Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Can I have...?

As you know, I hate lines. Mostly because people tend to ignore line etiquette, if there is such a thing. Between talking on their cell phones, getting out of line and thinking they can step back in the same place after they’ve checked out the tchakees on some shelf, and forgetting to bathe, lines, and the people in them, kill me. Also, quite frankly, time is a precious commodity in my life. I barely have enough time to do anything, let alone just languish in a line. I wish I could watch “60 Minutes” in a half hour.

But, I had an epiphany the other day-lines aren’t always caused by the annoying people around me, but also by the employees and the stores themselves. After wondering why I needed a shave because I had been waiting so long at a local store, when it was my turn, I heard the words…those sweet words that gave me the answer to why when I came in, I had a full head of hair, only to be checking out looking more like Yul Brynner…

“Can I have your phone number for our mailing list?”
(Imagined response “IR”) No, but you can if you promise to call me and breathe heavy!
“Would you like to buy the extended warranty for only $3.99 which will replace it if anything ever happens?”
IR-No, because the item I am buying only cost $4.99!
“Would you like to save 10% on your purchase today?”
IR-No, but I just lost weight, ask me how!
“Do you need any batteries today?”
IR-No, but I will tomorrow, because the ones I’ll be using tonight will die from overuse!
“Would you like to donate a dollar to ‘Easter Seals’, ‘United Way’, UNICEF, Children’s Hospital, HFWJNA (you get extra points if you know this-email me privately and the first one to do so, get a special shout out), Dana Farber, Curt’s Pitch for ALS, Friends of Osama, Friends of the Critical Palate?
I’ll refrain from making jokes here-charities need our help, especially the last one.
“What’s your sign? Can you spare some change? Would you mind peeing in this cup? Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care? Do you know the way to San Jose?”

By the time the clerk has gotten through the script, Josh has graduated Med School, and Tovah’s got 3 PhDs.

I don’t really blame the cashiers-they’re just following store policy. But, do the stores have any idea how aggravating it is to get the third degree from these clerks, trying to sell you things you don’t need and don’t want. But I think it all started with “do you want fries with that?”

When they trained you at McD’s, they told you a response for every order (this was looooooooong before the days of value meals). Someone order a drink, you asked “regular or large”. If they asked for fries, you asked “medium or large”. If they ordered McNuggets, you asked “would you like 9 or 12.” McDonald’s designed and refined the art of the upsell.

Funny, I didn’t get annoyed when we used to get upsold at McDonald’s, but maybe that’s because they never asked for a DNA swab…

You've been a great audience. Enjoy the World Series...

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

First, let me apologize to all of you for the extended period of time without a post. Among computer crashes, vacations, High Holidays and cutting the tip of my left thumb off, it’s been a busy, and distracting time. But, with the thumb healing (I hope), and a new Apple MacBook (with Video Chat, if anyone is interested), I am ready to rumble…

Let me publicly thank Jordan Rich of WBZ 1030AM (50,000 Watts of power!!!) for having me on as a guest back in July. Great fun. 3 ½ hours of talk about food-it doesn’t get much better than that. I am currently working on linking an MP3 file of the show and will get it linked as soon as I can. I can think of no better way to kill time than listening to me…and Jordan could be one of the nicest, most gracious hosts on radio. Listen in to him Friday nights, midnight to 5:00 a.m., Saturday nights midnight to 5:00 a.m. and Sunday nights, ten to midnight, on the radio, or streaming live across the internet at

Second, please indulge me a gratuitous shout-out to Wusthof--their knives are damn sharp! My Dad was right-better to cut yourself with a clean, sharp knife than a dull one. It really doesn’t make me feel any better when people call me “Stubby”, but when it happened, I never felt it. That should be their new slogan: “Wusthof—you’ll never feel it, even when your limb is on the floor.”

Now, without further ado…

Dear Stacy (at least I think that’s your name):

I am writing this letter reflecting on the first moments we spent together yesterday. I walked in behind you, and from that moment, I couldn’t look away. That tattoo on the base of your spine (some people call it a “tramp stamp”) was mesmerizing, as were the ones on your neck, forearms and knuckles. Your melodious voice entranced me.

I didn’t say much, not because I didn’t want to, but because I just couldn’t interrupt you. I was so sorry to hear about cat, and all the gory details about the hairball it choked on. I was disturbed when you talked about how unsympathetic your boss was. I really cannot detail the things you said here, for fear of arrest. Carlin’s seven dirty words have nothing on you! You must be a real firecracker with a few beers in you and I’m glad the little kids sitting at the table nearby have learned what “WTF” and “Mo-Fo” mean. I’m sure their parents are pleased too.

Speaking of your boss, I was intrigued how you think he’s attracted to you. With that spike through your nose, I can see why. The way you explained what you wanted to do with him, especially with the choke ball and blindfold, it scared me…sort of.

Troubling, to say the least, was your story about the pharmacy and how they keep messing up your prescriptions. I hope that this gets rectified and the Tuberculosis clears up soon. Between that and the Chlamydia, I agree that the next prescription of Zithromax might do the trick. Getting rid of the pack of Lucky Strikes in the outer pocket of your purse might help too.

Lastly, while I think it’s a “look”, I’m not sure about the jet-black hair with the pink stripe running from ear to ear. Maybe it goes over well in other places. The story you told about the office and how they call you “the Mo-Fo Skunk” or “Pepe F-ing LePew” was classic, and was enjoyed by all of us.

I’m glad we had that time together but next time you’re in front of me in line at Starbucks, I might just ask you to stop talking on your phone while waiting to order.

Yours truly,
A Mo-Fo Starbucks Patron