My impenetrable cape has returned from the dry cleaners and the Bionic Bitch is back in business. No mission is too risky for the love of my hungry felines.  The Market Basket cashier didn’t even know what hit her.  I descended on the grocery store at approximately 2 PM, arriving under cover of the bumper sticker collage of my stealth VW Jetta, and proceeded directly to the dairy ailse with my collection of thrift store canvas bags.  I temporarily lowered my invisible force field to approach the pimple-faced stocking clerk.

“Excuse me, do you have any organic sour cream, organic creamer or kryptonite repellant?” I inquired.
“I dunno.  I’ll go check.”

I spied the creamer section curiously.  Hmmmm, they think they can pass off the non-organic soy creamer as the cow-friendly alternative, but pesticides wreak havoc on my superpowers.

“Ma’am,” Whew!  He’s convinced by my human disguise.  “We’ll get some in tomorrow.”
“Alright, thanks.”

The minutes flew by and my rolling metal basket piled high with as much organic produce as one vegetarian superhuman and four cats can consume in a week (the dogs had back-up from Target).  I even allowed a package of Sour Patch Kids to penetrate my health filter and secure its position on the automated black rubber conveyor.  The cashier’s suspicions were aroused by the obviously misplaced yellow plastic bag, but I distracted her with friendly conversation and she scanned the item without confrontation. 

Upon realizing that my superheroine identity had escaped undetected, my swollen confidence intrigued me with an invitation to challenge the staff and patrons of the nearby Big Lots store.  With complete awareness that this mission would be more difficult than the last, I recharged my invisible shield with a handful of the delightfully sour gummies and collected my few remaining empty canvas bags from the trunk of my bitch mobile. 

My fellow shoppers were immediatley on guard as they observed me emerging from the parking lot with a stray shopping cart and those incriminating reusable bags.  I had to know if I’d already blown my cover before entering the store.  I hesitantly suspended my ethical training as a superheroine and scanned their thoughts with emergency mind-control techniques. 
Lighter fluid, Cheetos, jock-itch medication…What else was I supposed to get?
Oh my god, they’re having a furniture sale.
Crazy fucking hippy. Damn, Nice tits.

False alarm.  They remained clueless to my alter ego, so I proceeded as planned. Once inside the building, I was hypnotized by the wall of clearance merchandise.  Despite my best defenses, I was suckered by a $2.00 box of Craisins and several $0.85 bags of Krunchers Bar-B-Que potato chips. But I did redeem myself with some organic dill pickle spears and organic granola/fruit bars.  I even passed up the discounted holiday merchandise and the intimidating display of cheap plastic dog toys. 

But when I arrived at the check-out line, I knew I had met my match with a dishelved-looking middle-aged woman who stood slumped behind the register.  In total silence, the cashier locked sad eyes with me as I approached her counter.  She said nothing as I handed her my bags and began to unload the contents of my cart.  With labored effort, she pointed her red lazer at the line of bar codes and placed each item into my bags as if it were a thin-shelled egg.  When the machine flashed my total on the screen, I ran my credit card through the magnetized slit and waited for my receipt.  She paused awkwardly, knowing that it would be a moment before she could hand me the slip of printed paper from the tiny printer.  Suddenly, against every impulse of my structured superheroine training, I smiled and stepped outside the matrix of our disconnected world.

“Long day, huh?”
She appeared startled, then sighed.  “Yeah. One of THOSE days.”

“Thank you for being here.  Thank you for the job that you do.”
Her confusion left her momentarily speechless, and then her attention was taken by the tiny printer spitting out the record of my purchase.  She quickly retrieved the receipt and placed it into my extended palm. 

“You are very welcome.  Thank YOU for being here.”
When her sad eyes were a little less sad, I knew I’d compromised my secret mission. 

But hey, no worries, the cats will be grateful, nonetheless. 
 

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