I was in awe of all the lady-funniness going on around me at the Hideout last week, so thanks to everyone who came to see us! In addition to girl comedy, the night’s fun included being held hostage by the Ting-Tings, who apparently decided to shoot five seconds of their music video right outside the Hideout, which meant that for nearly an hour or so nobody could really leave or even go sit out on the breezy little brokedown patio and instead we were all forced to stay inside and sweat and drink our compensatory drinks, and oh, it was a nightmare. Well, except not really.

One of the things I read was based on my Bad Times entry a few years ago, but of course I had to revise and update it in order to cite new developments in the world of chain-store shopping discomfort, such as the Extreme Value Item Transaction at Jewel supermarkets. The Extreme Value Item Transaction doesn’t quite count as Bad Times, but it always confounds me just the same, because I inevitably fail to come up with a satisfactory response to the Extreme Value Item. The Extreme Value Item, for those of you who do not shop at Jewel, is a daily designated grocery item that has been deployed to a special location right there at the cash register, where the cashier can point out the fabulous savings opportunity it presents.

Is the value of the Extreme Value Item truly extreme? I have no idea because it’s never an item I’d buy. It’s always a can of nuts, or fruit roll-ups, or one of the more dubious flavors of Doritos. And the cashier has to point to it and say something like, “Have you seen our Extreme Value of the day?” Even when there isn’t a distinct subtext of I’d rather I didn’t have to ask you this the whole thing is extremely awkward. One time I tried just going, hmm! while pretending to deliberate about buying the Extreme Value, but that felt really pathetic and on some level unfair to the cashier. I’ve tried to say just, “no thanks,” but even that seems too much somehow, because when it comes down to it, I suppose I deeply resent having to take a position regarding the Extreme Value appeal of Blue Gatorade. Unsubscribe please! Now I find that most of the time I just avert my eyes and mumble uhnuhnuhnuhthanks, which is also my standard response for panhandlers and people handing out flyers and Hair Question Men. It’s still not the best response to the Extreme Value Item Transaction, but it’s all I’ve got, other than using the self-checkout or shopping somewhere where the bargains do not actually accost me.

I meant to tell you about the 5K but there isn’t much to say, other than: I ran it! Very slowly! I did the Couch to 5K program, in which you drive yourself apeshit for 7 weeks trying to measure and keep track of the myriad running/walking intervals until suddenly you really do find yourself sprinting along gazelle-like for miles, plural miles! Of course then at the 5K you see that you are are not at all a gazelle and that other slow runners are faster than you, as are some powerwalkers, people on crutches, and glaciers. But never mind! I’m probably going to do at least one more later this summer or in the fall.

There’s more to catch up on, but I really want to just be in bed now, continuing my Little House series reading kick. I’m on These Happy Golden Years now and can’t get enough of all the euphemistic horse-lust, cute little schoolhouses, and endless confounding descriptions of dress-sewing. Oh, behold the cambric basque with the darted polonaise and the lace jabot! Whatever the hell that is! Good night!