Every couple of weeks, my dad faxes me a grocery list, I input the list on Safeway.com here in New York, and the next day, someone at Safeway in San Francisco picks off all the items on the list according to my instructions (“4 green bananas 4 ripe”; “2 zukes no dings”; “4 peaches no bruises”), loads them into a truck, delivers them to my parents’ house, and carries them up the stairs to their apartment—for $6, no tips allowed. It’s a fabulous service. Without it, my life would be ruined.
Usually the whole thing goes without a hitch. But occasionally there are snafus. Once I accidentally ordered 11 pounds of potato salad instead of 1. Weirdly, that turned out fine. I came to visit a week later, and while I was there, a lot of people came for dinner, and it all vanished by the time I left.
This week it happened again. I accidentally ordered 36 bagels instead of 6. That’s a lot of dough for a couple of frail old geezers. The funny thing is, they don’t seem to mind. They’re mildly surprised, and then they just chow down. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next grocery list has bagels on it again.