Yesterday, while exploring perhaps the most magnificent Whole Foods ever, I couldn’t help myself as I passed by the pizza bar. With my small(ish) sample in hand, I headed to the salad bar to get my “real” lunch.  En route, I noticed the most tantalizing display of olives… literally calling out to me.  Just as I was about to be the person who believes in test driving everything, including (free) food, (eeeeeven if you’ve given a whirl before),  I noticed a little sign:
“No grazing?”  What am I… an animal?? As if I would just pick an olive straight from there. Who do you think I am? This sign can’t reaaaaaally be meant for ME. I’m clean. I scrub my hands like Howard friggin’ Hughes!  I am NOT the gross one….
Of course later that evening, as if I hadn’t learned my lesson about pining for free food and all the subsequent humiliation that comes with it, I was faced with another fork in the free food road…
I decided to pick up dinner from Jersey Mike’s, a new sub shop that I’ve heard is delish. When I stepped in, I couldn’t tell if the place was like an upscale/cleaner version of Subway or a legit/ old school sub shop.  Either way, the “sandwich artists” were taking way too long with my simple #7 (Mike’s Way) and I was going to be late for an appointment. Long story short, when he finally completed the sandwich and I handed him my card to pay, the guy said “uh oh… The register’s crashed.”  Crap! I had to go and had no cash on me. I told him I’d come back in an hour to pick up the sandwich but the manager insisted I take the sandwich and come back “whenever.”  
Whenever? WHENEVER?!!  You mean this meal could technically be free? Was he giving me an “out” to not return?  Was this a test?!?!
An hour later, I marched back in. Too scared to fuck with food karma, I proudly pulled out my card and said “let’s try this again.” 
The manager smiled, “That was nice of you to come back. Would you like a cookie?” 
A cookie… Nah. But something salty sounds good. “No thanks,”  I said and without missing a beat asked, “Can I take a bag of chips?” I pointed to the Dorito, Sun Chips, Ruffles orgy on a shelf.
“What?” he said not hearing me.
“Chips. I’d like a bag of chips… Instead.” The place, now crowded, seems to stop like a record scratch. I feel all eyes at the counter staring at me. Is this girl for real?
“Um, no… No chips. But you can take a cookie.”
“Oh. Well. No, I just want chips, but–“
He shook his head ‘no.’ “No chips.”
“Okay! Thanks!” I said embarrassed and dashed for the door. No chips.
The moral of the story is beggars can’t be choosers.  But they can certainly keep trying… especially if it’s free….
FILED UNDER: A Little Life

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  1. Friday, June 26th, 2009
    So was the Mike's Way good?

    If not, my go to place is Papa Jakes on Little Santa Monica.