In 2003 the Safeway in Strawflower Mall was the upscale market in Half Moon Bay. Across the highway, a strip mall Lucky’s catered to the hoi polloi, the only other supermarket in town. One day, quite out of the blue, they began remodeling Safeway even as we shopped, andconverting the store from a well-lit if slightly dog-eared place to the darkened dungeon of despair we know today.
It was sometime last October that I first noticed the change:
I walked into Safeway sober but somehow the place looked strange.
There were boxes in profusion on the floor in jumbled piles,
People milling in confusion mid the clutter in the aisles.
Then a manager approached me with the news —
What she told me set me trembling in my shoes:
We’re remodeling Safeway and of course you’ll have to pay
Our new overhead will soon be bled
From the folks of Half Moon Bay
Then for weeks they moved canned spinach and tabasco ’round the floor,
While concurrently refinishin’ each section of the store.
And for weeks we raved and ranted as the salsa moved about,
As what once we took for granted got much harder to find out.
But the staff was so obsequious and nice
That we had to be consoled with their advice:
They’re remodeling Safeway and of course we’ll have to pay.
There’s no discount brands upon the stands
When you shop in Half Moon Bay
Now the deli’s wide and spacious and the chicken wings are hot.
The new freezers are bodacious if the in-store ads are not.
And the music hasn’t changed a bit: the same ungifted crooner,
Has me hurrying to get my shopping done a little sooner.
As the register clerk tallies up my bill,
I think : I am shopping here of my free will.
You have remodeled Safeway and of course I’ll have to pay
But this plunder makes me wonder
‘Bout the Lucky’s ‘cross the way.