Don’t Shop So Close to Me

Story by Daniel Aegan (@Daniel_Aegan)

A Chapstick standee in a suburban supermarket has come under scrutiny for causing a bitterly divorced couple to communicate. The standee in question had been placed to the side of the aisle containing—but not limited to—cookies, bread, peanut butter, crackers, and assorted jellies. As Mark Robinson, 43, approached the standee, he noticed a peculiar coincidence. 

“I just wanted some crackers to go with my peanut butter,” Mark recalled. “Little did I know that my ex-wife Tanya would be walking right toward me.”

“I needed some bread!” Tanya, 41, admitted in a separate interview since the pair refused to sit in the same room to discuss the happening. “What was I supposed to do? I hadn’t even noticed Mark’s stupid face till it was too late to avoid him.”

As Mark and Tanya approached each other, the Chapstick standee came between them. Literally. They both stopped, knowing one of the would have to move to allow the other to pass. 

“It was the worst thing that could’ve happened to anyone,” Mark said, remembering the fateful Sunday morning. “I could’ve passed that cheating bitch and not said two words to her if it weren’t for that damn standee!”

“Did he tell you I cheated on him?” Tanya asked us. “Because I didn’t start seeing Nick till Mark and I had already separated, so anything he says about me and Nick is total bullshit!” 

Nick could not be reached for comment. 

“Like I’d forgive and forget what she and Nick did to me!” Mark continued. “I wasn’t about to let her pass after that.”

“I didn’t want to give that wet noodle the pleasure of knowing I backed up and let him pass first,” Tanya added. “Who the hell puts a big-ass cardboard display of Chapsticks next to the damn crackers anyway?!”

The two stood there, deadlocked, refusing to give the other the satisfaction of being the one to move out of the other’s way. Other customers were forced to leave the aisle and go around the long way to avoid the confrontation. 

When reached for comment, store manager Sal Sutherland said, “We don’t usually sell Chapstick in that aisle, no, but it’s an impulse item. It can really go anywhere, and our shoppers can see it and grab one since they’re so easily lost or ruined when they go through the dryer. I always lose mine that way.”

Sutherland also stated, “Wait a minute. Are you somehow accusing the store of purposely  causing a dispute between a divorced couple using a Chapstick display?! That’s just unprofessional reporting. I should call —“

“I told Tanya I’d go to marriage counseling!” Mark blurted without any prompting whatsoever. “She didn’t want to go since she already had plans to bang Nick all over the home I provided her for the family we’ll never have!”

“I heard it was awkward!” Donald, a deli counter employee told us. “I mean, I was behind the counter, but Jill told me shit got intense.”

“I didn’t tell him that,” Jill explained. “I didn’t even work that day.” 

So, how’d this all end? 

“I decided to be chivalrous and let her pass,” Mark said. “Besides, I couldn’t be there all day waiting for that stubborn cow to move.”

“Oh, so now he’s acting like the bigger man?!” Tanya added after hearing Mark’s side of how it ended. “He just has to be the one to move so he could congratulate himself and lord it over me like everything else because Mark Fucking Robinson can do no wrong! Jesus, this is why I never let him knock me up.”

Sutherland admitted to taking down the standee, but not because of Mark and Tanya’s story. Later that day, a child kicked it over, scattering a few hundred rolls of chapstick down the aisle.

“After that,” Sutherland said, “I’d had enough.”

As of printing of this article, Chapstick has not returned our calls or emails regarding this issue. 

You can follow Daniel on Twitter, find his many books on Amazon, or check out his website:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s