Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Pits

There was a special on avacados that day. Everyone loves a good deal but—as anyone who’s ever bought an avocado knows—avacados are tough to buy in bulk because you only get about a 24-hour window to enjoy them as they pass between hard as a rock and mushy as a nursing home. So Phil Thompson just bought two. 
Phil Thompson got home with the avacados and set them on the counter. He wasn’t sure what he’d do with them. Make guacamole? Slice them up and put a little salt and olive oil on them? Really, what else can you do with an avocado? Thinking about this, for a second Phil began to regret his purchase. Like seasonal cherries or heirloom tomatoes, Phil felt like he only bought the avacados because they were on sale. Because he had. The more he thought about it, the more Phil felt like he had been taken for a ride. An avacado ride. That’s when Phil hatched a plan.
Rummaging through the trash in the garage, Phil found his receipt for the avacados. 2 for $4. Phil began to imagine the other things he could have bought with those four dollars. Three-quarters of a gallon of gas, a gallon of milk, a six pack of soda. Why was he only imagining liquids? He didn't know. But why, he thought, was he duped into buying these things?
Striding into the store with a purpose not often seen at the local Piggly Wiggly, Phil approached the customer service desk and demanded the manager. A stout woman with a fondness for nurse’s shoes, Carol Riley had only been the store’s manager for seven months but no amount of experience could have prepared her for this showdown.
Setting the avacodos on the counter, Phil explained to her how he wanted to return them for a full refund. Carol informed him of the store’s return policy on perishables: they don’t do them. Hearing this, Phil began flailing his arms and ranting about how this was an outrage and a mockery of the whole concept of capitalism. No one really understood what he meant by that. His assertion that Margaret Thatcher would never buy avacados at Piggly Wiggly thoroughly confused everyone because she didn’t even live in the States. And as the Prime Minister of England, she likely didn’t eat too many avacados. What's more, the avacado (or persea americana) is really an equatorial fruit that thrives in more tropical climates, not the northern latitudes and certainly not the damp British isles. But then again, she was the prime minister so she could probably get her hands on anything she wanted. It was still a weird thing for Phil to say. 
Carol tried her best to calm him down but Phil was inconsolable. The wheels finally came off when Phil threw a March of Dimes brochure display to the ground and began to climb over the counter. A security guard who'd been posted near the door arrived just in time to grab him by his pants and throw him to the ground.

Unfortunately, in the ensuing mayhem the avacados crashed to the floor causing their softened husks to split open, their green guts squishing out. Now they were of no use to anyone.
Months later, as Phil Thompson picked up discarded cans and cigarette butts on the shoulder of highway 183, his mind sometimes drifted to thoughts of a big bowl of creamy guacamole. Next to it maybe there was a bowl of tortilla chips and a pitcher of cold margaritas. Maybe his friends were there. And maybe someone would remark about how expensive avacados had gotten recently and Phil could assure them he knew a place where you could get them cheap. 2 for $4, even.


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