As many of you know, I don’t eat much meat, and I’m persnickety about it when I do eat it. However, I cook for two rapacious carnivores, so trips to the deli counter are made at least twice a month.
Typically, it’s a pound of whatever turkey is whitest and driest, because even the carnivores turn their noses up at slimy pink turkey. But sometimes I get ham, pastrami, roast beef — always shaved.
I’ve been placing these orders at deli counters at various stores in various locations for, oh, let’s say, 16 years.
I hate going to the deli counter. I already miss the commissary, where often they allow you to scribble down your order and come back for it when you’re done shopping. Without that option, it’s a lot of standing around, wondering why it takes so fucking long. Many times I have been convinced they had to go kill a bird behind the store. I do not pretend to know the intricate details involved in working at a deli counter, but I do acknowledge and express gratitude when I get someone competent.
In my years of trips to deli counters, I have encountered more than my share of idiots and noobs.
But this last time was extra special.
The Mister and I walked up to the deli counter of our local grocer. I told the lady I would like one pound of oven roasted turkey, shaved. She nodded and reached for the big ball of meat.
The Mister and I embraced and kissed and whispered sweet nothings, and the lady STOPPED slicing the meat to interrupt us, “Do you want it sliced real thin or do you want it fallin apart?”
We stared at her blankly.
“That’s shredded, not shaved.”
She seemed to be seeking a response from us. We didn’t give her one. So she lectured us about how to properly order luncheon meat. She said, “Blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, Blah! Blah blah blah, that’s shredded. You want shredded.”
(Or somethin like that.)
I said, “Okay, we’d like it shredded.” I smiled a wry smile.
The Mister and I had a brief conversation about the wtfness of it all. Then the lady gave me a bag of shaved oven roasted turkey, adding, “You want shredded. Next time, ask for shredded.” We resumed our blank stares.
You hafta be like me to understand, but this woman is very unhappy. I mean, she’s the type of miserable that has an aura of funk followin her around like Pig Pen’s dirt.
This might be a speech she regularly gives customers, I don’t know. But I know this: She didn’t confirm with me until she’d already begun and we were kissing.
JOY ROBBER! My brain points a finger at this lady and j’accuse her like Tituba.
She wants to be petty? Oh, I can do petty!
Now, if I see that lady at the deli counter again, I’m still going to ask for shaved meat. If she lectures me again, I’m going to pretend we have not had this conversation. Over and over and over. She is my elder, so she can give me her lil speech all she wants. I will merely say, “Oh that’s right, I think you’ve told me that before.”