Of Feasts and Famine


Oh spicerack, where art thou?

I can't believe how goddamn difficult finding a spicerack without spices is. Oh, I understand the principle. Spice Island wants too much for their shit, and god only knows how long it has been sitting at the local Slaveway.

But still, your average spice rack with spices does not come with Garam Masala, Rosehips or Star Anise, all of which I currently have sitting on my shelf. So I optimistically left work yesterday, hoping for a freestanding spice rack with at least three tiers.

First stop: Bed, Bath and Beyond. Although this store had a whole section devoted to wine and wine cooling, the only had about 5 different spices racks. All with spices. Damn, on to the Mall proper. The specialty kitchen store in the mall only had a wall mount spice rack that held 12 jars, and a modified lazy Susan that held eight jars. Fuck. The middle-aged woman behind the counter suggested helpfully, "Try Sears, or one of the big department stores."

I thanked her and made a beeline for Sears. Ok, not quite a beeline, I did get a yummy Godiva chocolate with peach filling. That was the most rewarding part of my night, and I don't regret what I did, so there! Hitting any mall department store is no fun. The perfume counter is reminiscent of drug dealers leaning against buildings looking for clients. I power-walked the toilet water gauntlet, and went straight to the escalator.


To the floor with all the shiny new dishwashers and washing machines. The sales staff look as though they have had a long boring night, as the sales floor is nearly deserted. A cheerful looking grayed haired man appraises me, "Can I help you?"

"Yes, I am looking for a spice rack without spices."

The man looks thoughtful "That would be on floor 2."

"Oh, I am sorry, I got lost", I say with embarrassment. I expect the man to tell me to seek help on the second floor, but instead he heads toward the escalator with pager in hand, inquiring about "a spicerack without spices".

We chat on the escalator. He is a very nice guy. He mentions that there is a specialty kitchen shop in the mall. "I know," I replied, "they only decent rack they had only held twelve jars".

"Twelve jars?" he exclaims, "that isn't enough to make Lasagna."

"I know, and definitely not enough for cookies afterwards."

As we head towards kitchen wares, a voice rings through his pager stating there are no spice racks without spices at Sears. Shit. My new friend tips me in. "Last time I bought a spice rack without spices, it was at Target, Pier One had a rack as well, but it wasn't manly enough for me."

"Fortunately, I do not need to make decisions based on testosterone."

He laughs at my jest, and I thank him as I leave. Out of the mall and on to Target. Target is a money pit. I make my way to kitchen wares as soon as possible. I manage to corner a young man shelving children's books. "Excuse me, do you have any spice racks without spices?"

Straightening up, he pages for backup. "Do we have any spice racks without spices?"

"It would be on 36c," the beeper chirps.

There are spice racks on the aisle. All with spices. I think the Target employee is greatly surprised at my audible "Fuck!"
I thank him and leave the store.

On to Pier One. Disappointment. They did not have any spice racks at all. The single employee of the store is very harried and I didn't linger. One more stop. I have been hopping stores for an hour now. Linens and Things. I am about to resign myself to the same old song and dance when lo! I see a two tiered spice rack which holds a grand total of....10 jars. Snatching two, I check to see if they interleave. No such luck. I stride to the front counter and ask a girl about my own age if they have any spice racks besides the one I am holding. Short answer was no.

"Have you tried Ikea?"

"No, but maybe I will try." I hate Ikea. Any store that requires a map is not fun shopping and becomes just work. Pushing among the yuppies and college requires a lot of dedication and energy. It is 8:02, and I do not want to go home empty handed, so towards Ikea I go.

Ikea had a spice rack. A hanging spice rack. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but I really wanted to accomplish my mission. Two hours later, I broke down and settled for less. It doesn't have a guard rail, so maybe my spices with go crashing to the floor.


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