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Thursday, May 14, 2020


The "steak shopping" scene from PINK FLAMINGOS (1972).

I just got back from stepping out to pick up a prescription, and as I exited my building I saw the younger manager of the Associated supermarket around the corner running full-tilt down my block toward 4th Avenue, with a beefy staff member who could not keep pace hot on his heels. I put it pout of my head as I made my way to the chemists shop, and upon picking up my prescription I made my way back here but stopped into the Associated first for some seltzer. When I entered I noticed two NYPD officers, clipboards for taking notes in hand, conferring with the manager who'd hauled ass past my building.

Being a regular anywhere for nearly 24 years allows one a certain amount of access to the behind-the-scenes skinny, so when I hit the checkout counter I asked the cashier, whom I am friendly with, what was up. She described the situation thusly:

"What happened was this big woman in a hat, lookin' like a man — I think she was a dyke — came to me with a stack of steaks and asked about our return policy. I told her that without receipts we don't take back meats, so she looked at me and snarled 'So, I'm stuck with these steaks???' and with that she walked out with the steaks. So basically she chose some of our most expensive steaks, came up to me, and tricked me into thinking she was an actual customer. Alex (the manager) chased her all the way down to the R train, but she got on and he missed her by like a second."

I suppose I should not be surprised that this sort of thing goes on, but is it just me or is that move incredibly selfish? While the managers at the Associated treat the staff very well and understand when this kind of shit happens, that same kindness might not be exhibited at other NYC supermarkets, and losing high-end goods, especially during a time of crisis, could easily get an innocent cashier fired and cut loose into the nightmare that is the current unemployment maelstrom. Douchebaggery.

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