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The grocery store down the street from my house has announced that it will be closing as soon as possible. No specific announcement was made as to the recent health of this young store built in 2009, just that the organization was looking to "solidify" operations and better serve customers in "markets with high density." In other words, this Food Lion was too big for its cage.

It's the law of the concrete jungle that only the strong can survive, and the pride has decided that for its own endurance, it must sacrifice this particular Food Lion. Given the pride's determination and swift action, the Lion's demise appears inevitable at this point. The question is not how can it be saved, but rather what will become of its body?

Like ants at a feast, shoppers hungry for bargains are already swarming the Food Lion, carrying off all they can bear in a diligent, unending stream, an opportunistic orgy of demolition. At least the unfortunate fate of this Food Lion will result in sustenance for other, luckier creatures.

What's left of the carcass will be discounted tomorrow, lime thrown over the body to speed the decomposition process. Opportunistic scavengers will remove the remaining stored comestibles in bottles and boxes from the store's innards. In a short time, all that will remain are the bone-white stretches of empty shelves, picked clean of the tiniest remnants of nutrition.

In the end, the community will be left with a hulking brick shell of a building, a skeletal reminder of the latest victim of the never-ending recession. Will this corpse be soon reclaimed, resurrected perhaps as a Giant Eagle or a Piggly Wiggly? Whatever the future, only time will erase the memory of the cub it once was and the Lion it was denied the chance of becoming.

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To be continued...


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