Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Attitude is a fascinating thing. It can be intimidating, it can be a turnoff, or it can be very interesting….it’s all in how you work it.

Today, whilst at the supermarket, I found myself lingering in front of the fresh seafood case…gazing longingly at the Fresh Atlantic Salmon, while simultaneously feeling repulsed by the whole fish…their black, lifeless eyes staring vacantly back at me:

I do love my seafood…but not when it’s giving me the evil eye…that just gives me the heebie-geebies.

Usually I buy the 6-oz center-cut salmon…but the last time I’d shopped, they’d had only one pathetic-looking and questionably-fresh piece left. The keeper-of-the-seafood-guy informed me that it was of equal quality to buy 6 ozs of the larger piece of salmon with the skin still attached and to remove it myself. He further ruminated that the increase in price for the skinless center cut was for his having to remove said skin….something he jovially exclaimed was “so easy to do!” (Jackie found this appalling that they’d charge extra for this...but what do I know?)

Standing there, I found I was on the fence about purchasing some. So, I decided to follow the reliable “Count To Five” rule: You simply count to six…(okay, so maybe it’s five…I just wanted to see if you were paying attention)…very slowly…and if no personnel arrives to inquire if you need assistance, then that is your cosmic-cue to move along...give it up…pass on by. This works some of the time, most of the time, hardly ever, each and every time I consider buying seafood.

So this guy (he can’t be more than 20 years old) pops up and asks if he may be of assistance.
Such a nice young man…we shall call him Nick:

Me: “I’m interested in purchasing some of that salmon you’ve got there…is it fresh?”

Nick: (One eyebrow goes up.)

Me: “Okaaaay. I’d like two 6 ounce portions, please. Oh, and can you cut off the skin for me…since you’ve got that machete in your hand anyway?”

Nick: (Shrugs) “Okay. But, what’s in it for me?”

I swear he said this. I’m looking at him, aghast and utterly speechless…convinced I didn’t hear him correctly. As he picks out one of the huge salmon filets, he adds:

“How much do you want to pay?”

At this point, I have no clue where he’s going with this and my eyes are scanning the area for hidden cameras, the FDA, or at minimum someone from the Food Channel…ready to pop out and yell “AHA!!!”

When no-one pounces, I re-focus on Nick…who is raising the knife to begin the de-skinning process. This is when it occurs to me that he may be some kind of vigilante-pricing-seafood-junkie and he may charge me a bloody fortune for that extra cut of his blade...just to help feed his obviously out-of-control heroin addiction, or to put towards his new flat-screen teevee, or (at minimum) to purchase a full-length mirror for behind the counter 'cause this guy's got attitude...so I say:

“Uh. If you’re going to charge me MORE to cut the skin, just leave it. I’ll figure something out….”…as I’m remembering my last attempt at this process…involving a YouTube tutorial, a too-dull knife and an end result of more meat remaining on the skin than on my dinner plate.

Nick: “Don’t worry. I’m a nice guy.”

Now, what the hell is that supposed to mean?

By now though, it’s dawned on me that whatever price this guy puts on the package does not require me to pay it….I can simply bolt down the freezer aisle and leave the contents by the frozen peas, if need be.

Author’s note: I do not make it a habit of ditching items in random areas of the market…but this was becoming no ordinary purchase.

Now there’s several people waiting behind me and I’m ready to be done, already. Nick hands over my package, I thank him, and my cart and I take off down the closest aisle. When confident I’m safely out of sight, I look at the price sticker for my 12 ounces of salmon:

He’d packaged up 1.13lbs in total….and charged me a mere $4.51.

I doubled back past his now-busy counter…waited till we locked eyes and mouthed “Thank you”…and then I bolt out...not unlike that lady in the IKEA commercial when she thinks she's gotten one over on DA MAN, only for today....for reasons unknown, Nick is DA MAN.

Now…who’s hungry?

Anonymous said...

This sort of good fortune only happens to pretty women, trust me, I know. (what does that mean, ha!)

Anonymous said...

Very nice, indeed!

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