The Food and Wine Hedonist

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Why I Hate Trader Joe’s – Episode 2

I’m pissed, and not in the British drunken way. So I figured it’s a good time to direct some anger elsewhere and bring you the next installment of Why I Hate Trader Joe’s. The first one had to do with Two Buck Chuck and it may have been a little unfair for me to hate TJ’s because of one product. So I’m going to be a lot unfair by picking on them for something COMPLETELY out of their control. That’s how pissed I am. Here’s why…

The schools in Ann Arbor were closed today due to icy road conditions in outlying areas. I work from home and having The Pieholes around all day while I’m working is not easy. You try conducting a conference call with Spongebob blaring in the next room. And they’re always complaining about the littlest, insignificant things. Like being hungry.

And where’s Boom Boom during all this? She went to a beach in Mexico for a week on a Zumba/yoga retreat organized by  The ChaCha Mama. And that “snow day?” It was because of icy roads on the outskirts of town. Ummmmm, I just checked the weather report and the high today was 44 degrees. And that was at 5am this morning, an hour before they announced classes were canceled.

But I shouldn’t really be surprised at the excessive caution as Ann Arbor has some of the worst drivers around. First of all, there are A LOT of fresh-off-the-boat Asians here and they simply cannot drive. (Again, I must remind you that I can say that because I’m Asian. If you say it it’s racialist, honky.)

But the other population of really bad drivers are the hippies in their Priuses. Not only are those slow cars to begin with, the hippies hate pressing the gas pedals because doing so kills a tree or something. And since Trader Joe’s attracts all kinds of hippies, the parking lot is a complete clusterfuck.

At our local TJ’s, it starts with the design. In theory, it’s an oval parking lot and cars travel in a counter-clockwise direction to get to the various stores. But instead of the entrance feeding directly into the oval, you have to make a quick right turn first. The problem is that it’s not really marked well and that always leads to a bunch of Priuses going the wrong way. So instead of an orderly lot with a steady flow of cars, you get something that closely resembles M.C. Escher’s Relativity.

escher meparkercom

Prius drivers, I have a question. Is there something in the owner’s manual or labeled on the door that says:

When exiting your vehicle, please be sure to open it as quickly and as widely as possible to cause dents on the car next to yours. Especially if it’s John’s.

Or is it that Trader Joe’s is so anti-establishment that basic rules don’t apply to their shoppers? You know, like the one that says that you SHOULDN’T push your cart between two parked cars because you might put a nasty scratch on one of them? Like this bad boy I got there.

TJ Scratch


And there’s always – ALWAYS – a bunch of drivers that can’t seem to comprehend that you’re supposed to park between the yellow lines. I mean, check out this dick’s parking job. tj lot

Ann Arbor

Oh wait, that’s my car. food


Get ready, there’s an absolutely AWESOME guest post coming up on Friday, February 22nd. My favorite blogger came up with a doozy for me. Stay tuned! hu


sexmor sex

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

22 comments on “Why I Hate Trader Joe’s – Episode 2

  1. theothers1
    February 12, 2013

    LOL. I’ve been to Trader Joe’s one time and it reminded me of the hippie version of Aldi. I felt very out of place, but my car was safe.

    • Anonymous
      March 15, 2013

      that’s because it’s owned by the German Tycoon, Albrecht family. It’s essentially an American version of Aldi

  2. Gastro Boy (@A2GastroBoy)
    February 12, 2013

    Funny post my friend. Spot on.

  3. the drunken cyclist
    February 12, 2013

    So we have a Prius and my wife is Asian. Draw your own conclusions….

  4. Max D.
    February 12, 2013

    This is the most unfair post ever, and I’m really disappointed. Why? Because this was the unfair blog post I was supposed to write. Damn, man. Give a guy a chance! I’m very disappointed I didn’t get to write it first. (Except for the Asian drivers part. I would’ve replaced that with Latino/Latina drivers.)

    The parking lot at TJ’s is a masterpiece of counterintuitiveness. Ann Arbor has a few spots like that, like the corner of Packard and Hill, where if you’re doing downtown, you have to change lanes in order to stay in the same lane, but if you’re turning left to Hill you stay in the same lane in order to get on the turning lane.

    Back to TJ’s. A bit of history here: Whole Foods’ original Ann Arbor location was in the current TJ’s spot. Can you imagine what the parking lot was back then? But the parking lot is bad enough now, and the drivers there are completely lost, probably engrossed in some NPR story.

    And that “snow day”? Completely uncalled for. Our own version of Pieholes were not amused by having to follow me to the auto shop to get my car (not a Prius) serviced. They did enjoy the bus ride; kids are like that. Yes, we had a great time bonding, but I was planning to spend the whole day ignoring the pile of papers I needed to grade. Instead, I spent the day ignoring the pile of papers that needed to be graded while spending time with the kids. You can never win.

    On a plus note we ate at a place the FWH might have to check out: the Wafel Shop on E. Liberty (former spot of Cafe Japón). I’ll leave it at that.

    • Max D.
      February 12, 2013

      Incidentally, I’m reading and replying to this post instead of grading papers.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      February 12, 2013

      Awesome comment!

      Went to Wafel Shop on Sunday. I thought the flavors were good and like the concept. They need to work on some things though. One major thing – the butter was too hard…

      I think I heard that it used to be Whole Foods. The WF parking lot is only a little better, but the spaces are tiny. BUT – and this is why WF rocks – they have free valet parking now. So someone else deals with the Prius madness.

  5. Yinzerella
    February 12, 2013

    I can’t get over the Hawaiian shirts.

  6. Anonymous
    February 12, 2013

    There’s a million of these parking lot videos but this one is funny and it has a Prius.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      February 12, 2013

      Yes, it’s funny… but you may want to check back in this space next Friday as this has something to do wtih the guest post…

  7. the winegetter
    February 12, 2013

    Hahaha, you captured what makes Ann Arbor Ann Arbor quite well…it is a weird little hipster town for sure.

  8. bikiegirl
    February 12, 2013

    As a hippie who loves TJ’s (but does not drive a prius and never will — I’m the bicycle / mini cooper type), I have to read these posts and I can’t let you get away with them. This one’s not even about TJ’s, it’s about parking lot idiocy. I suppose each store cultivates it’s own crowd of driving/parking idiots, but I don’t see how this is worse than the parking lot jerks at other grocery stores. What really fascinates me though, is that this is clearly something you love to hate. After all, if you really hated it, you would not shop there. You hate them because they have what you want, and the priuses remind you that you are actually a hippie, too! But please, keep on hating, as it is terribly amusing!

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      February 18, 2013

      All valid points outside of me being a hippie… I may have gone through a phase where I loved the Grateful Dead but who didn’t in college?

      Because I’m terribly unorganized, I often have to get some forgotten ingredient halfway through cooking. I go there because it’s literally 3 minutes from my house. Whole Foods is just past and there’s a Kroger equidistant from TJs, but there are extra lights that I ALWAYS have to sit through. And that’s a 3 minite DRIVE from my house, which no self-respecting hippie would ever use their car for!

  9. fissionerror
    February 12, 2013

    Our trader joe’s has almost the exact same parking lot and issues you’ve described, except instead of hippies in priusii we’ve got over privileged soccer moms in Escalades and Yukons and other urban assault vehicles, and old ladies still driving boat-sized Cadillacs.

    But the biscotti is pretty good.

  10. Peggy Isaacs
    February 12, 2013

    We just got a couple of Trader Joe’s down here in the Dallas area. Parking is total anarchy.

  11. Max D.
    February 12, 2013

    It’s hard to be a hedonist if you have to fight for a parking spot every time you go out to buy a bottle of wine or box of biscotti.

  12. seasonedwithsarcasm
    February 12, 2013

    I personally love TJ’s….but could not agree more that it attracts a certain kind of asshole….in droves. If I go early on a Saturday, I miss all the hippies and yuppies. It’s more of people like me…you know…normal blue collar types just trying to get some shopping done without being assaulted by old ladies doused in rose scented perfume or hippie types oozing body odor. Or soccer moms with their 2.5 kids screaming in the aisles cutting off access to all the stuff I actually want to purchase. I’ve been tempted to run some of these people over with my shopping cart. I’m from the Pittsburgh, Pa area and everyone around here parks AND drives like an asshole, so TJ’s lot is no different than anywhere else around here. It’s ridiculous.

  13. Whine And Cheers For Wine
    February 12, 2013

    Thanks for the much needed LOL!

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This entry was posted on February 12, 2013 by in Ann Arbor, Stuff and tagged , , , , .
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