""Hunters"" are lost in grocery stores

Men, I was told, are the masters of their domain. They are the intended rulers of the world. They are, genetically speaking, the most superior form of life this planet has to offer.

Of course, since my father was the one who told me these things, and since my mother was rolling her eyes at his back at the time, I had my doubts as to how true those statements were. Last week, for the first time in my life, I went grocery shopping with a man.

I no longer have any doubts.

Watching a man shop for groceries is a lot like watching a chicken run around with its head cut off. Okay, that wasn’t fair. Obviously a headless chicken would actually be able to shop for groceries in a more orderly and efficient fashion.

I think the first problem with having a man shop for food is that it completely defies everything we know about the human race. Remember fourth grade, when we learned about the evolution of man? In the beginning, before the Lady Bic had been invented, the women were the gatherers and the men were the hunters.

Grocery shopping, I think we can all agree, is more of a gathering than a hunting activity. Women don’t shop for their husbands because men simply don’t have time for it; we do it because men do not have the DNA required to find the condiments aisle. It’s that simple.

Men are supposed to be doing hunter-type things, like locating and seducing hot chicks, running down the other team if they have the ball and locating the best countries to bomb. Clearly, all of these activities would fall under the “”hunter”” category.

So obviously, when you send a man — who is genetically predisposed not to gather — into a grocery store to locate specific items other than liquor and chips, you are going to have a problem.

OK, so let’s take an in-depth, specific look at some of these problems — no matter how painful it may be.

So I’m grocery shopping with this guy, whom we shall call Ethan, because it sounds a lot like his real name, which is Evan. The first thing I noticed was that Evan — er, Ethan — only knew he was actually in the grocery store for one thing: a toothbrush.

In the case of the Vons we were shopping in, the dental accessories were set off in a little corner apart from the actual food products. So, using his naturally good sense of direction, Ethan went over there to locate the cheapest possible toothbrush. In Ethan’s mind, this did not require him to actually take his shopping cart with him; he just left it in the middle of the supermarket, completely unattended.

A woman would never heartlessly abandon her shopping cart like that. This is because she usually stores important personal items in the cart, such as purses and small children. Women guard their carts like there’s no tomorrow; while men, on the other hand, wouldn’t blink an eye if the shopping cart equivalent of Hitler came marching down on his cart. What does he care? He needs a damn toothbrush!

So Ethan just goes about his merry way — without his shopping cart — so that he can (and again, this would be an evolution thing) hunt for it later. I don’t think men would find shopping nearly as bearable if they couldn’t play hide-and-seek with their carts.

Once Ethan had chosen his toothbrush, I discovered we had another problem. He had no idea what else he needed to buy. Now, if you’re like me (also known as slightly anal-retentive), you go in with a list that is alphabetically ordered for your added shopping convenience. Obviously, you don’t have to be this scary to go grocery shopping prepared, but most women will have some idea of what they need. Women know that shopping is like battle: You go in prepared, do as much damage as possible, and get the hell out before the enemy has time to call a price check.

I spent over an hour aimlessly walking around Vons with a man who is otherwise reasonably intelligent and self-aware. And we didn’t even go from aisle to aisle like normal people; there was no rational basis for the way we moved around that Vons. Actually, maybe there was. I bet that if you took the square root of your age plus the year you were born in and then systematically divide by two after multiplying by seven — that would be the order of the aisles we went down.

So basically, after Bush is done passing laws that infringe on our constitutional rights, he really needs to make it illegal for people with penises to enter grocery stores. Because this country needs to get its priorities in order.