Guest Blog from The Letter L
Today I am featuring a guest blog from my friend, lovingly referred to as “The Letter L.” Enjoy her poppin’ fresh flava!
The other night I came home from work equal parts cranky and hungry. Now, my dinnertime cranky to hungry ratio is often the sole determining factor in my evening food choice. If I’m hungry but not particularly cranky, I can often be found snacking on baby carrots while assembling a nutritionally balanced and visually appealing culinary masterpiece. If I’m cranky but not hungry…well, sometimes dinner needs to be a shot of Jack and a nap.
But, as I said, I was equal parts cranky and hungry. That calls for something tasty that doesn’t really take effort. An egg sandwich, I decided, with egg and spinach and feta cheese. And I had just the bread to put it on: Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats. I highly recommend Deli Flats. They are delicious, come in several good-for-you varieties, and are a mere 100 calories. I like them for burgers and sandwiches, and I hear tell that your devoted blogger likes them toasted for breakfast.
Furthermore, Deli Flats were on-sale at Shaw’s about a week ago, so I knew I had grabbed a pack to stash. I put the egg on nice and low, washed a handful of baby spinach, and turned my attention to rooting out the bread from my pantry. I located the bag and undid the twist tie, only to find something that stopped me cold.
There. was. a. bite. missing. Someone, somewhere had already taken a bite from my precious bread. Not only had they removed the bread from the bag and taken a bite, they put the violated piece back in the bag! My eyes darted around, looking for evidence of a hidden camera, a bread-eating intruder, or, maybe, a sign that one of my roommates had finally cracked. No dice.
And that was how M found me, looking accusingly at the kitchen walls. I explained my crisis between huffs of incredulous laughter. M shook her head and motioned for me to hand the bag over.
‘There’s your problem,” she said. She pointed to the corner of the package, where a large orange sticker proclaimed “TRY ME!”
“Someone thought this was a free sample?” I scoffed, “They just grabbed it from the shelf, took a bite, and put it back?”
Clearly, there was no alternative. Scrutiny of the bite mark told me the culprit was an adult, so I couldn’t write it off as kids being adorably literal. Both M and I tried to come up with scenarios where an adult, presumably an adult capable of grocery shopping, would take a TRY ME sticker as an invitation. “Try me? Heck yeah, I will! Free bread! Shaw’s ROCKS!”
As our scenarios started sounding somehow both more ridiculous and more plausible, I decided to return the bread. I didn’t care much about a refund; I certainly got $3.00 worth of amusement. I just wanted to see the manager’s face…and, of course, do my part to make sure these misleading stickers are not used again. M volunteered as a sidekick. Her duties, she explained, would be to laugh. Also, if a fracas broke out at the Customer Service desk, she envisioned herself throwing a punch and shouting “Pepperidge Farm Remembers, BITCH!”
And so, the next night, M and I met at the grocery store. I put on a bright smile as I approached a teenaged employee. Apparently, my smile wasn’t enough reassurance, because when I asked to see the manager, the color drained from his face. He dutifully paged the on-call manager and started shifting from foot to foot. Another employee tried to step in, but he mumbled, “She, uh, said…umm, ah, she wanted to, uh, speak with the, uh, manager.”
“Oh, I don’t mind showing you,” I enthused. The kid looked marginally less miserable. By the time I had explained and produced the evidence, he was grinning. The manager approached, looking harassed, and I explained again.
“So I guess someone took the TRY ME sticker literally,” I finished. M, the kid, and I were grinning, and I was all but doing jazz hands to signal my wacky conclusion. The manager didn’t even crack a smile. She just squinted at my bread. Tough crowd.
She instructed the kid to refund my money, which was nice enough of her. After one last frown at the bread, she muttered, “You think you’ve seen everything…” and stalked off. The kid passed me some paperwork to sign. Yes, I actually had to sign and date an official document because someone bit my bread. I informed the kid I’d let him fill in the “Reason for Return” section. He handed over my $3.00 and a long receipt, which meant more trees died because someone was dumb enough to take a bite out of bread.
In any case, I got my money back and a good story to tell. All is right with the world. I am writing here as a cautionary tale to you loyal readers, however. When you are shopping for your delicious bentos and other lunchtime treats, take an extra moment to do a sticker check. The bread you save might be your own.