The jars were nearly identical. They always are. However, what subtle differences there were would prove critical over the next few weeks. They even had the same price, one dollar and ninety-nine cents. Standing at my position above the bottom shelf, where the cheap grape-based condiments rested, I locked in on the proper jar and set my right hand on a course for it. On the descent, I chuckled to myself about a recent conversation with I had with a friend, who claimed that there was no difference between the two. Naturally, I corrected him. The main difference is that while the texture of grape jelly is awful and unnatural with a taste that borders on negligible, jam is actually pretty alright.

My hand swooped up its target. The quest for groceries may continue.

Later, now, I stand in my kitchen. Despite the usual quiet of my apartment, I can tell at this late hour that whatever virtually inaudible noise filters in through my walls has now gone to rest. This, of course, is a realization I save for retrospect. My energies are currently focused on the peanut butter and grape jam sandwich I am making. With effort, I twist off the cap for my new jar of grape goodness. A spoon is retrieved from the drawer. I dig into the flat surface near the mouth of the jar. Immediately, I can tell something is awry. Nonetheless, I proceed. The grape-flavored gob lands too neatly on the bread. It jiggles too much. It’s too red. It’s too gelatinous. Gelatinous.

Jelly!

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About John D. Moore

Writer, cartoonist, filmmaker, and student of Japanese language, literature, and cinema at the University of Utah.

6 responses »

  1. I didn’t say jam and jelly were the same; I said I didn’t think that grape skin was substantial enough to make a difference in grape jam and jelly. While apparently I was wrong, I think you misrepresent my position.With that out of the way, I lend you my deepest sympathy in your time of trials. For I too am suffering a similar fate. When I went to the store a week ago last Monday, my head feverish and my stomache heaving, strawberry jam was my goal. Unfortunatly, all I could find was sugerless jam. This stumped me for a minute, but at last I found some fully sugered strawberry jam in the bottom corner of the shelf. Or so I thought. When I got home I found it was the abomination of strawberry jelly.

  2. Ew. My deepest sympathies. Grocery mishaps are terrible. You can’t just waste the food (or maybe you can; I can’t), so you end up suffering through weeks of bad toast or sandwiches (that often get prolonged into months because without the proper item, you simply find yourself consuming less of those things) before you can right your wrong.Sorry about misrepresenting your position. I recognized that I probably was at the time I wrote it, but, try my damnedest, I could not fucking remember how the conversation went. Perhaps I can figure out some way to amend the original post without making it too awkward.

  3. P. Sven says:

    The other day, I was shopping for some beautiful mega-pulpy orange juice (oh, how I love to gnash my beverages), and I, like… totally ended up with some mega-pulpy orange juice. It was awesome.

  4. Grocery successes, on the other hand, are to be treasured.

  5. Yarjka says:

    You still need to try a persimmon, Patrick.And Vincent, I, too, prefer jam over jelly. It leads one to wonder why the abhoration was ever created in the first place, or why it is still sold.Truth be told, however, I’m wild about preserves, and that is what I always buy.

  6. Thirdmango says:

    JAM! It is the best.

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