by Dave Noble, City News Editor
ELMHURST – Frantically seizing discounted flower arrangements, stumbling through the housewares, cosmetics, and “seasonal” aisles with no regard to other shoppers, and breaking every rule of etiquette in the Express Lane Checkout line, more than 300 procrastinating Elmhurst husbands bombarded the 944 S. York St. Jewel-Osco late Thursday afternoon in search of last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts for their wives.
Greeting cards, kitchen utensils, and expired pints of Driscoll’s brand strawberries were among the most frequent purchases by Elmhurst husbands, who desperately employed butcher counter staff to wrap gifts and asked pharmacists to recommend romantic body soaps during a frenzied two-hour period starting shortly after 4:00 p.m.
“It’s a madhouse in here,” said S. Euclid Ave. husband Joe Seaver, holding a 3-foot long box of Russell Stover Pecan Delight Assorted Chocolates in the wine aisle while trying to remember if his wife prefers Barefoot Moscato or Woodbridge Pinot Grigio. “Looks like I’m not the only husband in town that waited until the last minute to buy presents for his wife.”
While many husbands put a lot of thought into eleventh-hour gift choices like cast iron fryer pans, moisturizing facial scrubs and Revlon hairdryers, others showed haste in their purchases.
“I just grabbed an oven thermometer, which is probably what I bought her last year,” said Stratford Ave. husband Jerry Lincicome, holding an unread Valentine’s Day card for this wife while rummaging through a sparse collection of candles and debating whether he should just buy a lavender and chamomile scented Air Wick refill instead. “She said didn’t want anything for Valentine’s Day, so I’m sure she’ll be impressed that I bought some stuff anyway.”
At press time, police were called to the Redbox kiosk outside of Jewel-Osco after a fight broke out among husbands all trying to rent “The Notebook”.