Wednesday, October 21, 2009

He Ain't Heavy, He's My 'Taters

We’ve got a grocery store we go to just for produce. Their produce is fantastic. Their prices on other things tend to be high because the place is kind of a cross between Trader Joe’s and Henry’s. It’s called Frazier’s Farms.

About once a week or so we take our produce list to Frazier’s to stock up. Now, this place is about ¾ of a mile away from our apartment so often I’ll walk. It’s a straight shot and it’s getting exercise at the same time that I’m getting fresh veggies. So I walk it. And besides, bell peppers and onions and tomatoes and squash and lettuce, maybe some apples or limes too, aren’t all that heavy, especially since it’s a week’s worth for 2 people.
Until I need potatoes.

And even potatoes aren’t bad. It’s just a sack of potatoes, drop the bag into a paper grocery sack, lift it by the handle and it’s a balanced load—produce in one hand, ‘taters in the other.

Now, I’m referring to the 5 lb. sack of potatoes that the store sells for $1.99. OK, no big deal, right? Right.
So, I’m in the store about a month ago. I’ve got my list. ‘Taters are on it. Except for one thing. I can get a 10 lb. sack of ‘taters for $2.49. Hmmmm, that’s 5 more pounds for half a buck. Not bad. And if we’ve got too many, Carolyn can take a small sack over to her Mom’s.

So I pick up the 10 lb. sack and take it along with my basket of produce to the check-out. I love getting a whole week’s worth of salads and fresh veggies for cooking, etc. for about $8 including the $2.49 for the ‘taters. It appeals to the “Cheap Bastid” in me.
I love cutting summer squash into planks, painting it with a bit of oil, slapping some spice on and putting it on the grill. I enjoy making fresh “pico de gallo” or getting cilantro and parsley for freshly made chimichurri. So the produce is really a bagful of treasure to take home.

Until I bumped myself up to a 10 lb. sack of ‘taters.

You know, I’m a healthy, in reasonable condition kind of guy. You kids will think I’m an old fart but old farts can usually work you kids into the dust in just a little while.

But, those damn potatoes seemed like they were gaining weight the whole way home. It’s just 10 lbs. But by the time I was half-way there, I was thinking of doing a Hansel and Gretel thing and marking a trail behind me with potatoes. My arms were starting to feel like they had been stretched a couple of inches each from switching the bags back and forth.
I had a sack of iron ingots. I was carrying 3 bowling balls in one paper sack. It’s like I had a list to port or starboard depending on which hand I was carrying the sack with the potatoes in. My elbows were starting to hurt from the stretching on my tendons. Why are the blocks suddenly each a half mile long?

I was sweating. I didn’t wear a hat or visor and sweat was running from my bald head to my eyes as I waited for-effin-ever at the final intersection for the traffic and pedestrian crossing lights to change. It’s the last half-block. The home-stretch. It was like the scene out of Forrest Gump where he’s carrying Bubba on his back while the F-4s come screaming overhead dropping napalm. And I was mumbling to myself, “the next time she wants potatoes, she can go get the damn things herself”.
It was only 10 lbs. of ‘taters, dammit! Shee-ut! Now, when I go to Frazier’s and know I have to buy potatoes…I take the car.

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