Today I went to Bloomingfoods, which is our answer to Whole Foods (except for being local, co-op, and one millionth the size.
Also Subarus instead of LandRovers in the parking lot.
No wine tasting or dessert bars. No chefs wanking about with big knives. Etc.).
I roamed about the store purchasing needfuls such as fresh local eggs, organic veggies, vegan baked goods* and soap that smells like my college dorm. Before I checked out, I decided to get breakfast and headed for the hot bar.
AND THEN: Jesus smiled upon my locavore shopping basket, and
Lo! he let there be sausage gravy [LOCAL PIGS. LOCAL MILK! LOCAL LARD!]!
And LO! He willed that there would also be-ith the biscuits! Praise ye, Jesus and all of your little baby animals that frolic ghostily round the hems of thy robe!
I was waiting my turn to scoop some delicious gravy into my takeout vat, when I realized that the woman I was behind was YELLING at the top of her lungs the following:
"WELL THIS IS RIDICULOUS! WE'RE JUST NEVER COMING HERE AGAIN! THIS IS THE WHOLE ENTIRE REASON WE COME HERE ON SUNDAY!! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO EAT?! THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO EAT HERE NOW!!"
I could not help staring at her, because: INSANE.
Also: IN A GROCERY STORE. Nothing around BUT things to eat. On the hot bar itself, in addition to the heavenly gift of sausage gravy, there were:
2. Cheese grits
3. a terrifyingly grey "tofu scramble"
4. two kinds of soup, one of which is always vegan
5. lovely salad makings
6. Vegan HOT cinnamon rolls
7. More eggs
8. Some kind of casserole described as "breakfast" which had nothing that I could readily identify in it, except the words "casserole" and "breakfast"
Now, I did not point out all of the many other choices on the bar, or the food stacked to the ceiling in the rest of the store. One should avoid criticizing the Public Crazy. Sometimes it makes them even more crazy. Sometimes, they then direct all the crazy at One.
But I think that I probably did look at her, and then looked at all of the food springing forth from every crevice of the building, and then look back at her with a slightly critical expression on my face. Which, I admit, I should have had the maturity to NOT do.
But, I didn't.
And so she yelled at ME:
"THEY ARE OUT OF THE VEGAN SAUSAGE GRAVY!! I CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE THIS!!! THIS IS RIDICULOUS!! ALL THEY HAVE IS THE DEAD PIG CORPSE GRAVY!!!"
She did say "CORPSE GRAVY".
So, I did what any reasonable, part time sort of vegetarian would do.
I laughed really hard. I might have even choked out "Did you just say corpse gravy?!?!"
NOT the right choice.
She kept going ON and ON about how UNBELIEVABLE this was, and how "IT ISN'T FAIR THAT THEY HAVE CORPSE GRAVY WHEN THEY DON'T HAVE THE VEGAN KIND!! SO INCONSIDERATE!!"
I said, like a sane person not chanting corpse gravy repeatedly under my breath: "Well, you know, it is almost 1pm. They probably just ran out. Did you ask someone?"
"OH, THE STAFF HERE DON'T KNOW ANYTHING!! THEY ACT LIKE THEY DON'T EVEN CARE! THEY DON'T CARE THAT I CAN'T POSSIBLY EAT ANYTHING IN THIS WHOLE PLACE NOW!!"
[this last, of course, was directed at the stony faced staff members behind the sandwich counter, who I would like to take this time to commend for their incredible patience, tolerance and ability not to stick this woman with sharp tined forks designed specifically for meat eating]
Then a teenage boy pushed in front of Corpsie and started to spoon gravy onto his plate. Apparently, this was her son, because now she directed her spewings at him.
"OH JUST GO AHEAD! FINE! PUT THAT DEAD PIG ON YOUR PLATE!! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS! THAT IS SO DISGUSTING! I'M NOT PAYING FOR YOU TO EAT DEAD CORPSES!! THINK OF THE FACT THAT YOU ARE PUTTING GROUND UP DEAD BODIES ON YOUR PLATE AND THEN YOU ARE GOING TO EAT THEM!!! AS SOON AS WE GET HOME I'M MAKING YOU WATCH THE PETA MOVIE AGAIN!"
Seriously, this is Bloomington, and for a minute I thought "Wait. Are these people rehearsing a scene from a play or a student film or something? Maybe they're sociology majors doing research?"
But then I realized, No.
This isn't a scene from a play. Because no playwright would create a character THIS ridiculous. "CORPSE. GRAVY."
Those are not words that should ever be put together.
They should especially not be shouted in a place that sells food.
Even film students, as pretentiously horrid as they can be, have SOME standards. Usually those standards are subsonically low, but they ARE standards.
The teenager just shrugged his shoulders and said "Yeah. Okay. This looks really good. I'm eating it." And then he smiled at me as if to say "What are you going to do?"
I felt so sorry for him and also at the same moment I was so impressed by him. If I were a 15 year old boy whose mother was having a screaming public meltdown over corpse gravy, at the very least I would be rolling my eyes and pretending not to know her, or even throwing corpse bits in her face on my way out the door. But this kid was respectful to his mother even while holding out for his right to eat corpse gravy, and even though he clearly found her annoying, he wasn't mortified by her the way most teens are by their parents' very existence. So as I waited for my turn at the gravy coffin, I said "Just leave me some of that dead pig, ok?"
And he laughed really hard, which might have been bad but at that point his mother was screaming at another employee. The kid said "You know, I really do feel bad, because I like pigs, but...."
"They're just so delicious?"
Then his mother came back with more of her offspring, who were much younger, and proceeded to tell them as loudly as possible to stay away from the deadness, and to NOT use those horrible huge takeout containers like SOME PEOPLE....
like the one I was holding.
I knew then that if I did not leave ASAP that Corpsie would take her food crazy on to the next logical food nazi soap box, about how horrible and fat people who eat meat are, and so I immediately paid and left.
And I laughed, out loud, all the way to my car, and have spent the rest of the day saying corpse gravy over and over in delighted horror.
*Only because I've found that the vegan cookies tend to use more sugar to disguise the fact that they don't have much flavor