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….