Monday, March 21, 2011
A Tale of Two Tickets.
I think I must be in a small social minority, or at least a person who tells the truth as opposed to hiding behind snobbish facades, when I say that I actually like King Kullen, the profligate Long Island supermarket which (correctly, it seems) brands itself as the first of such a kind. And we have one in Bridgehampton.
This is a place I visit almost every other day, as there is always something to pick up for even the best planned dinner. Salad leaf, fingerling potatoes, garlic, Tums. That sort of thing. And a place in which I meet so many people. Parishioners, friends, so many of the store staff members who have become allies over the years. In fact I meet up with someone and have an interesting conversation almost every time I go grocery shopping. Except today. Today I was a simple observer.
I was in a short line (that’s American for the British word, queue, which is actually French) at the delicatessen counter, with meats and cheeses on my list. It was yet another sign of spring, and the increase in custom, that for the first time since Christmas we had to “Take a Number” from the dispenser and wait our turn. My ticket was A27.
Ticket A25 was a construction worker who, with his two large and happy friends, was ordering his, and their, luncheon sandwiches. Three huge productions, worthy of the word “construction!” They were men who could be best describes as Long Island Italian. A certain look with certain gestures. The best! And for those of you who haven’t met such people let me tell you that they are a wonderful stratum of this American melting pot, with kind and expressive personalities. And humor. And courtesy. They weren’t from around here, but they treated the woman who served them with respect. You want mayo? Yes ma’am. Mustard? No Ma’am. And a smiling thank-you as the foot-long rolls were handed over.
Ticket A26 was also not from around here, and not Long Island Italian. She and her friend were highly perfumed, wearing (I assumed) the most wonderful designer labels, and a great deal of (clearly) expensive jewelry. Both of their faces, lifted, not only to the top of the deli counter but in other, more surgical ways, were impassive as they asked for… whatever. The first slice was too thick. The second was questioned. Are you sure that’s beef? And the cultural deal was clinched when the potato salad turned out to be tossed in regular mayonnaise, and not low-fat. And the question was asked of the wonderful server: And they actually pay you to work here?
A tale of two tickets. Or is it one of two tribes? I will let the reader decide. And as for ticket A27? What will they write about him?
Posted by Tim Lewis at 9:05 PM