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Basic Necessities

By Sarah Larson | Comment Diversions | January 20, 2010 |

By Sarah Larson | Comment Diversions | January 20, 2010 |

I went to Super Target this weekend because I needed stuff to make fajitas. Actually, I had a whole list of other stuff, but mostly it was for the fajitas, because YUM. I could only get half the stuff on my list, though, because everything else was on the high shelves and I couldn’t reach it because I am not eight feet tall. I’m not even like an actual circus midget or anything, either. I’m nearly 5’4” (I’m actually 162cm) which is supposed to be a totally normal height, statistically speaking, and yet I can hardly ever goddamn reach anything. Back in the day, I’d have just climbed the shelves to get what I needed, but I’m old now and these bones are brittle. I could break a hip at any moment! I’m pretty sure the drones at Target don’t need the hassle of some dumb bitch with a busted hip in the Mexican food aisle, surrounded by a sad avalanche of seasoning packets and bags of tortillas. But seriously, I had to buy sub-par tortilla shells for my fajitas, because the good ones were up so high that I couldn’t even snag a corner of one of the bags, not even when I jumped up and down like a spastic lapdog.

Prisco told me to start shopping with a tennis racket, just whacking down whatever I need. I seriously considered this option but I ran into some logistical complications. The Super Target right up the street from my house is pretty new, and they were NOT screwing around when they built those shelves. The top ones are up so high that I think you’d need to already be six feet tall to even hit anything up there, unless it’s at the very front of the shelf (in which case I’d be able to reach it by jumping, and I wouldn’t even need the racket in the first place). I thought about using a hockey stick instead, but I suspect there’d be some legal ramifications to running around Target swinging a hockey stick willy-nilly.

Most stores have higher shelves now because they need to fit more shit in the same amount of space, which would all be well and good if they’d just fork over the money for some step stools. Failing that, I want every aisle to be staffed with bored, gangly, six-foot-plus kids who spend their every evening standing around waiting for the shorties to roll up with their carts and point to stuff they can fetch. I’ll bag my own groceries, thanks very much, if they’d just make sure I can actually reach any goddamn groceries to buy.

That all has nothing to do with anything, by the way; I was just feeling ranty. What we really need to talk about is this: what are your most basic necessities? I don’t mean something philosophical and retarded, like air or human companionship. I mean, like, what would you completely lose your shit over if you couldn’t have it anymore? I’m also not looking for lazy answers, like mobile phones or pr0n. I mean the little mundane things that you normally don’t even think about all that much, but if they were to suddenly be unavailable then you’d flip the fuck out. For me, those things are lip balm and dental floss. If I have something stuck in my teeth and I am unable to immediately remedy the situation, somebody will suffer the consequences. I just can’t handle that nagging feeling of having anything in my teeth. And if I lose my lip balm? Holy shit y’all, I basically have a nervous goddamn breakdown. I do pretty much everything in my power to prevent this from happening; I keep both lip balm and dental floss in my nightstand drawer, in my bathroom drawer, in the kitchen desk drawer, in a little box full of random stuff that sits on a tray on the coffee table, in a little flip-down storage thinger in my car, in my purse, and in my pocket. Well, it’s actually only lip balm I keep in my pocket. A little box of dental floss would make my hip look lumpy, okay?

Anyway … every once in a while, the universe (and the cat) conspire against me and manage to make every last one of them temporarily vanish, and I go from relatively normal human being to HOT MESS in half a second. If it’s the floss I can’t find, then I can make do with some thread in a pinch. But if it’s lip balm that’s gone astray and I can’t find any within ten minutes, then I have to go out and buy some or I will be completely unable to function. DO NOT get between a girl and her lip balm, because most of us will cut a bitch to prevent chapping.

So what about you? What seemingly insignificant thing, if removed from your average day, would turn you into a useless spazatron until you’re able to beg, borrow or steal it from someone else?

Sarah Larson lives in Minnesota, where she is usually up to no good. She only updates her blog when bullied into it, but you can read the archive here if you’re bored enough.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.