Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Being Chastised at Whole Foods: An Embarrassing way to Spend Your Saturday

Saturday morning I had a wedding dress fitting, after which I had to kill like 5 hours before a spa appointment. Well, I had no idea what to do because I thought the fitting would take much longer, and the spa would not budge on my appointment time. (Which I found out was due to the fact that it wasn't really a spa, but a house converted into a business, which consisted of exactly 1 parking spot.)

When driving around the rich people neighborhood of River Oaks and drooling over the houses I could probably never afford in my lifetime (not the McMansions, but the charming older homes resembling cottages from Lord of the Rings and are expensive by proxy), I decided a short trip to Whole foods was in order. Silly me though, usually I only buy meat, dairy, and other perishables at Whole Foods. There was no way I was going to buy that stuff today, because it would spoil between the walk from the entrance to the car in Saturday's heat. No way could it last til after the spa. So I contented myself with grazing on samples and getting a few not-so-perishables.

You know that feeling when you realize that you are about to witness a train wreck and there is really nothing you can do to stop it? This was the feeling I got as I strolled down the raw grains aisle. I am about 30 feet from a lovely display of all the shop's flowers, in particular an ill-conceived arrangement. The heavy sunflowers hung precariously over some very expense orchids. I noticed that the sunflowers slowly shifted to one end of their container and were starting to tilt. A light goes off in my head: Go race over there and stop that bucket from crashing! Alas, as I am doing the delicate dance between acting and bystander apathy, the sunflower bucket falls as if in slow motion, crashing into a shelf of other flowers, which in turn knocked over the entire floral display. Now I am doing the delicate dance of turning around and acting like I just didn't witness this, or going to try to help right the situation.  I chose to do nothing. This is not in my nature, but I did not want to be blamed for the avalanche of petals, and thus be held financially responsible for catastrophe. I have learned that when it comes to stores, they automatically assume the person trying to help is the one responsible for the accident. No way I was getting stuck with $1000 worth of organically grown exotics when I was minding my own business in bulk spices.

A gentlemen in my aisle, walks up to me and says, "Don't worry, I'm a witness and you didn't do it." I chuckled uneasily, telling him I meant to try to stop it, but I was just too late. "I'll tell them you didn't do it," he said. He went and got someone, as I was somewhat frozen in place. I can't tell you why. Like I said before, I didn't want to be associated with the debacle, but I was so close to the end of the aisle I had no place else to go. After some of the store authorities jumped in and started trying to salvage the situation, I made a break for it. Later down the next aisle, the man that alerted the crew to the incident jokingly chides me down the whole next aisle about why I had to knock down such a pretty display. So now, everyone browsing crackers thinks I'm the person who did it. I get some dirty looks. Fabulous.

I race off to my favorite area of the store, which is, of course, the cheese display. I think to myself, what a lovely idea for a blog post. Posts are always prettier with pictures, so I whip out my phone for a quick pic. Suddenly, a dude from the cheese counter very loudly exclaims: "YOU CAN'T TAKE PICTURES HERE!" I turned as bright as a lobster because everyone from fine wines, to chocolates is now starring at the bozo taking pictures of Gouda and Drunken Goat. I walk up to the counter and apologize and try to explain that the picture for a blog of little consequence, with a mere readership of perhaps...6 and a half. The CheeseDude says too bad, store policy says that I could be a Kroger-spy trying to copy Whole Foods' proprietary ideas, and all photographs have to be approved by the store's manager. Jeez-Louise! Like Kroger-spies are taking pictures with pink-glittery IPhones. (Kail brought out a point later that if Kroger really wanted to steal ideas from Whole Foods, they would just have to Whole Food's own website and see all the same stuff.) Google was kind enough to provide about 900 million pictures of Whole Foods' cheese display. Apparently, cheese spies are rampant. It's almost a pandemic...

Oh the Horror!

Cheesy-Idea Thievery!
This Just In: Cheese displays photos leaked to media! Whatever will we do!
The displays are only to be viewed by the millions of customers that visit one of our 273 stores the U.S. states; six in Canada; or five in the United Kingdom!

Of course, I'll probably get the pants sued off me by some litigator trying to make a name for himself. I will have it known right now that I did not snap these illicit photos, I merely stole them from some other mischievous, aberrant-minded delinquents that share the same love-affair with cheese as I do.

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