Saturday, September 15, 2012

Guilty Cantaloupe

Yesterday I received a voicemail on my home phone from Smith's Grocery store. They were informing me of a recall on whole cantaloupes purchased between August 29 and September 8. Indeed, I purchased such a cantaloupe. And indeed I already ate it! The voicemail was as heartwarming as a death knell could be - they politely thanked me for being a loyal customer and using my Smith's Rewards card so that they were easily able to contact me, knowing I had purchased the tainted fruit.

Those who know me know that I am calm, slow to react, and completely rational in every circumstance. So I didn't immediately start feeling as if I had Hepatitis A. Not at all. The kind recall notifier person left a phone number to call "if I had any questions." Side note: it was a number with a 559 area code, which I recognize as a California Central Valley area code (I used to live there). I suppose it was the direct number to the cantaloupe farm.* This was Smith's way of making the farmer be accountable to the people his cantaloupe may have infected.* Of course I called the number. I wanted to determine exactly how long I had. It was busy.

I stopped in to Smith's today for a few groceries, mainly produce. (This should strike you as funny.) At the checkout, Big Brother (I jest! I jest!) asked, "Did you receive our recall notice?" I wanted to say, "Yes! Who wants my doctor bill?" but I didn't. When the manager had to be called over to clear the register of the "verify-customer-has-received-the-recall-notice" warning, I asked why the cantaloupe was recalled. They "don't know." They are "awaiting an email." It will be nice to know I have not contracted any terrible virus so I can tell you I am safe to be around. Checker guy proceeded to tell me it's always the American fruit that gets recalled. "Bad water,"* he said, which will give my husband an aneurism* since he is a water infrastructure engineer and all.

This chatty checker guy proceeded to tell me that his grandparents had come to America from Germany to find a better life. But now he is attempting to go back to Germany for the same reason they had come! He made a reference to the challenges of being a grocery store checker. Things are tough all over.* Try being a cantaloupe farmer.

*pure conjecture
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