Local man Jeff Spatula claims to have revolutionized the romantic pursuit with his "Grocery Store Gauntlet" method. Spatula, who stumbled upon the concept while searching for ripe avocados, believes that love, much like produce, is best tested for freshness in person.
Spatula's method cuts out the middleman of swiping right by replacing it with swiping a loyalty card. Singles wander the aisles, list in hand, searching for both groceries and love. When two carts collide, so might hearts. "It's all about finding the yin to your yang in the express lane," Spatula enthuses, admitting that he once shared a moment over the last bag of organic quinoa.
Critics have called the method everything from "a logistical nightmare" to "just plain weird," with one shopper claiming, "If I wanted to be hit on between the frozen pizzas and the dairy section, I'd have stayed in college."
Yet Spatula remains undeterred, citing several "almost-connections" and a "near miss" by the canned soups. "It's all about reading the signals," he states. "If she's got ice cream and a romantic comedy in her cart, she's probably single. If there's a six-pack of beer and a steak, she's either hosting a BBQ or nursing a breakup. Either way, it's go-time."
Sociologists are baffled by the trend, with one expert noting, "This method flies in the face of all existing dating data. But then again, so does pineapple on pizza, and look how popular that's become."
Despite the mixed reviews, Spatula's "Grocery Store Gauntlet" continues to gain traction among the single-and-shopping crowd. Weekly meet-ups now occur at the 24-hour supermarket downtown, with participants hopeful that love might just be lurking in the next aisle.
"Sure, you might leave with a cart full of food and no phone numbers," Spatula admits, "but at least you won't have to cook dinner alone."