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Underappreciated Trivia

August 16, 2010

Yesterday, I went to Kroger to pick up some ingredients for dinner. It was a short trip (thankfully) and, fortunately for me, I had just few enough items that I could slip into the express lane. There, I discovered that the Checkout Girl and the Deli Hag were having a spat.

The Deli Hag--a waspish, withered form of a woman who, prior to her two-pack-a-day habit and her tanning bed addiction may have been somewhat attractive in that train-wreck sort of way--was vehemently denying that the Checkout Girl had found a bone in her sandwich. The Checkout Girl, knowing what she had sunk her teeth into, stood her ground against the grotesque shade from behind the meat counter.

Compounding this argument was the fact that Deli Hag was telling Checkout Girl that she couldn't leave when her shift was over, because Deli Hag was going to be leaving then, and they couldn't be down two people on a Sunday, so Checkout Girl was going to have to stick around until someone else showed up.

I didn't quite get the Deli Hag's logic, but I also haven't fried my neurons on cigarette smoke and UV rays.

Finally, it is my turn to get my items rung up, and Deli Hag is clinging to the notion that she could not have possibly allowed a sliver of bone to intrude upon her otherwise perfectly-crafted tuna salad. She is insisting that Checkout Girl must have been eating chicken salad, which was (presumably) made by someone else--someone whose fingers are more apt to toss in spare bone fragments just for shits and giggles.

With a flip of her dry and crackling hair and a parting shot about how Checkout Girl is going to have to wait to leave for the day, Deli Hag slithers away to the tiled wonderland kept behind the deli counter. Checkout Girl turns and heaves a sigh, and then in a tone of voice stilted for no one other than herself to hear, she utters, "I know the difference between chicken and fish, so don't try and tell me what I was eating."

It was at this point that I decided to smooth things over with a little bit of useless trivia. Everyone feels better after getting hit over the head with a wad of useless facts. So, I busted out a beauty that I picked up while reading some books about Shakespeare:

"In the sixteenth century, the Catholic church decided that chicken was fish, so that poultry could be eaten on Fridays," I say, my deadpan voice carrying just the slightest Ferbian accent, because everything sounds more profound when said either A in Latin or B in a British accent, no matter how poorly-rendered.

Checkout Girl stares at me, her eyes opening to a soulless, vapid expanse behind. For a second, I begin to panic, unsure of what she might do now that I've expressed an interesting fact that is both pertinent and potentially undermining to her cause.

"Well, see, it was a piece of bone like this:" She presses her thumbs and forefingers together to make a tiny diamond between the tips of the four digits, "and then it was about this long:" She holds her index fingers about a half-inch apart. "And it was in her tuna salad."

And the fact that chicken and fish were once considered one in the same for reasons of religious rites was never mentioned again.



DEZMOND said...

a lot of angels would've lost their wings if we weren't informed of this mishap in the supermarket by the kind and ever so eloquent you ;)))

Your Shakespearean piece of 16th century info was a true gem :)

BigSis said...

Clearly, your intellect was WAY above her head.

Scope said...

You put the "Grrrrrrr" in "Kroger".

I don't know what that means, but wanted to comment.

Cora said...

Pfffft! I once worked in a casino and got to enjoy the show when the cook served the floor manager a hamburger with a big ol' rubber band in it. The show started with the offensive hamburger sailing in slow motion to the floor while the manager ran with flailing arms and a green complexion to the mensroom to vomit.

Ahhhh, good times.

Chemgeek said...

The Catholic church is funny.

BeckEye said...

I decided long ago that candy is health food, so I can eat it on a regular basis. Does that mean that, deep down, I'm Catholic?

Jill VT said...

Your description of the deli hag is priceless. I can picture her perfectly.

Ah, those crazy Catholics. Sometimes we're as bad as Mormons and the caffeine thing...

Vince said...

Puffins were considered for the fish on Friday rule to be fish.
But then if you were living in a place that you could net Puffins a shortage of fish would not be a problem. If we take at face value CC rules on diet, as distinct from the actual source of the fish.

Amber said...

Kroger employees are notorious for their hatred of anecdotes in general but specifically those relating to the Catholic Church's-ever-changing-and-some-might-say-stupid-dietary-rules. I'm surprised you didn't know that.

Nej said...

Oh man, I managed a grocery store for 8 years. Never, EVER, get in the middle of a deli hag vs checkout girl battle. It only ends in bloodshed. Yours! :-) :-)

You deli hag sounds just like the check out hag I had working for me. Did both of her earlobes happen to be...well...disfigured? Apparently my checkout hag had a tussle with someone in her past (guessing it was over either stolen cigarettes, or tanning bed time), and that person decided to rip both of her earrings out. The healed ears weren't pretty, I can only imagine what it looked like at the time it happened. (ugh!!!!)

Lisa-tastrophies said...

Obviously she is an Episcopalian.

Ed said...

Thhat is why I routinely shout "Shut up and bag my shit, Bitch!" in the checkout.