Imagine youu2019re attending the biggest social event of the decade, and everyone who is anyone received an invitation. Famous actors, politicians, religious leaders, business titans and a whou2019s who from the world of sports will be there, but unfortunately for them, so will you.u00a0
Yes, you received an invitation weeks ago, but you felt yours was more akin to a subpoena. You know your attendance is mandatory even though much of the A-list crowd detests he sight of you.
But It wasnu2019t always this way. At one time, you called these notable people friends, and they in turn, adored you, but no more. As you walk about the massive venue you feel their loathing eyes upon you and hear their whispered insults and curses.
This is what grocery shopping is like for me today.
I walk in the store and old friends like Aunt Jemima and her neighbor, Mrs. Butterworth, look at me as if Iu2019m Judas. u00a0I hurry around the corner to escape the look of betrayal in their eyes and enter the cereal aisle. Capu2019n Crunch sees me and raises his sword, Count Chocula bares his fangs, and on an oatmeal box a white-haired man in an old fashioned black hat bows his head and publicly prays for my judgment and repentance.
I go around another corner and without warning Iu2019m bitten by a big Golden Retriever standing next to a display of canned baked beans. I cry out in pain, and this brings a cacophony of laughter from Betty Crocker, Sara Lee and Uncle Ben who are standing nearby.
Not everyone is enjoying my discomfort. A select few in this store still like me, and the uproar brings two running in my direction. Jimmy Dean and Oscar Mayer shoo the dog away, and call over another friend, one Iu2019ve always considered to be a real nut.
Out of nowhere this goober shows up wearing a top hat, white gloves, and two-toned shoes. u00a0He sets down his cane and puts in a monocle to examine my wound. He dismisses it as minor and says u201cI didnu2019t expect you to be here today.u201d But, he adds, a wry smile forming on his face, u201citu2019s good to see you coming out of your shell.u201d
For some reason, every peanut thinks heu2019s funny.
I decide itu2019s time to make a hasty retreat, so I cut through the produce department. As I move past the onions, tomatoes and peppers I hear a familiar mocking voice hurling insults in my direction. I look over and there, between the Idaho Russets and the Yukon Golds, sits Mr. Potato Head, his tongue sticking out at me. That guy ought to play Vegas.
Then I become aware of a great commotion and I see Marie Callender, Hungry Jack u00a0and Mr. Pibb angrily heading in my direction. Just as they are about to catch me, the Jack Link Sasquatch steps in from of them and momentarily halts there progress through a series of growls and menacing gestures.
Running, and with my eyes focused on the exit, I donu2019t watch where Iu2019m going, I slip, go airborne and land face first on the hard tile floor.
As I pick myself off the floor with as much dignity as I can muster, I look back and see a banana peel on the ground. A tall, exotic looking woman with a bowl of fruit on her head winks at me, and says, u201cSee you next week, keto boyu201d.