Grocery store politics

The trip to Fred Meyer today would break the monotony of the circus in government and take my mind off politics for a while. But I found that it could not.

From the lobby I scanned the store. As I looked across the mountains of fruits and vegetables some of them reminded me of certain congressmen. There were lots of fresh fruits and veggies in their own bin, and each looked just like another. Hairdos in Congress matched the bushy tops of bunched green veggies, and melons and squashes looked to me like those in Congress who have been on the vine a long, long time. The potatoes and coconuts stared back at me with their little dark eyes.

I turned and grabbed a cart, and gave it a short push. Then I tried another, and another. When I pushed each one, the shopping cart reminded me of a congressman. The first cart’s wheel chattered loudly as it rattled on the hard floor. Just noise, I thought.

The next squeaked awkwardly with each turn of the wheel. It might do the job, but squeaks are unproductive.

Another cart wheel jammed and stuck, refusing to move, impeding the forward movement of the other wheels.

The next one pulled to the right, and the one after that pulled to the left. Probably party-loyal carts, I thought.

I finally found one that did its job silently and well. It had no political posters, stickers or bills pasted to it, and it carried my load smoothly, performing the function for which it was designed. The products on every shelf beckoned to me with promises, and I selected carefully what I needed and piled them all into the cart. After loading my van I pushed the cart several feet across the pavement to the fellow who collects them. I said to him, “Check this out” and the cart went straight as an arrow, silently and sure. He smiled back and said, “there aren’t many like that…” And I thought to myself, no sir, there aren’t.

Norm Olson, Nikiski

More in Opinion

A resident casts their vote in the regular municipal election Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Alaska Voices: Break the cycle of failure, debt in 2022

Today, all Americans are coerced, embarrassed or otherwise influenced into one of two old political parties

A sign designates a vote center during the recent municipal election. The center offered a spot for voters to drop off ballots or fill a ballot out in person. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: The failure of mail-in voting

The argument that mail-in balloting increases voter participation never impressed me

Charlie Franz.
Point of View: Election integrity is not anti-democratic

The federalization of elections by the Freedom to Vote Act infringes on the constitutional right of states to regulate elections.

Snow blows off Mt. Roberts high above the Thane avalanche chute, where an avalanche blew across the road during a major snowstorm. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
An Alaska winter of discontent

It’s been a hard winter throughout the state.

A Uncruise Adventures cruise ship, with a fleet of kayaks in the water behind it, in the Tongass National Forest. Uncruise, a boutique local cruise ship operator, has been vocal about the importance of the intact Tongass National Forest, or SeaBank, to its business. (Photo by Ben Hamilton/courtesy Salmon State)
Alaska Voices: The dividends paid by Southeast Alaska’s ‘Seabank’ are the state’s untold secrets

Southeast Alaska’s natural capital produces economic outputs from the seafood and visitor products industries worth several billion dollars a year

Opinion: The pulse of fealty

Let’s be honest. Trump’s demands go beyond his one stated condition.

Former Gov. Frank Murkowski speaks on a range of subjects during an interview with the Juneau Empire in May 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Alaska Voices: Permanent fund integrity in peril?

Alaskans need to be kept informed of what the trustees are doing with their money.

A cast member holds up a cue card in Soldotna High School’s production of "Annie" on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Is theater dead?

“It will not be an easy task, performing CPR on this theater, but imagine the joy that you could bring to the students.”

Bjørn Olson (Photo provided)
Point of View: Homer Drawdown moves forward with climate-change solutions

Two years ago, a small group of concerned citizens decided to use this book as a guiding document

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21 in Kenai, Alaska.
Voices of the Peninsula: Fight for democracy

When the Insurrection occurred on Jan. 6, 2021, it was a direct attack on our democratic rule of law.

Former Alaska legislator and gubernatorial candidate Les Gara is seen in this undated photo. (courtesy photo)
Alaska’s great oil giveway

We can do better than giving away billions in oil company subsidies