Believe it or not, some cities in this country aren’t as conducive to veganism and politically left-leaning ideals as our great town. Amazingly, in some cities white middle class youth waste their lives going to ovrepriced universities in preparation for withering away in a cubical instead of taking advantage of all the riches that gutterpunkdom has to offer. Shockingly, some cities aren’t even tolerant of rampant homelessness and aimless protest! Well I say sucks to those cities; I live and love in Berkeley, the greatest town in America. And no location is more representative of our little berg than the grocery mecca of Berkeley Bowl. Where else could you find men dressed in saris and women sporting mutton chops just feet away from 17 kinds of canned beans? Join me as I traverse the aisles of the most exciting acre of the East Bay.
5:14pm. Arrive at the enchanting entrance of Berkeley Bowl. Avoid CalPIRG tablers with Chuck Norris-esque agility and speed. Grab cart and proceed.
5:15pm. Adventure immediately halted due to eight-cart traffic jam. The culprit? Half-off sale on imported prunes. Deftly shout, “Don’t look now, but is that Ralph Nader buying kettle chips?” then amongst the chaos dart off to the bakery.
5:17pm. Baked goods. Casually toss some pita into the cart. As a Berkeleyan I take pride in my vauge appreciation of all things international. Like ghee and ascots.
5:19pm. Soy milk. Fellow beside me in beret has crippling body odor. Appetite dwindling! Find refuge in olive bar, only to be assaulted by stench of urine from unidentifiable source.
5:24pm. Beans and canned pumpkin. Surreptitiously eavesdrop on a conversation about the role of socialist political ideals in 1930’s Russian abstract photography. Chime in with a misplaced comment about Che Guevara. Smile with confidence as I realize that as a Berkeley citizen I am indeed a superior human being. There’s no way some yokel from Fresno or Anaheim could value grassroots policial activism or Odwalla as sincerely as I.
5:29pm. Nut butters. Feel overwhelming sense of shame because I only have five facial piercings. Snicker at some customers purchasing inorganic coffee. Capitalist bastards, profiting from the sweat of the oppressed!
5:30pm. Write reminder to self in Palm about sale at Gap tomorrow.
5:35pm. Bulk foods. Pubic hair of woman to my left peeks over her low-rise cargo khakis like an eager meerkat greeting the Serengeti sunrise. At least she appreciates a bargain; low-fat strawberry granola for $2.19 a pound is enough to make any self-respecting vegan gasp in a fit of pleasure.
5:38pm. Spices. Contemplate wisdom of diverting government funding for struggling public schools into already bloated military programs. Imagine utopia of socialized healthcare, legalized hemp, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Plan to stage full-scale protest at the Embarcadero of the war, sweatshop labor, and imperialism…as soon as the Kids In the Hall marathon is over.
5:47pm. With cart full of nutritious vittles and heart full of good cheer, step into line amongst fellow wonderful Berkeleyans. Wonder why I’m not wearing Tevas.
5:59pm. Curse Elliott Smith for going commercial!
6:55pm. Groceries rung up by disaffected youth donning Germs t-shirt and shiney new labret spike. Realize that my whole life I’ve been smiling way too much.
7:12pm. Exit store. Use Bruce Lee-esque skill and kicking action to subdue overly aggressive LaRouche 2004 volunteer. Cringe in horror as ’87 Rabbit and’96 Corolla collide in attempt to snatch last available parking space within a 2.4 mile radius. Shake fist wildly at man in SUV for spoiling our planet. Light up a Marlboro as I triumphantly reaffirm that I, resident of Berkeley, am a damn great person.