I'm convinced that Sam's Club is really a front for the Death Star and the grocery section is the hub for their tractor beam.
Reaching into the fridge for a beer and coming out with a vitamin water, The Man had finally hit his patience limit with my lack of concern for our food shortage.
No beer, no paper plates and no beef.
"I'll get some stuff tomorrow," I said.
I wasn't worried, I had Pop Tarts and SpaghettiOs stashed in my desk at work, just in case Darth Vader and his storm troopers chose to invade the Daily News.
The next day came with a phone call.
"Let's go to Sam's tonight," The Man demanded.
I was beginning to think he was concerned that letting him starve was part of my evil plot.
As with any trip to the Death Star, we couldn't just race in at light speed, we had to have a plan to combat the dark side.
"We're setting a limit, right now," The Man said. "Let's try to keep it under $100 this time."
His eyes suggested blame for the extra carton of chocolate chip cookies and bottle of wine that found their way home with us last time, even though I told him several times that a pack of Ewoks had been following us through the store.
They're so darn cute, it had to be them.
Grabbing a cart near the entrance, we huddled together in hopes of avoiding the Jedi mind tricks coming from the employees stationed in the entertainment section. Power in numbers they always say.
We made our way to the paper plates and beer without any added aversions.
With less than $100 worth of items in our cart, we were near the end of our list when I grabbed some cans of tomato sauce, spun around and noticed my male counterpart was gone.
Leaving the cart, and beer, unattended, I expected the worst. Was it a Wookiee or had Princess Leia made a pass? Either way, I was left with a very heavy cart to push through the store.
I weaved through the Milky Way and Snickers galaxy and past the rebel alliance just in time to spot The Man.
Cradling a 10-pound tube of ground beef, it was clear I'd met my match.
"That's going to put us over our limit," I said.
Waving the stick of meat back and forth, while making light saber noises, it was obvious that the dark side had him.
"Use the force," I begged. "Put the meat back."
It was no use.
Succumbing to the power of the produce tractor beam, I found myself clutching a giant pork loin, headed for the checkout.
—Megan Tilk is a reporter who also writes a weekly column for the Boonville Daily News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her blog: megantilk.blogspot .com.