Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gristinky's House of Price Gouging

This is what I love about Larry: he's not afraid of confrontation.

Who: me and Larry
What: grocery shopping
Where: Gristinky's
When: Sunday

We're browsing the aisles, trying to come up with something for dinner. When we get to the meat case, Larry cringes at some meat, noting that it's expired. He turns his attention to a package of Laura's Lean Beef.

"Do you want hamburgers?" he asks.

"Not really," I say. I don't want that particular beef because it tends to be very dry. I've repeatedly joked that the resulting burgers are so dry that "I had to be hospitalized for dehydration."

Larry doesn't appreciate this joke. I think it's one of my best.

"Can we get this instead?" I say, pointing to a grade of beef with some fat in it.

"Never buy the store brand ground beef, because they grind this," he says, pointing to the expired meat, "into that."


"Do you want to do pasta instead?" I offer, because it's the only thing I can make without watching the clock or hovering over a recipe.

We pick up the ingredients and head over to the ice cream aisle where I eavesdrop on a mother and daugher having an argument nearby.

"Don't be so naive! He not even Catholic!"
"Mom, I not bein' naive!"

You can pretty much imagine what their evening is going to be like.

We leave the ice cream aisle empty handed and head for the cashier, picking up a six-pack of Diet Coke along the way. I can see that there is a massive display of Diet Coke with a big sign that says $2.99 on it.

I have to wonder, since we're in Gristinky's House of Price Gouging, what price will it ring up at?

Will it be:
A) $2.99?
B) $2.49?
C) $9.19?
D) other?

Larry is watching the screen intently. The troll at the register scans the six-pack and drops it. I watch his face go stiff as the soda rings up at $3.49.

He reaches up and (I love this part) taps her screen and says, in the most condescending tone, "The soda rung up wrong."

"Da, wha?" she grunts looking up for the first time. Her face is devoid of emotion.

Larry repeats, annuciating for our deaf-mute-idiot cashier. "The soDA did noT ring uP on SALE."

What follows is the obligatory sighing and heavy breathing of someone who clearly needs a beating and a pink slip.

Before I can interject and tell Shrek that the soda is on sale via massive display, she turns to a coworker for help.

"Yo, dis the right price?"

"Is what da right price?"

"They sayin' da Diet Coke on sale."

Troll #2 shuffles off to the soda aisle, where there is no sign. Larry shoves past me and marches over to the display. He rips the sign off and brings it back to the cashier.

"Here," he says, thrusting it at her. "2.99" I am so jealous that he can do this sort of thing and not care. Had I been alone, I wouldn't have ripped the sign off. What follows is a lot of button pressing and waiting.

You could cut the tension with a knife. That's the problem with Gristinky's - if they fuck up, they have to make you feel like it's somehow your fault. And don't expect an apology, either. If anything, you are inconveniencing them. Shame on you.

I am bracing for the shit to hit the fan now. I know that Larry is going to say something - or do something to piss her off even more, like how he used to toss the receipt back at the cashiers at the now closed D'agostino's because they were such militant bitches. One had picked a fight with us because we didn't immediately start to bag our own groceries.

I'm tempted to ask, "Is it true you lazy fuckers are being replaced by self-checkout machines?"

I can't wait until we can afford to eat out again.


joe*to*hell said...

8th avenue, chelsea?

Chris said...


1Letterman said...

Me, you, and Larry need to meet at Ed Debevic's in Chi-town sometime and out-rude the help.