The Iceman Forgeteth (a rant in three parts)

Jeff said to me this morning, “You haven’t written a blog in 10 days.” I replied, “We haven’t done anything worth writing about.” He agreed, and went back to slurping his coffee. (I make a damn fine cup o’ joe—Yuban brand, half and half, a sprinkle of cinnamon, sugar, and a squirt of whipped cream. Indulgent, yes, but it’s a pleasant way to start a day.) Little did I know that just a few hours later I’d be writing about something as stupid as buying a bag of ice.

After we finished our morning ritual, we headed out on the bike to the library to return some books, and Jeff remembered that we need to buy ice while we’re out. We go through approximately five bags a week, so we are old hands at remembering to buy ice, it’s that important to us. We are ice using people. One of my favorite things in life is a glass of ice water on my desk all day as I work.

Our favorite store to buy ice is Publix. It doesn’t have that funny, stale-freezer taste that some other stores have. The cubes are the right size and are easy to chew (I’m an ice chewer, but that’s a topic for another day). They are also the right shape, a hollow tube. For some reason that shape seems to last longer.

Yes, of course all of this is meaningless in the big picture of life, but my point is that we both make buying ice a priority in our daily life. And one of my biggest bitches and gripes about some stores is that they put the ice freezer AFTER the cashier. Every single time we’re in a store that does that—and with Publix it’s a crap shoot depending on the store—we forget to buy the friggin’ ice, even though we make a VERY deliberate point of saying to each other, “Don’t forget to tell the cashier we want a bag of ice.”


Let's play a game called "Find the Ice Cooler."

We could pick it up first thing, as soon as we walk in the door, but that only works if ice is the only thing we’re buying. We’re usually in the store for a while and the ice will melt if we put it in the cart first. So we make that the last thing we pick up. When stores put the ice cooler by the exit, after the checkout counters, we cannot logistically make it the last thing we put in the cart. We have to remember to tell the cashier that we want to buy a bag of ice and pay for it first. Neither of us can seem to do that, no matter how hard we try, no matter how many times we remind each other “Pay for the ice,” no matter how often I add it to the list, or even write it on my hand.

So today, we went to Publix on the way home from the library to buy a bag of ice. I even reminded Jeff, “Hey, this is the Publix that has the ice after the cashier, so let’s not forget that.” After all, we were only there for ice, but figured while we’re there, we’ll get a couple things. Well, we found those things, stood in line, paid for them and got all the way back out to the parking lot before we realized we didn’t buy ice. So Jeff had to go back inside, stand in line AGAIN, and tell the cashier he needs a bag of ice. Thank god he remembered it that time.

Seriously, I do not understand why stores do this. I refuse to believe they’re doing it just to be dicks, so I have to wonder: do they think it’s more convenient? Are they trying to help us? Cuz it’s not and they’re not. It’s like Bank of America telling me that they allow purchases to go through on my debit card even if there’s not enough money in the account, as a “convenience” to me (at a cost of $35 for the overdraft charge). Even after I told them that this is actually an inconvenience, and asked them to please stop helping us, they continued to ding us every time Jeff would just use the card to buy a pack of smokes or whatever nickel and diming he was doing (he was assuming that if there wasn’t enough in the account, the purchase would be denied). So, yeah. Don’t try to help me in ways that disturb my chi. Please.

How ‘bout a little standardization: why don’t you stores all put the ice with the frozen foods, near the end of the typical shopper’s flow, so it’s the last thing we see as we approach the cashiers? And then, if I don’t have enough on my card to pay for the ice, the bank can decline the purchase because otherwise that $2.00 bag of ice is going to cost me $37.00. I don’t need it that badly. I can always pull out the old fashioned ice trays and make my own.

I feel better now, having ranted a bit. Who knows? Maybe this only happened because Jeff mentioned over coffee this morning that I hadn’t written anything in a while and I said we hadn’t done anything worth writing about. Be careful what you witch for, eh?

You know what sounds good right about now? A cup of iced coffee. I’ll drink to that!

Here's you a dog, laughing at the idiot humans who can't remember to buy ice.


6 responses to “The Iceman Forgeteth (a rant in three parts)

  1. Ha ha Lisa, you can even make shopping for a bag of ice funny. One question. Why don’t you use ice trays instead?

    I have had that same problem with Bank of America. That really helps me to let the purchase go through and then have to pay an overdraft fee. I think they do that intentionally.

  2. We don’t use ice trays because we go through so much ice that we can’t keep up with the demand. It takes too long for it to freeze, and we don’t have enough room in the freezer for as many trays as it would take.

    Yeah, I think the bank does it intentionally as well.

  3. LOL!
    I have the same peeve about those ice machines…wtf’s up with that? We are blessed with an icemaker in the freezer here….a great boon as I, too, am an ice-o-holic! And being the only one in the house who really cares about the ice, you can guess who would be filling all the ice trays.
    And as for that bank thing! We changed banks last years after our bank “convenienced” us out of almost $350 in fees for less that $100 in purchases by not declining a series of small purchases! I didn’t know that could happen til it was too late. Our new bank assures us that they won’t do that. We set up an overdraft protection for the checking acct with a savings acct, but that only works if we have at least $350 balance in the savings acct, which just ain’t always gonna happen…

  4. Do the hollow tubes of ice play music when you blow into em, like Willy Wonka’s peppermint sticks?

    I currently have a bank sitting on a $300 collection from doing the “overdraft protection” plus a $5/day charge until it was made up. I had them suspend my account to stop adding fees and now they can damn well wait until it’s convenient for me to pay them… if that day ever comes. I’m now hoping most of their other customers do the same thing to em. Let the parasites starve.

    Well! Looks like you’ve touched on the zeitgeist twice in this blog! Nice work!!! I’ll make ya a deal. You keep writing em, and I’ll keep enjoying em.

  5. I could sware that BOA just announced they would no longer let debits go through without the funds to cover them. Maybe I am wrong.

  6. My bank, Chase, told us that we had a choice…. so we keep telling them to NOT let our purchases go through, but that would work for them so they don’t. It isn’t necessarily about whether you cannot budget your account properly or not. It is a matter of them finagaling (spell?) your money around so that instead of having a 100.00 purchase be the one thing that has an overdraft, they move that to the top of the chain, so that you have 13 little purchases that total 100.00 and then you have 13 overdrafts as opposed to just the one. I have switched to just cash. I HATE banks. I refuse to play their game. We have a safe in our house. With envelopes in it with the money we need for each thing. It is less convenient, but I hate having debit cards. I never had overdrafts when I used just checks. I am not sure if it is a new thing (new as in the last 5 years) or what.

    Either way, they should have little tags on the ice chest at the front of the store so you can grab a tag to bring to the register, and pay for it, and grab a bag on the way out.

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