Of Cabbages and Kings
On my morning walk today, I wandered past the local Jewel grocery story and decided to go in and pick up a few supplies. In pretty much every grocery store in the world, if there's some item they're trying to push or have on special sale as a loss-leader, they'll have it jammed in your face, right up front, almost immediately as you walk in. And sure enough, they did here. But it had me scratching my head.
In all my years walking into grocery stores, I can't remember seeing any manner of fruit or vegetable in that "loss-leader" come on spot of honor. Maybe there has been, and I just don't remember it -- but I most certainly don't remember ever seeing this: a bin overloaded with...cabbages.
Cabbages? So "in your face" that if you weren't paying close attention, you'd ram into them, knock the container over and send them sprawling and rolling across the floor. They were nice looking cabbages, I must say, big, leafy, rich green, but still... cabbages. And just 9-cents a pounds. It seems like a fine price. But why on earth would a grocery story try to attract its customers with cabbages??!
And then I realized.
It's March 14. I'm in Chicago. St. Patrick's Day is in three days. Of course, cabbages! They probably sell more cabbages this week than all the rest of the year combined.
As I've mentioned, they take St. Patrick's Day very seriously in Chicago. They always have, but most especially since the first Mayor Daley was in office. That's when they started dying the Chicago River green for the holiday. (The local joke was always, "Are you sure that the Chicago River was dyed green, and that's not just its natural color?" But no, dyed it was.)
In fact, when the Obamas moved into the White House, they offered up an homage to their Chicago roots and dyed the water for White House fountain green.
St. Patrick's Day in Chicago is almost a spiritual experience. Grocery stores probably sell more cabbages this week than they do all the rest of the year combined. You see more "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" buttons here than there are residents of Dublln.
So, cabbages in the direct front of the grocery store makes perfect sense here, this time of year of all times. I'll have to check with the elves back home to make sure they stock up the refrigerator, as well. Just don't dye the bathtub green.
Leave a Reply.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor