Investment Opportunities, Minus The Nigerian Account Manager

19 05 2006

As the days nearing the birth of my child approach I have no shortage of things to do. There are cribs to build, products to shop for, and water to boil. I’m not sure what the water is for exactly, but I’ve never seen a frontier birthing without it so it must be pretty critical to have on hand. Even most of that is considered extracurricular compared to the concerted efforts I’ve been making to keep ample Pirate’s Booty snacks on hand. I’d say that Anita is eating for two, but even the baby has got to be sick of “Real Aged White Cheddar!” in convenient powder form by now. I guess she’s lucky that the tapeworm is myopic about its grazing selections as well.

This pregmania has manifested in multiple trips to Trader Joe’s and various other We-Sell-Couscous-From-Barrels-To-Hippies-type establishments to find this niche grub. We’re so lucky to have these alternatives to massive, corporate supermarkets in reach, because for me the shopping experience always feels hollow unless the clerk at the checkout stand has multiple facial piercings and a Free Mumia t-shirt. Our checker in the most recent foray was particularly interesting, feeling compelled to shatter the facade of professionalism and delve right into his life story:

“How are you guys doing tonight?”
“We’re great, thanks. Just picking up some baby-fuel.”
“When’s the baby due?”
“Late September.”
“Really? That’s cool. That’s when my birthday is. It’s the same day as my parent’s anniversary.”
“That’s sweet!”
“Yeah, it is, at least it was until they got divorced. Anyway, have a nice day!”

I walked out of there saddled with two large bags of groceries and the weight of childhood traumas on my shoulders. At first I was stunned by the checker’s outburst, but as we drove home it gave me a sort of clarity on just how lucky I was to have enjoyed a secure childhood unplagued by ominous coincidences in the calendar year. That’s when it struck me that I now equated Trader Joe’s with these affirming thoughts, effectively influencing me to prize their shopping experience above all others. The beauty of their technique was that it was truly a win/win – if I didn’t happen to have an idyllic childhood, I was likely to find camaraderie with the other hostages to angst working behind the counter. Whether you’re trauma-free or nagged by the horrors of the past, Joe is going to get you. This gave me a brilliant idea.

I’ve always been a firm believer that one man’s emotionally scarring neurosis is another man’s vehicle to tidy profits, but I’ve never seen it demonstrated in practice so clearly. Embracing that sentiment, I’d like to offer all of you a chance to invest in my new themed restaurant chain. I imagine festive uniforms, walls festooned with bric-a brac, and servers bringing our trademarked spirit to every customer interaction:

“Hi, welcome to TMI Fridays! I have crabs. How many are in your party?”

“Would you like to start off with some Sauteed Shrimp Shooters? They’re great! They remind me my home back in New Orleans before hurricane Katrina left it flooded, collapsing under its own weight. Or maybe some Rockin Tacos?”

“Our soups tonight are Spicy Tortilla and New England Clam Chowder. I recommend the Spicy Tortilla, as one of our chefs defiled the chowder in a sexually depraved manner. Apparently his mother used to beat him with a ladle or something and this just how he copes.”

“How is everything so far? I hope it’s going well enough to not summon your desire to complain about my service. I only took this job so I could stop hookin’, but who am I kidding?”

“Any room left for dessert? The Chocolate Lava cake here is to DIE for. I could eat three of them in one sitting, but I have to remind myself ‘It’s just cake…it’s not love’. I’d probably still be eating it even if my birth-parents didn’t reject me though, because, y’know, it’s chocolate! Am I right or what? Ha-ha!”

“Thanks for eating at TMI Fridays. I gave crabs to the hostess, but please don’t tell her. I got them from her brother. Have a great night!”

Tell me you wouldn’t pay $15 for a margarita if you were guaranteed service like THAT!




One response

19 05 2006

Man, this made me want to go out to dinner with hopes that I would get a recovering addict/former stripper waitress & then an excursion to Whole Foods for some facial piercing window shopping (and some rice milk)!

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