So Rouses Market is closed for renovations until December 21. I had put off shopping last week until last Monday only to find it just closed. They were wheeling out displays, coolers etc. The place was totally gutted. Even with everything out of there, it still looks small.
I waited until Monday because I hate going in there on the weekend with the fucking tourists. There is one tiny shopping cart in the entire store that is used by the staff when stocking shelves. Numerous times, I have had to squeeze past a tourist couples who managed to find the cart empty and decided that they should use it to hold their three items as they stroll up and down every narrow isle browsing. Looking at the “genuine Cajun seasonings” or picking up and putting down the bags of Hurricane mix while us locals are shopping with baskets. Great, they decided to bring the cart with two sandwiches and a bag of chips to the fucking check out isle. Oh look, four people and two baby strollers came in to buy one bottle of wine. Please, take your time.
I love the employees, Tony, Miss Treva, Xavier, Mandy, they all make it like visiting friends. Great staff. Most of the customers make me hate shopping there. One time, I had to squeeze by a cliché hipster in front of the beer section. He was annoying just to look at. The perfectly trimmed beard, those stupid black framed glasses that probably didn’t even have lenses in them, silly tight pants and a T-shirt with a logo for something that he didn’t even know to what. One flash art tattooed arm against his stomach with the other elbow resting on it as he stroked his beard. He was intensely studying the ridiculous array of beers.
I went down to grab cold cuts and bread and walked back, he was still there scowling deep in thought. I continued to dart up and down the isles I needed to grabbing my basics. As I doubled back around he was still there in front of the beer in the same pose. “WTF DUDE? You act like you’re picking out an engagement ring or something.” I grabbed the last of my standard dietary staples and stood in line.
Who should get in line behind me? Harry Hipster. I had to look at what strange brew he finally decided upon. “PBR? REALLY?! I spent less time picking out the last car I bought. You stood there for at least eight minutes, obstructing shoppers as you read the label of every pretentious pickled trout flavored lager only to pick up a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I hate you and everyone like you.”
Another time I had a basket packed to the top as I grabbed pack of cheese. This scruffy looking white guy strolls up next to me and flashes his Louisiana Purchase card and whispers “Fifty cent on the dollar.” I responded “No thanks,” and started to stroll off. He followed: “Come on man, you’ll be getting all of that stuff for half price.” “No,” I said. “Why not man, don’t you want to save a few bucks?” “No, because it’s theft.” Indignantly he snapped: “It ain’t stolen, it’s mine. I need the cash.” I just walked off. I wasn’t even going to try explain to the morally bankrupt commie why it was wrong.
I wonder if this renovation was just a typical corporate makeover or is it to improve “social distancing.” If it is COVID-19 related that means an isle or two will have to be removed, thus reducing the selection of products. For a small store, they managed to squeeze in most anything a non-food snob could ask for. If they are going to reduce anything let it be the fucking beer selection. They had twelve feet of beers and only eight feet of fresh produce.
Until it re-opens ,we in the Quarter will have to shop for our groceries at CVS or Walgreens, which is essentially like grocery shopping at vending machines. Perhaps Toulouse Grocery, with their stoic staff.