Sunday, January 20, 2008

national 'name your price' day ...

the only thing that makes this grocery store more appealing than, say, the ghetto spur is that this store, in theory, has a produce department. i can't vouch for the contents, but you could probably even put these fruits and vegetables in your mouth. i have a lot of complaints about the store, but the most tangible is this: they don't carry a single flavor of fanta. no grape, no orange, and the most egregious oversight -- no strawberry. on the other hand, the ghetto spur is the purveyor of the quintessential gas station burrito. this could be all it takes to bump the ghetto spur ahead of the grocery store on my personal ranking system.

that's why it hardly bothers me at all that i -- in the loosest, most passive sense of the word -- stole a package of steel cut oats them tonight.

duluth, today, feels like you are singing the national anthem at center ice. when whiskey marie mentioned frozen spittal, she was only mildly exaggerating. i'm an active spitter and what leaves my mouth is pure, unadultured saliva. what hits the sidewalk sounds like a dollop of yogurt. i haven't bent my knees in hours because at 20 below, when your bare flesh brushes against denim, it feels like you've wrapped your thighs in a headache.

in honor of this very special weekend where it is maybe going to clear 2 degrees on monday, i decided to make a very complicated version of oatmeal. none of that "just add water" stuff of ninnies. the sort of thing that could wipe away that smug smile of a highly fiberified quaker.

this calls for dried cherries, maple syrup, vanilla soy milk and the aforementioned oats. a few hours in a crock pot. and as i load my basket i'm thinking this has to break some sort of record for the ratio of total price of groceries to amount of items in this basket. especially in this neighborhood, where on monday nights you can rent like five movies for 99 cents, but three of those movies have to be from the "problem child" trilogy.

at the checkout there is some confusion over a bunch of parsley -- which is for a different recipe -- and i solve the cashier's mystery by saying, "it's parsley." then come the steel cut oats, ominous and rolling down the conveyor belt. the cashier looks at the bag from about two different angles, then asks: "do you remember how much these cost?"

[sorry you missed out. today was "name your price" day at super one].

i gave him a blank look while $5.99? and $6.99? battled for tongue-time. i can't remember, i just know that i was surprised and that it seemed like a lot. but i have no frame of reference, i've never bought steel cut oats before. just as i said: "five? --" he cut me off and said: "a dollar? okay."

oats are kind of a disposable food, the kind of food that is always available in your pantry. 90 percent of you could probably make oatmeal cookies RIGHT NOW! the sort of thing that is so expendable that it has uses well-beyond the realms of food: itchy chicken pox? oats! want to jazz up a hum drum bath? add oats! need to give your skin a little extra attention? oatmeal facial! running late and need a dry shampoo? finely grated oats!

but a dollar? nothing costs a dollar. i didn't try to right this error. maybe i would have if they carried fanta.

what i saw was a cashier who paid me to not make him run to the steel oats aisle and look up the price. as long as we were old-school bartering, i should have held out for another fifty cents.


Kristabella said...

More things should be a dollar. Especially such useful things.

As I was standing out in the COLD at the train station last night, I had a feeling that I forgot to put on pants. Because the wind couldn't be SO cold that it went right through jeans, socks and boots. Turns out, it can.

-R- said...

The same thing happened to the lady in front of me at the store last week. The cashier asked how much something was, and the customer said "$15?" at the same time the cashier said "$1?" She got charged $1 and didn't correct the cashier. I think I would have said something if the cashier was more than $10 off.

Sorry for the long non-sensical comment. I blame it on the cold weather.

Whiskeymarie said...

I had the same thing happen except I sort of argued with the cashier and she still insisted on charging me about $5 less than what it actually cost.
I gave up- I'll only try so hard to pay more than the stores seem to want me to.
Plus I think it makes up for the time I got charged $16 for two 5-oz. tubes of goat cheese that were supposed to be $8. Take that Kowalskis!

chuck said...

That store exists specifically to rob poor people. They mark everything up because a lot of the people in this neighborhood have to either pay the higher price or take a taxi to a cheaper store.

I wouldn't put that rusty SuperJube lettuce in my mouth even on a dare.

Sproactually said...

Nope, about the only thing in my pantry for oatmeal cookies is raisins. But now, thanks to you I want oatmeal cookies.

I'm telling you, this ghetto spurs intrigues me, lets see some pictures of the this world famous burrito.

hubs said...

my idea of the quintessential gas station burrito: The bomb!