When the chips are down...

Thanksgiving is safely past and I pretty much survived...I think. *quick non-T.S.A. pat-down* Yeah, pretty much still in existence. Although, the day before Thanksgiving, I was seriously considering alternatives to this state.

This year, we decided to buy the Thanksgiving dinner pre-built. A couple of the local supermarkets offered already cooked Turkeys, side dishes, and pies for a reasonable price, and this looked like the way to cut down on combat around the dinner table. Until recently, rather than looking like Norman Rockwell's version of Thanksgiving, ours tended to have more in common with discussions between, oh, say Julius Caesar and Vercingetorix at Alesia? (I would have said Lee and Grant, but our scrums weren't nearly so Civil.) We figured out that most of the fighting took place because everyone was exhausted by dinnertime Thursday afternoon. The wife and number one daughter had worked until late at the supermarket the night before (when you work in the service industry, there is no such thing as a holiday--those are for your betters who work weekdays, 9-5). Then everybody'd hit the floor early so as to get the cooking done for that photo op banquet table that only we would see. By the time dinner was ready, we really shouldn't have been allowed anything sharper than a bowling ball with which to carve the turkey.

After about fifteen years of this stupidity, the penny finally dropped. Why did Thanksgiving have to be on Thursday? Why not Friday? It's not like it's a religious festival that's pegged to one particular day. If you really are thankful, I suspect the Lord will probably take your "thank you" call on Friday. Besides, by celebrating on Friday, both ladies were more likely to be off from work and they could recuperate from what they un-laughingly referred to as "hell week" by sleeping-in Thursday.

Anyway, back to my bid for nonexistence. I'm at the store Wednesday morning to pick up the Thanksgiving dinner when I think of something. This grocery chain carries my favorite salty snack, Wise potato chips (Dr. Pepper and Wise BBQ chips, breakfast of champions--it's a Southern thing). Why not pick up a bag or fifteen? I normally shop at the store at which the ladies of the house work, so I wasn't sure where the chip aisle was located. I see a stocker adding a competitor's brand on a display in front of the checkout aisles. I look around and notice he's the only employee in sight aside for the red-shirted cashiers. I go over and ask, "Excuse me, could you tell me where the Wise potato chips are located, please?" He straightens up and blinks at me. His accent is purest Caribbean as he replies, "I beg your pardon?" Okay, I probably said it too fast and most likely mumbled. "Could you tell me where to find the Wise potato chips, please?" As he stares at me, my eye travels over his left pocket on which is emblazoned, "Frito-Lay." As my mind goes from All Ahead Two-Thirds directly to All Astern Full, I notice that his shirt's red doesn't exactly match the store personnel's red. He looks at me oddly and points down the main aisle. "Uh, chips are down on sixteen." My first thought is to reach inside my mouth, grab my butt from the inside, and jerk hard in hopes that I can cause myself to pop out of existence on this particular plane. Instead, I thank him profusely, assure him that Lay's is my number one choice when Wise aren't available (true), and beat feet out of sight. After adding two bags Wise chips to my cart (Regular and BBQ) I went back up to check out, taking care not to pass the gentleman working on his display. I'd like to take this occasion to tell Frito-Lay that they have a very nice, extremely patient, and mega-forgiving gentleman stocking shelves for them.

Note to FTC: Bought the Wise chips myself. Frito-Lay probably isn't about to send me anything now.

28 November 2010: First Sunday of Advent. Feast of St. Andrew Trong. Council of Clermont launches First Crusade 1095, Magellan sails into Pacific from Atlantic 1520, Beethoven premiers Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major 1811, Louis b. Mayer opens his first movie theater 1907, Tehran Conference 1943, Mariner 4 lifts off for Mars 1964.


  1. Just because the guy works for one company doesn't mean he'd be offended at the mention of another - who knows, maybe he likes the other ones better too? Since when does our job have to dictate our personal preference? If that was the case, I would have to favour a certain make of car because I translate manuals for the manufacturer. :P

  2. Perhaps, but I felt extremely stupid for not spotting that he didn't work for the supermarket. I've usually got my head out more.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.