Milk Eggs Vodka by Bill Keaggy
from the back of the book:
'Cabish, bird fude, bannes, buttmilk, dog yogurt, hare sope, nodiles, cream of salary soup –
What do these things have in common? They’re all items from real grocery lists. Whose lists? Who knows. They were found discarded in shopping carts, dropped on supermarket floors and parking lots, even tucked in returned library books.
These lists have been collected into the volume you are now holding. Peek inside to see what people will write on scraps of paper they never expect anyone else to see. Marvel at the unusual combinations of food the average person shops for. You’ll find yourself captivated by this unexpected and off-kilter glimpse into the lives of those around you.
Separated into chapters – funny lists, sad lists, unhealthy lists, organized lists – the book also includes commentary by the author and some delicious recipes created from found grocery lists.
If we are what we eat, then this book reveals deep and strange truths about the average food shopper…not to mention more mundane facts: a lot of people love vodka, bananas is actually very difficult to spell, and butter used to be dyed yellow using marigolds.'
The idea of this book sounded better to me than the actual book did when I got it. It is a bunch of grocery lists that the author has found or people have sent him. It is interesting to see how many different ways people found to spell banana or to try and figure out what people actually mean by some of the things they list (what are you shopping for when your list says ‘smelly stuff’ or ‘hookers’) but it can become monotonous after a while. I would suggest going slowly instead of going through the whole book in two days like I did because, no matter what they are written on, in the end they are just shopping lists and they all start to look the same. I understand that part of the point of reading the lists is to make fun of the people who wrote them. But there is a fine line between poking fun and being mean and I think the author sometimes crossed that line. Some of his comments are funny but after he called four people in a row losers because they spelled yogurt wrong on their own personal reference material it not only sounded mean, but was not even very clever or witty anymore. The fun food facts on the edges of the pages are very interesting and should not be skipped over. (Did you know that honey is the only human-consumable food that will never go bad, or that the banana plant is a gigantic herb?) I enjoyed the book but I think it would be better ingested slowly, a little at a time, a list here and a list there, instead of sitting down and reading it through.
If you are more interested in this than I turned out to be you can go to the website http://www.grocerylists.org/ and see even more lists. 1900 lists. That will keep you busy for a while.