-Graphics Editor/Amanda Palma

In the natural world, there are only two rules: hunt or be hunted. Unfortunately, there are those who hunt without mercy, known as predators. What happens when two predators face off for one prey? Today, we will get an inside look at who reigns supreme on the battleground that is…the supermarket.

It’s afternoon. The New Jersey weather is extreme, making for confusing, yet usual conditions: seventy-three, but one hundred percent humidity. The predator makes its way to the parking lot, the first scene in this unforgiving environment. It spots an empty space and prances along to claim it. Notice how its rival, another predator, has appeared directly ahead and observes the empty spot. The rival ambles closer, confident in gaining its rightful position in the world. The first predator, seeing its rival approach, is lulled into a false sense of security. Just when it relaxes and moves toward the spot, the rival quickly strikes and attains the empty spot. The predator must find another place to park.

Long moments after laying claim on a parking spot far from the entrance, the predator has finally made it into hostile territory. A shopping cart with a squeaky wheel is apprehended, and the predator is officially on the hunt. Food is found on shelves, lit by bright bulbs from the ceiling so its predators could get a tasty look. The smells wafting the air are a mix of fried chicken from the hot-food market and the salty, coppery scent of fish sitting on ice. The predator makes its way to the rotisserie and, upon seeing that only one remains on the shelf, pushes the cart with a touch more speed, hard when one wheel isn’t cooperating. Once again, another rival comes into play, desperate to be the first to reach the prey. This triggers a flight response in the predator, and it changes up its strategy, pushing the cart even faster. A growl from deep within the rivals chest is heard and the race has taken an ugly turn. The predator asserts itself as the supreme being and snatches the rotisserie with force. The rival pays the ultimate price…it loses the chicken.

This pattern plays throughout the duration of the crusade. The predator not only fights for prey, but contends with other harsh conditions. Carts block entire aisles, rudely trap other predators, and, even worse, hit (that really hurts!). At this point, only one thought fills the predator’s mind: geez, I wanna go home! But alas, there’s yet another obstacle it must contend with…finding a line and paying for all its prey. A workout for the talons, the predator perilously looks for an empty register. Of course, there are none, so it must wait patiently.

A while later, we observe the predator paying for its prey, no coupons, and stalking out of the supermarket. Another long afternoon spent hunting, it retreats to its car, exhausted from its strenuous activities. It sounds like it’s time for a Starbucks Pink Drink.

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