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The Great Emerald Partition Almond Conspiracy

So some of you may know that I’m currently paying the bills by working at a pharmacy with a convenience store attached to it. I don’t want to say the name, but it’s a national chain, one of if not the largest, and it has an Emerald Partition in it. If you’ve got a punny mind, or a thesaurus handy, you might be able to guess where it is.

So, at the Emerald Partition, we’ve got our own nice store brand and one of the things we sell are almonds. We’ve got a bunch of different kinds, but they were on sale this week. Now, I don’t want to portray our customers as vultures or anything, but the fact is that when our brand of almond goes on sale, people scoop them up. They were 2/$5 this week, which means you get about 18 ounces for 5 bucks. Compare that to the price of Blue Diamond almonds, which are $4 for 6 ounces. Mind you, Blue Diamond goes on buy one get one free sale once a month or so. I like Blue Diamonds flavors better, but if you just want normal salted almonds, they’re about the same.

AAAANYWAY! Our sales start Sunday and end Saturday, so there were NO almonds left this morning. Ah, but this was Truck Day, which is held in reverence by the customers and contempt by the employees. I have neither contempt nor reverence. It’s just a day like any other. I neither feel fear, nor elation about it. It’s just another event to be endured. That however, is neither here, nor there.

What you must understand is that the almonds were on sale, this was the last day of the sale and we were out of almonds for the time being. I was standing idle, waiting in quiet anticipation for the moment when the truck would arrive, when I was approached by an old man.

The old man scowled at the place where the almonds were not, and then looked at me, continuing to scowl because I didn’t have the good grace to flinch from his steely gimleted gaze. I have a rule at work, the bigger the smile, the less I mean it. I was giving a rather wide smile, one that looks a little too pleased with the situation, but doesn’t actually show any teeth. When I show teeth with that grin, people claim I look like I’m about to go for their throats. You have to smile though, otherwise the bastards know they’re getting to you, and you can’t let the bastards know they’re getting to you.

“You got anymore of these sale almonds?” The old man barked, with a voice that wants you to believe he saw D-Day. The problem with that is, he couldn’t have been more than 75 or possibly a well preserved 80. Let’s say he was 80, which would have made him about 13 at the end of the war. So if anything, he was a drain on resources and working for the Nazis during WWII.

“We’re all out right now sir.” I said politely and airily, as if the subject mattered little more than a butterfly’s fart. “They tend to go fast when they’re on sale and…” I did not get to finish.

For you see my dears, my darlings, this fellow was going to instruct me on economics. He was going to tell me why we really didn’t have almonds. Strange to relate, supply and demand weren’t the mainstays of his lecture.

“It’s because they know people want ‘em!” This old Nazi collaborator snapped.

“Oh?” I asked, with an air that invited more. You see, I treat every interaction with a customer the way hostage negotiators treat the nut with the AK-47. Always friendly, never contradictory, keep them talking, keep them thinking your on their side. Right now, keeping him talking seemed the wisest choice of action.

“You see, they put them on sale because they know they won’t have ‘em.” The man explained. “They know people want ‘em, so they don’t send you any. See, they don’t want people to be able to buy almonds.”

Now, I try to be reasonable. I don’t just tell people they’re idiots when they rant about how Obama is a French Canadian Presbyterian terrorist. I listen with attention when someone explains that it’s okay for the pope to rape children because he’s infallible and as such what he’s doing to kids can’t be rape. I even try to follow along when someone tells me that Bachman-Turner Overdrive woman was right to say we should open our embassies in Iran that we closed them in 1980 just so we can close them again. This had me stymied for a moment, because you can’t show your obvious contempt for the terrorist according to the negotiator’s rules.

Oh, and he wasn’t done.

“It’s a conspiracy!” He claimed, and I deserve a medal for valor, strength and extreme sexiness for not busting out laughing. “They want to keep people from being able to buy these almonds at the low price, they’ll only send you almonds after they jack up the price. That’s how it works, they keep the almonds from the people, see?”

Because that’s how a store works. You know people want to buy something, so you don’t sell it to them, right? I swear to god, at any moment I thought he was going to bring the Jews into it. He was very much the type and I’m not giving anything like the full rant here because trying to follow that rabbit hole would be never coming back without the help of some serious mushrooms. I could just hear him though, telling me that the Jews were working hard to keep almonds out of the hands of decent Americans who only want a fair shake and could have one if that Obama wasn’t hiding his learner’s permit from the white man! He kept going on though, never quite getting to the point of insinuating exactly who they were or why they were so enamored of jerking the chain of those who just wanted a can of almonds. All I know is that Almonds = SRS BSNS!

I mulled over my options, including just going all John Rambo and doing the guy in with a glass bottle of planter’s sitting next to my hand. I could sully my blade, but it’s a small knife and I would have to really work at it to finish him off, and I like a quick kill. Instead of blood shed, I went with the most honest answer I could come up with that might mean everyone got to go home alive.

“Well,” I said, choosing my words carefully, “Our truck is going to arrive in a few minutes. If you come back this afternoon, I’m sure there will be more almonds on it.”

“We’ll see.” He screwed up his face and squinted one eye at me. “We’ll see at that.”

And so the old man left the store, deprived of his almonds because They were keeping them from him. The truck came, I went to help unload it, and what do you suppose was on the truck? What do you suppose was one of the first things I stocked? A boat load of ALMONDS! Because they knew we’d had them on sale and they knew we sell a lot of them and they knew we needed more of them. I raised my fist in solidarity with my brothers, the ones who had brought the almonds.

Almonds for The People!

But you have to hurry, sale ends tonight.

January 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment