MONDO takes on the corporate giants
By Jenny Bundock
Illustrations by Dara Gold
Today, I woke up and was craving coconut. I am a coconut fanatic. I like it in and on everything. I could (and do) eat coconut oil with a spoon. Coconut is amazing. Sadly the only place that I can get a real coconut that is still in its shell is at Loblaws. I don’t shop at Loblaws if I can avoid it but sometimes you just really want something only they have (Fruit Loops, coconuts, something in a box) and you decide “what the hell, I’ll brave that sprawling food warehouse and get what I need.” Today was that day for me.
Not only did I have to pay almost two dollars for a coconut that was shrink-wrapped with plastic. It’s a fucking coconut! You have to break it open with a hammer! Its existing package could not be more durable or designed better to protect the product inside. Did someone say “Hmm, you know, this coconut isn’t producing enough landfill waste… couldn’t we wrap it in plastic or something?” We are a sick, sick species.
Anyways, not only did I have to pay two dollars for a coconut that was wrapped in plastic, but the coconut itself WAS MOULDY! And I couldn’t tell, because a big ass logo was covering the crack in the shell, and the plastic masked the overwhelming mouldy smell. As near as I can tell, Loblaws has invested in plastic-covered coconuts exclusively to deceive me.
To make matters worse, now I have to go back to Loblaws for the second time today to return my mouldy coconut and demand a new, non-mould infested one, which means I also have fight my way into a second coconut today. Oh joy, oh bliss.
Yet another reason to hate Loblaws!
I’m adding “mouldy coconuts” to my ongoing list of things I hate about Loblaws.
It is as follows:
1) The fake “European market” design.
You’ve noticed this, I am sure, but next time you are at a Loblaws, really look around. Notice the murals at the top of the stores, painted with stalls like it’s a farmers market. Notice the carts that they have all the fruit piled up on, or, like my Loblaws, the fake wooden shutters that open into the other half of the store up by the roof. They truly must think we are all idiots. Like a twig in a jar that you’ve trapped a bug inside, this almost resembles a natural habitat.
2) Horny teenagers who work there, who make you feel like YOU are the meat attendant rather than the other way around.
“Can I have some feta please?”
“You can have whatever you want.” *wink*
3) The fact that their person in the produce section doesn’t know anything but where the piles of produce are.
“Excuse me, are the papayas GMO free?”
“Papayas are over near the tomatoes.”
These people make me crazy. They are paid to stack fruit and point. Lame.
4) The excess of choice, that in actuality, eats up most of your day…
Do I really want this deodorant? Or this one? What is the different between sweet peach and fuzzy peach scent? What if I don’t feel like a goddess? What razor do I buy? Thank you, capitalism.
5) The fact that you can’t buy five things without walking through the whole store, which almost requires a Sherpa guide and survival supplies.
Let’s see, I want an avocado, bread, spinach, cheese, and a bar of soap… 20 minutes later…
6) That all the bread they bake that day is crusty white bread.
Which is fine if you aren’t particularly attached to your colon, or are attached to your poop. Neither of which I happen to be.
7) The magazines by the cash.
I go out of my way to not know who is on “bump watch” or who lost a zillion pounds this month, or who found them or what Tom Cruise is doing that is particularly nutty this week, and then, BAM — right by the cash, summarized for me into six neat and tidy headlines, everything I didn’t want to know.
8) The featured wasteful shitty products.
Today, I walked in and there was a special on paper towels and bottled water (two brands!) all stacked up when you walk in the front doors. Fucking awesome! I could use that bottled water to wet my Swiffer mop, and then use those towels to wipe up afterwards so that the floor is dry faster, then I’ll wash up my dishes with those cloth-ish pads that have the soap infused into them, and after I’ve worked my appetite up I’ll drink two to three juice-boxes, have a snack-pack, and then when I’m done I’ll have half a trash-bag full of shit to go out to the shed. But I only buy the GREEN brand trash-bags, because conservation is so in right now.
9) The canning and bagging of cultural foods.
I love Indian food, but just as I wouldn’t buy pre-cheesed bagels or food from my own heritage in a bag (like croissants or mashed potatoes in a box as a mix), I sure as hell know better than to buy Indian food in some kind of “heat in the bag” pouch. I don’t even feed my cat food out of a pouch. Thanks for the gross out, Galen Weston.
10) The size of everything.
Ever notice how you can’t easily buy small quantities of anything there? Or if you want a small quantity you have to pay out the ass for it? Like if you want a small jar of BBQ sauce it’s $2.65… but a litre of BBQ sauce is only $2.89, so you’d be a sucker to not get three times as much for only 20 cents more! Except now you have to find shit to put a litre of BBQ sauce on, which likely means buying even more stuff from Loblaws, and no doubt eating your way into intensive care.
11) And finally, Mouldy Coconuts.
Now, you’ve fought your way through the store, you’ve got your little basket of eight items or less, you’ve waited for the sweet (yet advantageous) little old lady with 45 items who is in the eight items line to finish paying with all her pennies from the bottom of her purse, you’ve bagged your stuff up, declined buying one of those black bags that has a big President’s Choice logo on it, you’ve resisted all the SALES and DEALS you don’t need, made it home safe and sound, peeled the cellophane off your coconut, cracked it open, and discovered that it is mouldy. And you have to go back.
Dear Loblaws, I hate you.