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The Kroger Chronicles, No. 29: Competition
A Skittles iteration of the candy bouquet. Photo by me.
Love the lines on this one. Photo by me.

Blond hair, nerdball glasses, the boy could have been Ralphie in “A Christmas Story.” He moped, clearly bored with summer vacation, missing his school friends who were doing cool stuff, he just knew it. He was stuck going to Kroger . . . with Mom. In the floral department, he slumped against the counter.

Mom said to him, “We’re going to get this now,” then to me, “I know you do candy bouquets. You did one for my birthday a few weeks ago. My daughter went to three different stores looking for Mallomars.” Oh, yes: When I made and sold that candy bouquet, the daughter posed with it while a friend took pictures.

The mopey boy marched off behind Mom to Aisle 10 for candy. Minutes later, he returned in a brighter mood, for he cradled a bag of Hershey’s kisses in one arm, a bag of Starburst chews in the other; his hands clutched six Hershey’s Chocolate bars, which he counted out as if dealing cards. I got to crafting:

Fill a glass vase with the small candy. Lay four sheets of bright paper on top of each other but at angles. Set a Styrofoam plug on the stack, shape the papers around it, stop up the vase. Tape candy bars to wooden skewers, stick them into the plug. Fluff paper for a blossom effect. Tie a ribbon around the vase. Ring it up: $19.99.

The boy ogled the bouquet, delighted like Ralphie. “For you?” I asked. He shook his head. Mom rolled her eyes, prompted, “C’mon, tell her.” The boy straightened and beamed. “My friend? He was in a hold-your-breath contest. And he WON. Then he passed out and got a concussion. I wasn’t there. But I heard all about it.”


2 Comment count
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Is Kroger Hiring?

I gotta have your job.  Not yours, maybe, but one like it.  I've pretty much had it, trying to help the psychologically infirmed and the developmentally disabled get through what passes for their life; would give it all up in a heartbeat to have a few of the encounters with which you so regularly (and entertainingly) regale us. 

Please do not stop now.

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Yes. Kroger is always hiring

Hi, Ron: Just keep in mind that Kroger pays minimum wage no matter how old you are, no matter your other experiences. In Ohio, that's $7.85 an hour. But I'll tell ya . . . the things I get to see every day working with flowers and human beings are priceless. . . . 

While I can only imagine how frustrating and tiring your work is, there are people out there who need you to be doing it. I hope that you are writing about it. That will help get you through it every day.