Market Basket

I’m at the deli line at Market Basket when I remember, again, that the deli line here is like the noontime rush at the DMV where four clerks have called in sick and the other two are talking about their boyfriends. You have to really, really want that cheese. I’m doing deep breathing exercises when a disheveled starts shouting and flailing his arms.

“What the f*#$%! There’s no chicken salad? There’s no chicken salad! Jesus Christ!” (grumble, grumble, grumble)

The deli guy eyes me; we try not to laugh.

“I can’t believe this! What the hell? No chicken salad??”

Grumbling continues with much profanity. He’s obnoxious, but I sympathize. When my number is called, after every last family has ordered four pounds each of ham, bologna, American cheese, and liverwurst, so help them God if they’re out of cheese.

And then my number is called and I feel like I’ve won the lottery until a linebacker tries to cut me, but I’m not having it and I use my chicken salad voice to order.

“Can I get ten slices of Muenster, please?” I ask the deli guy, who’s unfazed by the chicken salad outburst.

“You want ten slices?”

“Yes, please.”

“How about ten slices?”

“Um,” I say, catching on. “Actually, make it ten slices.”

“Here’s your eight slices, honey” he says.

“Oh, can I get them in all different thicknesses, please?”

I look over and crazy guy is still yelling about the chicken salad.

This never happens at Whole Foods.

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