the arm, the shock of his sudden touch causing me to drop my environmentally responsible cloth shoping bags on the floor, and swept me into the parking lot. In no time I found myself in the driver’s seat of his shiny black Audi.

“All you have to do is drive to this address.” He handed me a post-it note on which an address had been scribbled in black ink.

“Ok, but I have four rules that I just CANNOT break if I’m going to do this. One: No new deals. When it’s a deal, it’s a deal. Two: No names. Three: I refuse to open the package. And four: I will never make a promise I can’t keep.”

Totally confused, he looked at me like the Trader Joe’s checkout lady does when I forget my cloth shopping bags, but agreed nonetheless. Soon I was on my way.

After twenty minutes of weaving my way down deserted country roads, I noticed the fuel light come on. Miraculously a gas station popped up about a mile later. I pulled in and started to fill her up.

As I stood there, holding the nozzle in place, something suddenly felt off. Was the rear end of the car shaking the tiniest bit? I moved closer to the trunk, trying to determine if it was just me or something was actually moving inside. Then I heard a muffled human voice.

“Damn it!” I said to myself. “Rule number 3! Don’t open the package!”

I paced, trying to think, all the while hearing the muffled screams coming from the trunk.

“Damn it all to hell!” I yelled and popped open the trunk. Inside was a young woman whose mouth had been sealed with duct tape.

“Just my luck,” I mumbled, pulling out a cigarette and lighting a match against the bottom of my shoe. I paced some more, thinking. (As you’ve probably noticed by now, I had become a huge badass.)

“All right,” I sneered, ripping the tape off the girl’s mouth.

“Oh thank you, thank you!” she sniveled as she climbed out of the trunk.

“Get in,” was all I said as I slammed the trunk closed and slid into the driver’s seat. As I revved the engine, she found her way into the front seat next to me. I peeled out of there like the fuzz was on my tail.

“It feels so good to be out of that trunk! I can’t thank you enough. I’m Victoria.” I noticed now she had a heavy accent, Russian or something of the like.

“No names.” The words came out hard and cold.

“But—but you just saved my life. Please, you can tell me your name. I won’t do anything bad.

She sounded so pathetic, so scared, that the mother instinct in me kicked in.

“Damn it all to damn near hell!” I screamed, giving the steering wheel a good thwack. “I’m Meredith. That’s all you need to know.”

Two trucks were blocking the road as we were being chased, so I had to do this. No biggie.

Well, to make a long story short, the man in the suit must have somehow been monitoring me because a car full of goons started chasing us. After doing some fancy car dodging (see photo on the left) the girl and I found shelter in an abandoned factory. She was shaking like my cat after she vomits a hairball. I promised her that I’d keep her safe, snarling that hopefully that was enough to keep her quiet, but deep down, beneath my rough exterior, I actually had quite tender feelings towards her.

The goons found us soon after. So as not to break Rule 4 (never make a promise I can’t keep), I had no choice but to defend the girl valiantly from the ten goons. Thanks to my extensive training in every martial art–yes, every SINGLE ONE–I was able to best all of them, even an eight-foot-two “giant” they called Leo who I managed to hammer into the floor and whack in the head with a tire iron.

It turns out the girl’s father was some huge political guy, and she was kidnapped to ensure that he would sign a contract with an environmentally irresponsible company with which he had previously refused to do business.

I don’t want to brag, but yes, I saved the day. Afterwards I went back to Trader Joe’s and ended up buying the granola bars. And a bag of trail mix.

[Disclaimer: This did not actually happen to me at Trader Joe’s. The story is, in fact, the plot of The Transporter 1, 2 AND 3 (they’re all kind of the same story and Frank, the main character, breaks all four rules in every single one). All I have to say about Trader Joe’s is their flowers are pretty yet inexpensive and I enjoy their trail mix. But that wouldn’t have been enough for the “freaking awesome” blog post that I promised you.]

Images from Trader Joe’s and Cool Cars in Movies.

  1. Noah

    July 12th, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Damn it! You mean that wasn’t true? You had me fooled until the very end – when you bought the trail mix. I know that you don’t like trail mix.

  2. Meredith

    July 12th, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I know. I’m quite tricky like that. Psych!

  3. Stephanie

    July 12th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I thought you were SOOOO irresponsible (or really naive) for the first half of that blog and though that there was no way in hell I was letting Brayden out of my sight at the beach!!! LOVED IT.
    Actually, I realized when the man grabbed you and you didn’t drop-kick him that something was not quite right!

  4. Meredith

    July 12th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    You know it. In real life that’s guy’s a** would be grass.

  5. A labor of love – Meredith Towbin

    August 1st, 2012 at 7:59 am

    […] happened today, too), when suddenly she goes into labor. (So as to avoid the confusion that Ode to the grocery store: Day 2 triggered, I’ll make it clear that from here on out, THIS DID NOT […]

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