What are THEY having?

I'm fascinated by other people's grocery lists. Those brief, informal notes serving to help remember any more than 3-5 things at a time.

By definition, they must be scrawled on a random scrap of paper, and very rarely on actual "note" paper. Once they've served their purpose, they're often dropped in the parking lot while fumbling with groceries and keys, or simply left behind in the cart/hand-baskets. They more than a simple list of items, they are a snapshot into the needs - both common and at times bizarre - of complete strangers; voyeurism at its most obtuse.

The medium of choice is often entertaining. The backs of paycheck envelopes is a popular and rather obvious choice as well as quickly-torn corners of larger sheets of paper. Others have kittens or Ziggy, or Garfield, or a real estate agent's name (and picture) on it somewhere. Whatever the source, these sheets of paper are employed on a whim, used quickly and without much concern for legibility beyond the author, or appearance or longevity, and unceremoniously discarded, forgotten once the job is done like a tissue or toilet paper.

At a time when technology does so much, the humble shopping list remains difficult to replace. Technology will have a hard time replicating the efficiency, effectiveness, reliability, and power-consumption of a grocery list. They manage to carry a list of items used to either sustain life itself, or the other myriad other essentials upon which modern life depends. A shopping list is such a meager vehicle, shreds of tree doing so simply what billions of neurons in the human brain can't seem to do reliably - remember 5 things.

The internet is great for many general things, but it's extremely good for gathering and sharing the whims of like-minded people. Obscure curiosities that would otherwise certainly be dismissed. The pinnacle of that must surely be this most amazing, and yet useless, sites of all time. I give you...

The Grocery List Site.


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