Thursday, January 29, 2009

Day 17, Sunday: Excerpts from the diary of a sample-phile

Ron and Jen crashed at our house last night. This is good, since letting either one of them behind the wheel would have been about as safe as taking a preschool class on a field trip to Jurassic Park, after all the dinosaurs got loose.

Noontime, Adam and I drop them off at Jessica’s, where they’ve left their ridiculous behemoth of a vehicle.

Well, I’m already out, and I haven’t yet eaten. And since Jeannie has previously suggested to me that Sunday, right after the Methodists get out of church, is primo sample time, I’m totally “why not stop at Whole foods?” Adam, not hung-over enough to be granted a sympathy pass, but too ill to protest, agrees to accompany me.

This week’s cornucopia of swank snack swag is distinctly less cornucopious than last week, but I am definitely not disappointed. Whole Foods does me right with orange slices, four cherries, double helpings of tuna salad, and triple on the salmon salad, possibly the worst cheddar cheese I’ve ever had (which is still pretty good since I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like), chicken salad, curried chicken salad, and some sort of sandwich wrap.

Despite the fact that I found this picture of a pimp-hat adorned Andre 3000 (who I’m pretty sure only goes to Whole Foods for sans purchase sampling, and looks super-cool while doing it) in a Whole Foods ad,
uppity Adam abstains from sampling, because I guess he feels guilty or something.

My ever-observant husband asserts that he can tell which people are really here to purchase food, and which are my sample stealing comrades. I contend that he can only spot some of us, those with a no-nonsense, honest approach to gratis grazing. I prefer the stealth-ier method, which basically entails stopping between servings to look at and compare nutrition labels. Those of us in the know would never, ever pretend to compare prices, however. Doing so is like broadcasting your fake-shopper status, since no one who actually shops there has even once, in the entire history of Whole Foods, ever looked what the stuff costs, because if they did, the part of their brain that does math would explode, thereby completely negating the positive benefits of buying organic. So I’m pretty sure I’m snacking under the radar. I could be wrong, and everyone knows I’m on a sample safari, but I don’t really give a crap. It might even be fun to get caught. I would never go down without a fight. Mmmmmm. Thanks Whole Foods.

Later in the afternoon I am overcome with the immediate need to rent a movie, a desire which is, more likely than not, influenced by Blockbuster’s close proximity to Publix. Searching for an actual reason to enter Publix (the lack of which would certainly not have prevented my visit,) I decide I desperately require tampons, of which you can never have too many.

As expected, Publix’s fare pales in comparison to Whole Foods’ smorgusboard o’ free stuff, but the fresh(ish) baked wheat bread, chicken with vegetables, and garlic bread is not unappreciated.

After leaving Blockbuster with the second Narnia movie (which was just all right for me,) I have one final stop to make. Adam has requested that I get him an Angry Whopper (which was way better than all right for him.) These next ten minutes prove to be a critical test for me. I pass, proving I am a indomitable machine, unmoved even by the monarch of flame-broiled beef patties. I am god-like. I accomplish what was formerly believed impossible. In the two miles between Burger King and home, I manage to refrain from eating a single fry or taking even the teeniest, most dainty sip of Diet Coke. I am an awe-inspiring icon, to be emulated by food addicts worldwide.

I make a giant pot of red beans and rice, and eat some for dinner. They’re good, but I sure would like a snarfle of that Angry Whopper.

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