Time for a road trip - to Trader Joe’s! | Mann Overboard

Bill Mann
Posted 4/20/22

Once in awhile, it’s good to get outta Dodge ( i.e., PT).

To use the famous rallying cry of Otter and Boon in “Animal House”: “Road trip!”

Here, that often means …

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Time for a road trip - to Trader Joe’s! | Mann Overboard


Once in awhile, it’s good to get outta Dodge ( i.e., PT).

To use the famous rallying cry of Otter and Boon in “Animal House”: “Road trip!”

Here, that often means one thing. Trader Joe’s! 

Why else would one go to Big Box City, aka Silverdale? Certainly not for Olive Garden or Red Lobster. 

Trader Joe’s is more of a medium box store.

The two top-selling items at TJ’s? Frozen Orange Chicken and Everything But the Bagel seasoning. 

We brought along notre ami Robert. He wanted TJ’s scotch. 

We used to drink TJ’s Two Buck Chuck (yclept Charles Shaw) wine, even when we lived in the Russian River terroir of Sonoma County, where the pinot noir is considered by some (including NPR’s wine expert) as some of the very best wine in the world. We drank Chuck when we lived there, surrounded by extravagantly exalted pinot grapes. 

And why? It was cheap. So are we. And it wasn’t half bad. I always wanted to bring a bottle of Chuck into a pricey Wine Country restaurant — and pay the corkage fee. 

These days, my favorite TJ’s treat is their spanakopita. Or was. It’s been out of stock, dammit, since the last time we went down there, in February. 

Another favorite TJ’s thing: The oldies on the P.A. Where else can you hear a chestnut like Dion’s “Runaround Sue”? (“People let me put you wise. Sue goes… out with other guys.”)

No more free coffee, though. But TJ’s, a company privately held by German supermarket chain Aldi, has now restocked yummy Speculoos, a Belgian part peanut butter/part shortbread spread. TJ’s frozen tamales aren’t bad, either. And there are so many great cookie choices (their killer ginger snaps are another best-seller).  

I’m gaining weight just writing this. After a visit, time to have my shower curtain let out again. 

Alas, TJ’s will probably never come up this way, for logistical reasons. And if you’re up in Bellingham, forget TJ’s there: Since the border reopened, it’s jammed with Canadians, my Vancouver son reports. 

We’re big-box averse here, and I concur. But I’m pretty sure most PT residents would happily make one exception — for Trader Joe’s. 

— Oddball Baseball Humor, from The Seattle Times: “MLB recently suspended Brewers catcher Pedro Severino after he tested positive for a drug to treat infertility — in women. 

“He’ll miss 80 games, or well into the season’s second trimester.” 

— Wordle cheat sheet? A friend recently gave me his strategy for solving Wordle. It works pretty well. Start with these three words 

— Beast, round, and filmy. Fifteen different letters, and they give you a good shot at solving the puzzle in three guesses — or less. You’re welcome. 

— An eye-opening sight out on Cook — a planned subdivision, the entrance road now open, with a sales trailer and banners like those you’d see at a gas station. Homes start at… “only” $600. 

— Comic Rita Rudner: “Whenever I date a guy, I think, ‘Is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?’” 

— Al Franken: “Congrats to soon-to-be Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Pretty sure her husband will never plot a coup to overturn an election.”

— Late comic Gilbert Gottfried: “Trump Is Hitler Without The Warmth.” 

— The state has announced that the galleys are reopening on the Bainbridge, Bremerton, Anacortes, and Edmonds ferries. Popcorn, beer, and clam chowder! But not on our modest ferry… yet. Mann aboard: I do miss those tasty onboard tater tots covered with garlic. 

— Trust me. There are worse things about flying than wearing a face mask. Like, say, walking away from two plane crashes, which I actually did. But in all fairness, I was the pilot in only one of those aeronautical near-disasters. My pilot’s license, like myself, is now happily retired. 

— Best nom de Kushner yet, courtesy of political pundit Rick Wilson: “Vampire mannequin.”

— Finally, Wilson nominates Rolling Stone for the best headline of the month, this about Donald of Orange backing Dr. Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate race: “Fraud Endorses Quack.”

(PT humorist Bill Mann has been a columnist at four major metro newspapers. Go figure. Newsmann9@ gmail.com)