Too Much Stuff? (A Story About The Modern World)

A couple of weeks ago, my fingers quivering with excitement, I began to thumb through the January 14, 2019 issue of The New Yorker magazine, a publication I’ve been subscribing to for eons. Great magazine, where lightweight and goofy forms of content happily share space with heady material.

These days I gravitate to short New Yorker pieces, rather than the lengthy articles that the magazine also serves up. That’s because my attention span over the last 20 or thereabouts years has shrunk like a chilled dick. It was with relish, therefore, that I read an easy-to-manage story (click here to read it) about one Martin Kesselman, a “color consultant to home owners and decorators” (to quote the article). Not long ago Martin co-created what he feels is a perfect shade of white paint. Known as Elliyah, it is named after his daughter. Apparently that shade of white has found good success in the marketplace.

Before you ask what I think you might be all set to ask, read this: “Does the world really need another white? Benjamin Moore has a hundred and sixty-four versions of it, all of which Kesselman sells. But he believes that Elliyah is different.” Those are the words of Patricia Marx, the article’s author. See, she anticipated your question.

Elliyah is different? Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. But even if it is, how different can it really be from many of the whites available from Benjamin Moore and the world’s other paint manufacturers? Well, maybe that doesn’t matter. After all, we live in expansive times. Hand-in-hand with an exploding human population (it’s pushing eight billion), there have been bigger and bigger demands for products in just about any category you can name. More people equates with more buying, after all. And within each category the number of available items has skyrocketed to the Moon. Hip, hip, hooray! Choice is good, right?

When I was a high school senior, which puts us back in the years 1964 and 1965, I worked part-time at a Bohack supermarket. (Bohack, for you trivia buffs out there, was a chain in the New York City area, where I used to live.) It was an average-size supermarket for its time, maybe 90 feet long on each side. Whatever its dimensions were, they would pale in comparison to the supermarkets of today. I mean, you could probably fit 20 Bohack stores inside the Giant supermarket (a member of an aptly named chain) half a mile from my current home in the Philadelphia suburbs.

The cereal aisle at Giant.

Talk about choice! My local Giant carries so many items, it’s amazing and dizzying. Teas, breads, cereals, cookies, fruit juices, frozen dinners . . . hundreds of feet of shelf space are devoted to pretty much every category. And that’s only to be expected in our Amazonian age of untold options. Do you want to buy a Bulgarian-made desk lamp that doubles as a miner’s cap, or monogrammed bras manufactured in Azerbaijan? After a handful of clicks and other keystrokes, they probably can be yours.

The cookie aisle at Giant.

I sometimes wonder what the avalanche of choices means. Have buyers gone loopy, constantly on the lookout for something new to distract them from our angst-producing world? Are we genetically programmed always to demand more, more, more? Are we just wild and crazy guys and gals, out for a fun time? Whatever the case or cases, manufacturers are more than happy to read our minds, to anticipate our wants and to induce new cravings. Let’s look at cookies — at Oreo cookies specifically — as one of 25,000,000 possible examples. I mean, plain ol’ Oreos weren’t good enough? Now there needs to be white fudge Oreos and chocolate mint Oreos and a half zillion other types of Oreos too? Uh, let me think about that. Okay, I’ve come to a conclusion: Yeah, man, nothin’ wrong with white fudge and chocolate mint Oreos. They’ve got my votes!

The tea aisle at Wegmans.

Let it be said, however, that overall I’m not much of a shopper, at stores or online. But I do like to go food shopping. For one thing, it gets me out of the house, which is a positive. Hell, at home I’m very unproductive, spending 80% of my waking hours scratching my head and my balls. (What, at my advanced age there’s something better for me to do?) At food stores, though, I have a good time and I don’t scratch. Anyway, one day last week I paid visits to my local Giant and to Wegmans, another airplane hanger-sized supermarket. I breezed through their aisles, quickly picking up the items on my shopping list.

Part of the beer section at Wegmans.

But there was one exception to my breezing: At Wegmans I slowed down to smell the roses, alcoholically-speaking, in its beer section. I’m not all that interested in the enormity of choices on our planet for automobiles, smart phones, toothpastes, hot sauces, whatever. Beer, however, is another story. Small, adventurous breweries began popping up left and right in The States and elsewhere around 1990. I got into their products in 1994, on my honeymoon. Ever since then I’ve made it one of my missions to explore the wonderful world of beers, while of course drinking in moderation and while not scratching my head or my balls.

Wegmans’ beer area put a smile on my face the other day, as it always does. It’s colorful, intriguing and worthy of deep investigation. So many choices! What to buy? What to buy? After 20 minutes I opted to go home with a craft-your-own six pack. Before transferring its contents to the frig, I arranged the bottles neatly, asked them to smile for the camera and took their picture. Beer. That’s one category that, for me, never will have too many options.

(As I almost always say, please don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this article. Many thanks.)

120 thoughts on “Too Much Stuff? (A Story About The Modern World)

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 11:48 am

      Hi. I know what you mean. You’ll come home with 50% more items than you were planning to buy.


  1. MELewis January 23, 2019 / 1:21 am

    I’m all for choice and also enjoy food shopping. But too big and too many choices is just exhausting. I wonder if your ‘Giant’ store is any relation to the French ‘Géant’?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 11:49 am

      Hey there. Don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me, considering all the multi-national corporations out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. leggypeggy January 23, 2019 / 1:22 am

    I love shopping for fresh food. I also like lots of choice when it comes to wines and beer. But beyond that, I can’t choose if there are more than three options. Take cookies. I could choose from Oreos, Vanilla Wafers and Graham Crackers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 11:52 am

      Hi Peggy. I don’t eat cookies hardly at all anymore. But when I was a kid I used to love Vienna Fingers. I think that the Nabisco company still makes them, though I’m not sure. I’m going to look for them and buy a package if I find it. I haven’t had a Vienna Finger in decades.

      Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy January 23, 2019 / 7:51 pm

        Having lived out of the USA for more than 40 years, the three cookies I mentioned in my comment are the only ones I can remember. But if you ever come to Australia, I’ll give you a TimTam. You’ll be addicted.


  3. smilecalm January 23, 2019 / 2:06 am

    so many things
    so many questions
    while we can 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sheree January 23, 2019 / 3:07 am

    Not a big fan of supermarkets. I generally like to shop in our French markets and patronise local stores (not chains). However, I’m a keen cook and sometimes bemoan that I can’t find a specialist product in my local supermarket and have to resort to Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 11:56 am

      Bonjour, Sheree. I guess that Amazon had its start not all that many years ago. Didn’t take long for it to conquer the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lievelee January 23, 2019 / 4:09 am

    Where food is concerned, I prefer too much choice over lack of choice. Try living in some of the Far Eastern countries… you soon get bored with eating just Chinese, Indian or Vietnamese cuisine… Variety is the spice of life!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 11:59 am

      Hey, Lieve. In the USA, where I’ve always lived, the food options have probably quadrupled or more since I was a kid. Back then, there was very little knowledge in the USA about Asian, South American, African, etc. cuisines.


  6. gerard oosterman January 23, 2019 / 4:36 am

    We go shopping daily for fresh food. We like Aldi which has limited choice but how many different butters, dog foods, jams, or toothpastes do you want?
    Apart from that, they have trolleys that only unlocks if you have a dollar or a token. Their trolleys never get thrown in creeks, to the astonishment of ducks, or are left to lean against telegraph poles or old ladies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:01 pm

      Hello, Gerard. I guess that Aldi is all over the world. There’s an Aldi just minutes away from my house. They’re everywhere!


  7. Alyson January 23, 2019 / 4:55 am

    I grew up in a village of 1000 people and we did all our food shopping locally at one of the two grocers, the butcher, the baker (the candlestick-maker – no just joking) and the fish shop. Not much choice at all, but boy did we eat well, as most of our fruit and vegetables were grown by my dad in the back garden. Yes, we have so much choice now, but I think I preferred it the way it was back in my youth. Nice blog post as ever Neil.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:07 pm

      There’s a lot to be said for the way of life that you had as a kid. And I suppose that a fair number of areas in “developed” nations still are limited when it comes to big stores. However, the online Amazonian world beckons to all.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The Snow Melts Somewhere January 23, 2019 / 5:47 am

    Oh my! Shopping in giants like that takes so much time! It’s like a walking marathon almost. I do my grocery shopping online nowadays!
    Your writing, as always, was very entertaining and so fluent 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:12 pm

      Hi, and many thanks for stopping by. Right, online grocery shopping is becoming a big thing. When I go to the supermarket I see store employees wheeling carts around, filling them with the items that people ordered online. And then the store’s trucks bring the items to people’s homes. Technology allows so many things to take place!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Snow Melts Somewhere January 23, 2019 / 1:22 pm

        With our twin toddlers, getting everything delivered home is a life saver! One blogger wrote about home delivery being bad for the environment but I disagree – it’s like a car pool: the same van delivers food to any people who then don’t have to drive their own car to the store and back! Win-win, I say! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Cristina Crawford January 23, 2019 / 6:54 am

    Great post! Happy to know you don’t scratch whilst shopping in grocery stores! Yes, the choices are dizzying aren’t they but as another commenter noted, “variety is the spice of life.” When I lived in eastern Oregon—in a town you could spit through— in my military wife days, it was certainly a challenge to find ingredients I needed for even the simplest of dishes. Case in point: at one grocery store I asked if they had any mascarpone. They thought I was asking about fish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:14 pm

      Yeah, we’ve all become acquainted with things we didn’t know about in the past. Until a few years ago I had no idea what quinoa or farro were. Now I eat them fairly regularly.


  10. Cathy Cade January 23, 2019 / 7:08 am

    All the trolleys have keychains here in the UK, with very few exceptions (dependant on neighbourhood rather than company).. There was an innovation that locked the wheels of the trolley if it was taken too far from the store, but that doesn’t seem to have caught on – too expensive, maybe?
    As far as choice goes… the main supermarkets aren’t filling up their shelves as frequently as they used to (ostensibly to reduce waste, but more likely to cope with falling profits). These days, I’m often going home without some of the items on my shopping list. We survive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:17 pm

      Right, and we all survived just fine before the amounts of items starting going through the roof a relative handful of years ago. Thanks for adding your thoughts, Cathy. I appreciate it!


  11. Cindy Bruchman January 23, 2019 / 7:15 am

    I find the overkill on the shelves annoying. Especially when I want one specific brand–cereal aisle–what happened to the Total? — and I have to scan the shelves of a quarter mile to find it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:20 pm

      I know. Similarly, I have a hard time finding Wheaties at the supermarket. It’s buried among brands that have a million varieties each.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cindy Bruchman January 23, 2019 / 1:28 pm

        I haven’t thought about buying a box of Wheaties in a long time!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Rakkelle January 23, 2019 / 7:26 am

    I hear you on Elliyah. Like, seriously?! Another shade of white.

    I do like having a myriad of food options though.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Laurie Graves January 23, 2019 / 9:13 am

    Maybe when it comes to beer, you can’t have too much of a good thing. 😉 That sure is how I feel about chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:26 pm

      You’re not alone! Chocolate must be one of the very most popular products out there. Extremely delicious.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie Graves January 24, 2019 / 11:50 am

        My motto is, “Never a day without chocolate.” Usually just a small piece. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  14. lexklein January 23, 2019 / 9:26 am

    Well, first of all, you’re ahead of me on The New Yorkers! I think I’m still a week away from that issue, and I have a rule that I have to read them in chronological order so the letters to the editor make sense. I love Patricia Marx, so I eagerly await my own reading of the article.

    Beyond that lengthy aside, I will say that almost nothing turns me off more than a huge supermarket. I just can’t do it. I have my little list of foods that I like, and I go to my smaller stores every day – different ones for different things – and get my items in about 5 minutes. The array of products we have now is just overwhelming (and unnecessary, to my cranky old mind), and largely super unhealthful as well. Oh dear, I am sounding old and set in my ways … so I’ll add here that the proliferation of beers makes me very happy! I just won’t buy them in a supermarket …!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:33 pm

      So many aspects of life have become (potentially) a lot more complicated than they used to be. Choices have proliferated everywhere: banks, insurance companies, electricity providers, . . .

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Paddy Tobin January 23, 2019 / 9:34 am

    Ah, the multitude of shades of white…enough to make anybody go on the beer! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Paddy Tobin January 24, 2019 / 4:04 am



  16. greenpete58 January 23, 2019 / 10:06 am

    I’m right with you here. It’s a mega, multi-choice society (at least, outside of the Third World), and not necessarily for the better. There’s a word for it: Capitalism. If there’s money to be made, it WILL happen. I got so confused recently looking for a basic shampoo – that didn’t discuss hair color, thickness, texture, consistency, and SHAMPOO color, thickness, texture, consistency, and smell – that I fled the store in a cold sweat. It didn’t help that the store was piping in, every 10 minutes, that goddawful song “Happy.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:41 pm

      Right, years ago there was Halo and Prell and a few other shampoos. These days, there’s a universe of shampoos. and they probably are all pretty much the same!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Still the Lucky Few January 23, 2019 / 10:22 am

    Ah, capitalism—they make’em, we buy’em. I’m sure that when we stop buying, they’ll stop making. And that will give the landfills, the oceans and the planet a rest! Yeah, I know, it’s a bit of a ‘wet blanket’ response, but that’s on my mind these days. Great post, Neil—you always get us thinking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:44 pm

      You know hat really annoys me? — all the plastics that are used to package things. So incredibly wasteful of resources. Why can’t milk come in thick paper cartons, like it used to, for instance? There’s no need for plastic milk containers. And that’s just one of countless examples.


  18. sniderjerry January 23, 2019 / 10:37 am

    I saw runner at a marathon race with a shirt that said, “Too many years – too many beers” Was that you – Great essay, Neil. Have a great day. Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:46 pm

      Jerry, if you’re a beer drinker, check out the beers (if you can find them) from Magic Hat brewery and New Belgium brewery. They are among my faves.


    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:47 pm

      Yeah, it’s easy to get hooked on the availability of all this stuff.


  19. Jacqui Murray January 23, 2019 / 10:58 am

    Another shade of white–if I didn’t know how witty and fun your articles are, I might have skipped this one. But how could I resist? Now, as for the huge variety available in stores, I’ve recently begun ordering from Walmart online so I don’t have to search all those varieties (and maybe not find it). I was in high school ’65-’69

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 12:50 pm

      Hi Jacqui. You started high school a few months after I graduated from high school. I hope you liked high school more than I did — it was the worst period of my life!


  20. Glen available January 23, 2019 / 2:30 pm

    Not sure if you have the German supermarket retailer ALDI where you are Neil but they established themselves in Australia about 10 years ago and changed the face of what aisle shopping could look like.

    At an ALDI store, next to the fresh oranges you’re likely to find toothpaste, alongside the chocolate biscuits might be placed outdoor camping chairs and cosing up next to containers of orange juice is quite likely to be an assortment of vintage Joan Crawford movies on DVD.

    It takes random to a whole new level. And all of the stuff is still in opened cardboard packing crates that the customer just takes from. It’s like the aisles were planned by someone who’d be washed out on magic mushrooms at the time but funny thing is, it seems to work ’cause it’s a really popular chain over here in Aus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 4:32 pm

      Indeed, Aldi is in the USA. In fact, there’s an Aldi very close to my house. I’ve been there only once, and didn’t notice the randomness that you write about. But maybe I wasn’t paying attention. I’ll go back!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. JT Twissel January 23, 2019 / 5:28 pm

    We have a family owned grocery store not far from us where you can find just about any kind of food stuff you can imagine. I hesitate going there before I’ll buy something (Mongolian yuk spice) which looks so interesting, costs a fortune and I just must try. Only, no yuk meat around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 6:58 pm

      it sounds as if that store specializes in the exotic. You don’t find things from Mongolia in the average store.


  22. tanjabrittonwriter January 23, 2019 / 6:30 pm

    You would be right at home in Colorado, Neil. The already great number of craft breweries keeps growing. Cheers. 🍺

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Robert Parker January 23, 2019 / 7:01 pm

    Yea Wegman’s (Rochester, NY) they have some giant ones with food courts. I watched an old Robin Williams movie “Moscow on the Hudson” – – his first time in an American supermarket, he’s overwhelmed by the choices in the coffee aisle, and keels over. 164 types of white, I’d do the same thing, it would bug the crap out of me, and I’d have to check if I could tell the difference, and then I’d eventually get snow blindness from all that white, like there isn’t enough white outside, too. Just gimme a bucket of paint!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. ckennedyhola January 23, 2019 / 8:07 pm

    I am absolutely amazed by how many choices we have these days–we just didn’t have them when I was growing up. What happens though, if we become bored because we have too many choices? Maybe we’ll scale down? Who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. alhenry January 23, 2019 / 10:12 pm

    Well, you certainly got my attention with your announcement of Elliyah white. I think we need to haul out the zillion Benjamin Moore whites, paint a swath of each one side by side with all the others and then go down the ranks with a sample of Elliyah. I’m highly skeptical. But it does remind me of the gated community my parents used to live in. VERY strict rules about what you could and could not do–no clotheslines, no leaving your garage door open, all plantings must be pre-approved. There was, however, one area left to the owner’s discretion. You could paint your front door in any one of 3 approved shades of white. This may explain why I live in heathen Massachusetts in a tumbledown 1895 house where NOTHING, and I mean nothing is standard, or even at right angles. Freedom–it’s worth fighting for.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 23, 2019 / 10:49 pm

      Amy, I think you should paint every room in your house in Elliyah white. I’ll try to get you a discounted price on the paint!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Lynette d'Arty-Cross January 24, 2019 / 12:13 am

    I’m not much of a supermarket shopper. I like to buy from the local markets and enjoy the great variety of fresh produce. But my home is also in wine country (and there’s beer, too) and I really like that variety. 🙂 I hope you’ve had some respite from the scratching. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 24, 2019 / 7:07 am

      Shopping at smaller, local markets is a good thing to do. They face tough competition from the big outfits, and need people to support them. Have a great rest of the week, Lynette. See you!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. andrewcferguson January 24, 2019 / 2:22 am

    Well said sir! For me, substitute wine with beer, but otherwise, I totally agree with your views. Far too much stuff in the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 24, 2019 / 7:10 am

      Andrew, here’s an idea: You should buy some land in a good wine-growing area, and start a vineyard!

      Liked by 1 person

      • andrewcferguson January 24, 2019 / 12:57 pm

        In principle, Neil, yes – in practice, I think I’ll leave it to the experts… look out for my next post about the perfect wine to go with haggis!


  28. joyce hamilton January 24, 2019 / 7:58 am

    I mostly like Aldies since less choice but l find what l want.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 24, 2019 / 8:37 am

      Hi Joyce. I need to pay a visit to Aldi. That chain has found a formula for success.


  29. swabby429 January 24, 2019 / 11:00 am

    The first time a friend brought me to Costco in Omaha, I nearly passed out. It’s the size of an airliner repair hangar. It was populated with customers buying stuff in bulk quantities. I never did buy a membership. I prefer smaller stores.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 24, 2019 / 11:43 am

      You know, when my local Giant supermarket (the one I write about) opened, I found it way too big and disorienting. I’ve gotten used to it, though, and can do my family’s shopping pretty quickly there. We humans are adaptable, if nothing else.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Isabelle January 24, 2019 / 3:29 pm

    Quite overwhelmed by all those new products and High tech items, so I stick to my books. My retreat. The weekend is approaching, have a good one, Neil! Catch up soon, Isabelle

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Carol Balawyder January 24, 2019 / 10:30 pm

    The eons you’ve spent thumping through The New Yorker magazine is seeping through your writing. A very enjoyable read in both contents and voice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 25, 2019 / 7:04 am

      Carol, it’s really good of you to say that. I appreciate it a lot. Enjoy the weekend. See you!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Helen Devries January 25, 2019 / 9:21 am

    Even Costa Rica has finally allowed micro breweries to set up….previously beer was a government monopoly…though the prices are enough to make you reach for, well, a beer to get over the shock.
    Family arrive from Belgium tomorrow…if their cases are not full of beer they can go home disinherited.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 25, 2019 / 9:59 am

      Right. When I was in Europe a few years ago I had some Belgian beers I’d never heard of before. They were superb.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. tylerus January 25, 2019 / 10:56 am

    Every generation recalls “the good ol’ days”. I’m no different. Life was so much simpler {insert # of choice} years/decades ago. Less choices = less complications. . . . White-fudge Oreos, huh? Sold!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 25, 2019 / 11:44 am

      Hi there. I suppose that, to a pretty high extent, most of us have control over how simplified or complicated our lives are. The simplified/complicated ratio might vary year to year, or even day to day. Bye!


  34. annika January 25, 2019 / 12:23 pm

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having too much choice, after all we are all different. But there’s a difference between that and wanting to own everything that’s available. I’m not perfect… there was a time when I felt it was normal to have 50+ pairs of shoes but as the years go by, I’m learning to embrace minimalism. Have a wonderful day Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 25, 2019 / 2:04 pm

      Hi Annika. Sometimes I feel guilty about how many objects I own. I don’t do a lot of buying, but over the years the items have added up to quite a whole lot. Anyway, I try to keep things in perspective. See you!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. artdoesmatter January 26, 2019 / 11:25 am

    Neil, I adore this post! Why? Because apparently where I live (New Jersey) only permits 2 stores of any one supermarket chain to even sell wine or beer on its shelves. Of course, NONE of them are here in South Jersey – one must live in the opulent “North” closer to NYC to partake in this luxury!!! Again, thrilled to see and read another enjoyable post of yours – you actually had me laughing on some of your comments!! Hope you’re well and having a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 26, 2019 / 5:15 pm

      Hey there, Patricia. Pennsylvania has weird beer regulations too. It’s only in recent years that supermarkets have been allowed to sell beer, and there are special conditions involved with that. I can’t personally complain, though. My beer-buying options are very good these days. Be well. See you!

      Liked by 1 person

  36. selizabryangmailcom January 26, 2019 / 8:33 pm

    One of my favorite scenes in Idiocracy is when they visit a Costco, and the overhead shots inside the store are just vast, miles-long rows and rows and rows stretching out into the distance. An exaggerated take, but not TOO exaggerated, on the over-abundance that’s available.

    And I agree about the plastic wrappers and containers! Now that smoking has been abolished, the new villain is vaping (it’s just vapor!), yet the production of useless plastic in items hasn’t been squashed yet?! Especially those packages where the item sits in one far corner and then the rest of it is just a bunch of empty plastic with nothing in it. Hypocrisy! Lunacy!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Annika Perry January 28, 2019 / 5:15 am

    Neil, the bottles seem to be smiling just fine! 😀 As beer is not to my taste, I zoomed into the labels and names, inventive and bright! Enjoy them and glad you had a fun outing to the store/airport hanger. When shopping I usually follow the fragrance to the bakery section and try not to buy too many fresh hot rolls! Blimey .. those mega stores are incredible. The first time I went to one in America I was gobsmacked and just gawped all the way round, awed by the variety of products available. This was in the early 90s when supermarkets in the U.K. were still human sized and sold only food!

    As for paint names my husband and I never fail to be amused by the choice of colours and their names. Elliyah Is a lovely name for a near white … and it might be the big new magnolia in which all new houses in the U.K painted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 28, 2019 / 7:23 am

      Hi there, Annika. Your thoughts made me start wondering if there’s a limit to the size of the gigantic markets. Maybe 20 years from now the huge stores will be even larger, twice the size for instance of what they are today. Onward and upward?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Annika Perry January 28, 2019 / 11:39 am

        Now, that is a scary thought … there is a backlash of sorts though for boutique / craft stores etc!

        Liked by 1 person

  38. cath January 28, 2019 / 3:27 pm

    Great pictures, they remind me of why I loath shopping – and our stores are much much smaller than this.
    Good luck with the beer though. I’m with when it comes to the pluses of modern consumerism. There are times when it’s fun and enjoyable. I know several people who also enjoy exploring the ever-widening range of Gin makers.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Glen Donaldson January 29, 2019 / 2:48 am

        We’re going for the one hundred mark with comments again guys so let’s keep the ball bouncing on this deserving topic just at least a little longer eh everyone?

        Liked by 1 person

  39. johnlmalone January 29, 2019 / 11:20 pm

    I’ve been subscribing to ‘THe New Yorker’ since 2006 but hAVE been reading it since before the Vietnam War. I don’t mind its long pieces if they;re to do with writing or culture in general but love the shorter pieces too. Must have missed the piece you’re referring to so I’ll click on it and have a gander. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 30, 2019 / 7:02 am

      It’s such a terrific magazine. It’s worth subscribing just for the covers and the cartoons. Have a great rest of the week!

      Liked by 1 person

  40. America On Coffee January 30, 2019 / 9:00 am

    Nice post. I am sad that the consumer today has no voice as he/she did before the mid 1970s. Time for all to realize consumers are being consumed to the max. 😞

    Liked by 1 person

  41. cincinnatibabyhead January 30, 2019 / 11:59 am

    My Gal won’t let me anywhere near a supermarket. I revert to being 10 years old and grab all the staples that a 10 year old would go for. What the hell is a “chilled dick”?


  42. pjlazos January 30, 2019 / 8:16 pm

    Great post, Neil. To quote the Clash: “I’m all lost in the supermarket. I can no longer shop happily.” And you know why? Because there are too many freaking choices! (Except for beer. I’m with you on that one.) I think all this choosing has made us all mad. We think that we’re exercising personal freedom by choosing the 163rd shade of white, but really we’re just tamping down our existential angst and pretending that we’re not scared out of our wits about what life really has in store. If we can control our choices, perhaps we can control our terror, eh? It a strategy, but it only works so long. Eventually, we’re going to have to look life in the eye and make peace with it. :0)

    Liked by 1 person

      • pjlazos January 30, 2019 / 9:57 pm

        That’s fantastic news. Hopefully other companies will catch on and do the same. Remember when Ted Turner gave away 1/5th of his wealth hoping others would do the same. No one followed suit. Maybe Samsung will have better luck!

        Liked by 1 person

  43. Imelda January 31, 2019 / 4:52 pm

    I’d always remember Wegman’s with fondness. It was our go-to store in Buffalo NY. It has fantastic cheese selection, and a good selection of almost anything. Unfortunately, even if I am not a fan of cheese and most things being sold at Wegman’s, Wegman’s is not in our area. I guess it’s good because I won’t be tempted to buy neat things that I do not need.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 31, 2019 / 5:10 pm

      Hi. I guess that Wegmans made its way to my area not all that many years ago. The branch that I go to sometimes seems to be doing a really big business. Have a great weekend. Many thanks for adding your thoughts.


  44. eden baylee February 1, 2019 / 1:10 pm

    We live in abundance with more variety than necessary. Having just returned from Cuba, a country that rations their staples –meat, produce, fruit …. our access to so much seems almost obscene.

    Of course, we shouldn’t feel bad for how ‘rich’ we are, but we can realize that stuff does not buy happiness. No matter how much we surround ourselves with stuff, we all end up in the same place. Sorry if this is a downer comment, Neil!

    For me, the more I pare down, give away, move toward a minimalist lifestyle … the better I feel.

    Enjoy your weekend,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 1, 2019 / 2:08 pm

      I know what you mean. Though it’s easy to take a comfortable lifestyle for granted, it’s wrong to do that, considering that so many people worldwide have to scramble for just the basics.

      Liked by 1 person

      • eden baylee February 1, 2019 / 2:28 pm

        I never forget that so much of what we have comes from an accident at birth.

        In the west, the wheel of consumerism won’t stop spinning, but I can feel better if I’m able to share with those less fortunate.

        Liked by 1 person

  45. Julie Holmes, author February 2, 2019 / 4:02 pm

    You are so right, Neil. It’s almost too many choices. That is one refreshing thing about Aldi: limited choices.

    And craft beer–hell, yeah–or for Leine fans Helles Yeah–for build-your-own-six-pack (not to be confused with gym-built six-packs). I love variety packs; you can sample different flavors all in one convenient package.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 2, 2019 / 10:23 pm

      Hi. I had a good beer tonight at a restaurant. It’s called 60 Minute IPA, and it’s brewed by the Dogfish Head brewery. It made the meal!

      Liked by 1 person

  46. jeanleesworld February 4, 2019 / 9:43 pm

    We do have a ridiculous amount of choice, which ironically bothers me when I’m looking for just one specific thing. Gah!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 4, 2019 / 11:05 pm

      It can be tough to make a decision when there’s a ton of choices calling for our attention. All those choices can be very distracting!

      Liked by 1 person

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