We are too old and proud to go trashing anymore. We recently started buying furniture at stores. Tonight we got two metal-and-mesh rockers for our front porch from the local Piggly Wiggly.

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Actually, we got them at another grocery chain, but I wish it were Piggly Wiggly because forty years after first hearing about them and twenty years after marrying Victoria, a Tennessean, I still haven’t gotten over how epic the name is.

Did you know that Piggly Wiggly was the first grocery store to switch to self service? Indirectly, then, Piggly Wiggly was responsible for my almost getting arrested. As a teenage tourist, I had helped myself to an ice cream novelty in an Arles grocery store. I was going to pay for it and stuff. The French, I was to learn, have nothing like Piggly Wigglys.

American self-service grocery stores have led to self-service gas, to self-service wills and tax software, and perhaps to the explosion of pro se litigation. Maybe Piggly Wiggly is one reason why I’m no longer a lawyer.

Anyway, I’m rocking on the front porch now, posting from a phone for the first time, enjoying this year’s first really pleasant spring evening, and reflecting on how far we have come as a family and, in my short lifetime, as a nation of consumers.

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