Ponder this:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

At the supermarket

At the supermarket meat case, two women, backs bent over the well-lit array of packages of beef, pork, chicken. They are centered on the chicken: legs, thighs, breasts. One of them moves packages of boneless breasts around, checking total prices on the packages, says, "There don't seem to be any bargains here."
The other woman says, in a resigned tone, "There aren't many of those anywhere anymore. I keep waiting for chicken drumsticks and thighs to go on sale for $1.99 a pound, and I don't think it's going to happen."
"Well," says the first woman, reaching to the side, "Y'gotcher legs and thighs here for $2.39..."
"I know..."
"But it isn't $1.99."
A silence while the two stare some more at the packages of boneless chicken breast. Family-size packages of eight or ten half breasts . . . cheaper per pound than the packages of three or four. 
"I hate to lay out fifteen dollars for chicken..."
"Me too. But I want to cook something different!"
"Oh, what the hell. What're y'gonna do? There's only so much pasta you can eat." and the first woman takes the package marked $2.49 per pound, $14.31 total, the lowest price in the bunch, and pitches it into her grocery cart.
The second woman laughs ruefully . . . "Right!" . . . and follows suit.

Nobody even bothers looking at the beef. 

Gives a whole new, and banal, perspective on the last two lines of Millay's The Anguish:

Happy are the toothless old and the toothless young,
That cannot rend this meat.

16 comments:

Olga Hebert said...

They didn't think to split the large package between the two of them?

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Never a good idea to go to the supermarket with anyone else ... you'll go home with all sorts of extras and things your family won't eat .

Carolynn Anctil said...

They may not be beef eaters - me, I've never liked the taste of red meat. Blech.

Reminds me of the time I found a woman looking at the list of ingredients on a potato chip bag. I don't think there's any point in doing that. :o)

Terra said...

Sharing one pack might have been a good option, but perhaps that wouldn't work for them, for some reason. Like if they were not shopping together with one car. Food prices are high, that is for sure.

Vicki Lane said...

Well observed, June! I always enjoy looking at the contents of other folks's shopping cart and imagining their lives.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Hope you're not snowed under ?
Alarmingly wintry suddenly .

rachel said...

It's often fun to see how other people shop.... because there is a holiday resort here (US readers, google Butlin's!!) we get a varied mix of incomer shoppers in our local supermarket - 'adult weekends' tend to mean stag night chaps in mad outfits - think pink tutus and black curly wigs - shopping for astonishingly huge supplies of beer and snacks.

June said...

Rachel . . . is your local supermarket a Walmart?
Have you ever seen the People of Walmart pictures?

rachel said...

No I haven't, and now I must! Off to google them!

rachel said...

Just did. Oh. My.

Hilary said...

You've captured a slice of life here, June. I think most of us are waiting for a certain price point that will never return.

Friko said...

I would not have been able to refrain from enlightening them on the relative cheapness of the larger packs.
Would they have been too lazy, ignorant, plain dumb, or whatever, to understand? Or would having to keep half back in the freezer have been too difficult.

Sometimes I despair.

I enjoy beef, lamb and game. I’m a red meat eater in moderation. I eat pork and chicken too.

Joe Todd said...

I'm off to Chick-fil-A

June said...

Friko, they were looking at the family size packages. And that's what they finally put into their carts. I'm not sure who buys the little packages of anything anymore.

Joe, born to get shot you won't get hung. Enjoy your Chick Fil-A!

Barb said...

I'm wary of economy sizes - I'm afraid I'll get tired of whatever it is and won't want to finish it up. Oh what secrets our shopping carts tell about us! Glad you're well, June.

harada57 said...

Oh what secrets our shopping carts tell about us! Glad you're well, June.

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