I was vindicated tonight by another strapping young Olympian-bodied, athletic Hydrophile.
After finding the mother-lode of scarce, limited edition insanely refreshing “Citrus Swish” flavored Gatorade hidden in the back of the bottom of an end-cap at one of my many local Krogers, I immediately cleared out their stock.
This discovery was long in the waiting. I’ve been looking everywhere in Jefferson County, Kentucky for this product, which has obviously quickly been identified by other astute thirsty humans. And hastily and subsequently rendered a rarity to be certain. I venture out to destinations that would carry this item in bulk daily: Target, Walgreens, multiple Krogers, and gas stations and all stops in-between. Each time usually in vain and disappointment.
But tonight I was rewarded by my interminable, laser-focused search. Not only did I spy a few, but 24 bottles worth. Jackpot. What made matters even more delicious was that they were on sale for .77 each.
So I quickly filled up my buggy and sprinted to the self-checkout to render them mine with ticketed, date-stamped, and irrefutable receipt in my overly-dehydrated dusty paws.
I had the clerk ring all 24 swashbucklers up in one swoop, rather than wasting time with me ringing each up individually. Never forfeiting time that they could be chilling in my refrigerator back home, destined for my eagerly and grateful mouth and organically attached route and receptacles. I suddenly heard an equally parched voice next to me.
It was another Roman-built patron of Kroger’s that was taking the fast route out at the self-scan registers, for the cutting-edge and technologically-minded shopping set. Which includes my 5-year old daughter, and excludes most blue-haired humans over age 60. Although they are deemed perfectly capable by our government to be suited to drive massively complicated 7,000-pound vehicles through high-speeding and interweaving traffic and woefully unsuspecting pedestrians and obstacle-laden parking lots.
The equally eagle-eyed and thirsty co-patron noticed my happiness and commented, “I see you have what must be “Citrus-Swish Gatorade.” No doubt astutely alerted by the fact that I had an entire basketful of orange bottles of the nectar of the gods directly in my posession, and a giant grin beneath the state-mandated ridiculous Covid-19 mask hiding that fact. Which rendered both of us to excitedly nod in unison and in agreement that they are “awesome” and “hard to find.”
And then I noticed he had managed to acquire 4 bottles of the same, right before I cleaned the store out of their remaining supply and tore to the front of the store pay to for, and competitively render other hapless customers to fend for themselves. I believe they come in cases of 8. So I managed to appropriate 3 cases of them, at 77 cents each.
And at the same time, acknowledge what the definition of “Winning” feels like. A sensation both my fellow patron and I have had the beauty of knowing many times in our life already, certainly. And one we will keep striving to achieve, Citrus-Swish bottles in our hands, and swiftly proceeding ever closer to the mutual finish lines at the self-checkout lines of life. It’s where we can high-five one another tasting the same sweet refreshing citrus-orange-flavored reward that is winning.
EDIT: Tonight on a last-minute shopping trip, I turned an aisle only to find this before me: