Well, Hi There.
If asked how I’m doing, I’d say I’m more very much more annoyed these days than usual, but I’m still breathing, which is a hard realization to work around with all this dice throwing going on by the political machine in spots. “Roll your dice, move your mice!” Yes, it’s hard to dance around the elephant in the room, but after seeing EMS pop by the building a few too many times over the months, plus a growing amount of undelivered mail sitting downstairs, it’s been a bit too joyless around here. Well, until I found out that the mail carrier who regularly did the job perfectly was off taking care of his parents for a spell and the person now doing his job was pretty much rushing it by what it seems was sticking the mail in whatever mailbox was laid eyes on and getting the hell out of the building as fast as possible.
Boo, Sir, Ma’am, or otherwise. At least I got to play mailman for an hour or so by dropping off some bills and letters to their correct apartments later, as did a few others who got someone else’s correspondence. Now, I’m a fan of the post office normally, but not when an employee does this to everyone’s mail on the route. Whatever miserable death count I was grimly thinking of was chopped down considerably by some mislaid mail, but that was a merely a small decline in the joylessness. One bit of a laugh came when I deposited some bills at one apartment and the guy who lived there opened the door, saw he had bills and let out a deadpan “Wow. Gee, Thanks.” he really didn’t mean.
Hey, don’t shoot (a mean glare at) me – I’m only the messenger.
Still, a few neighbors have gone and left the building (is that literally or figuratively? I forget!*), so that’s a painful fact to work with. Even though we weren’t close, a chat in the elevator, a wave and smile at the right time, or some weird conversation about ice cream are all memory banked and filed for future use now. Processing is different for all of us, but I’d say similar in how we hold onto that past. Presently I’m back and forth on a few things relevant and not so, but I try not to go under the waves more than necessary, as madness stalks that dark, dank alley and that’s a total drowning pool.
On a slightly lighter note, we have too many supermarkets here (about 25 or so within walking distance), so some will have the occasional odd bargain to stumble across, despite the socially distanced long lines to wait in these days. The place closest to me was out of a load of things thanks to it being the second store in a chain and it seems both stores now share the same delivery trucks, but a little bit further down a few blocks, there’s a shop that’s much more well-stocked. No bottled water limits and bigger produce and meat sections go a long way, plus the fact that even though they were less than well stocked in previous weeks, they seem to actually have a surplus on some items. Well, until further notice, that is.
Anyway, last week I was in the meat section looking at some chicken (it’s stupidly simple to cook, usually inexpensive and I have a few ways to stretch a buck with it) when one of the clerks bought out a cart filled with a bunch of meat items. She was restocking and I noticed a few “Managers Special” stickers on a number of choices. That’s normally an “uh-oh” for me on things like overly bruised fruit you have to cut around to eat or that whole fish some stores slap the price tag on over the eyes where you can’t tell if it’s been out too long. But I nearly pulled a neck muscle when I saw a pack of four pork chops for nineteen cents a pound. A whole 82 cents was a price I don’t even recall as a kid growing up in the 1960’s. I think one eyebrow got stuck in the UP position for a bit, but pushing and holding it down seemed to help.
(Thanks, Michael Appert!)
I recovered and quietly snapped up the package, looked it over and sure, took a whiff to see if the nose could know through the shrink wrap. Those chops looked and smelled fine, but I was thinking as I placed them tentatively in my cart that I’d soon be reenacting the ending to the old Twilight Zone episode “The Old Man in the Cave” where a whole town drops dead from food poisoning after they eat radioactive canned food despite a computer’s warning not to. I saw some bulk chicken that was priced $2.13 and yes, grabbed that as well after a few sniffs. The goofy thing was I normally don’t eat pork, not for any religious reasons, mind you, but because I think US pork can be bland as hell (sorry, pig farmers!), and I can’t eat a load of salt these days as a seasoning buff.
Well, I decided that being a victim of greed can sometimes work out well, so I went and picked out a few more items because when in Rome, you don’t roam from the wooden horse spitting gifts in your face. But I was admittedly worried that the checkout process would be a bit of an embarrassing “PRICE CHECK!!!” moment. Then I snapped back to reality and realized that my freezer was already pretty more than halfway full and meat doesn’t keep well if it’s not frozen. I put most of the haul back and immediately, some woman snapped up what I left behind, filling her cart with other budget items as well (I guess she had a bigger freezer or a barbecue that was starving for attention).
When I got to the cashier, I got rung up as if nothing was going on and I was somewhat relieved, but also disappointed that the process was so… normal? Maybe I secretly wanted the drama, but then again, any drama I bet would come if I prepared that pork and suffered from any bad after effects. Long story short, I took a chop from the pack, took an even bigger whiff, didn’t pass out from that and after applying a bit (too much, oops) of curry powder and salt-free seasoning, I got this result below and it didn’t jump up and try to eat ME.
Er, sorry to the vegan and vegetarian readers for this pic:
Some evil witch was screaming in my ear “Take a bite, take a bite!” so I cut a small piece and (ouch), realized I should have let the chop rest a bit because it was a tad too hot. But other than too much curry powder, It tasted like a garden variety pork chop. Of course, I waited a few minutes before the second piece, getting a weird wistfulness because I recalled a certain movie scene that had me laughing out loud for a minute because, yes, this is what we’ve become in a few ways these horrific days:
In short, I lived, didn’t need to drink Lysol with a chlorine bleach and CH3CHOHCH3 chaser afterward, and am fine a week plus later. Would I do this again? Well, given the meat situation coming from some processing states, prrrrobably not. Taking one for the team is fine once, but The More You Know just might keep me above ground a bit longer and I’m better of taking those safer odds, thank you much.
(Thanks, Bobby Deerfield!)
(* Sorry, that’s part of a very old joke I can’t seem to forget. Its a long story, but it makes me laugh when I think of it).
Hey Greg, I enjoyed the post (and have had my own post office moments of late, so I can relate), but there are two things above I’d like to mention specifically. First, I’d never seen that teaser trailer for ‘The Thing’, so thanks for that. And second, there’s a similar scene to the one above in ‘Soylent Green’ that really gets me in the gut every time I see it (besides Sol’s ‘sleep’ scene): when Sol breaks down after Thorn brings home the stolen food, and he sees the cut of beef. “How did we come to this?” Indeed.
Yeah, even though Soylent Green was an excellent part for Heston, Robinson’s role makes the film even better. That line about the beef gets me as well, plus the fact he turns that excellent cut into a simple stew. That trailer for THE THING was a nice find, as I was looking for the one we all know, but this popped up in a search and it was the first time I’d seen it.
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I really like that scene you posted from Soylent Green. I thought Heston and Robinson had great chemistry, and I love their reactions to tasting real food. This is a film I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, for the same reasons you mentioned…
Thanks for sharing your observations and experiences with all of us. It’s nice to know we’re not alone. 🙂
You’re welcome. Soylent Green is one of those films (and books) that jumped out at me decades ago and like Silent Running, the original Rollerball, and a few other downbeat science fiction films of the time, every time I see it, I get the feeling more and more that we kind of unprepared in the real world for a lot of things.
But, a good musical is a cure for a lot of surface stuff, sooo…
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