Friday, January 1, 2010

Vegetable identification

One of my favorite activities is going to the supermercado. Back in the fifties men were not permitted in such places. It was a place for your wife and sister to go while you, if unmarried, were supposed to be confined to dinner at the diner while receiving dinner invitations from the lucky women you had in your life. Then it became acceptable for men to shop for food and even cook.

I love going to such places and it always is the high spot of my Saturday morning. Checking my own groceries is a special pleasure. Still my regular supermercado is entirely dependent on the old fashioned check-out lines.

An experienced shopper, I have learned over the years how to guess the shortest line. I have also discovered that if you put your food in a basket, you can give the impression that you have under twelve items when in reality you do not.

If I was to train staff at the check out line, however, I would add a class in vegetable identification. If I buy any vegetable beyond carrots I always have to tell the checker what the item is. Fennel or anise they never know. Yesterday I had to tell the (what should I call her? girl seems natural but is sexist, lady is cute but also sexist, woman seems so sterile) female individual at the cash register that I had a turnip.

"Is that a white turnip?", she queried.

"Yes" (I looked at the turnip and it was white. I also figured white turnip sounded plain enough to be cheaper than something with a more exotic name) "It is a white turnip."

I guess training emphasizes the intricacies of the cash register and management assumes that women are taught by their mothers the difference between a white onion and a Spanish one. Apparently not true.

I also notice that the workers at the checkout lane always use more bags than I do when I bag groceries myself. Perhaps she is trying to save time. Enough about the supermarket already.

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