Think this peek at a Dow summit portends a healthy economy? Don’t hold your breath. I got a giant dose of reality today and it didn’t taste good. In fact, it didn’t taste like anything at all.
I drove to Whole Foods after ceramics class, hungry for those little rounds of cocktail toasts with pate and cheese. In other words, hungry for some free finger food. I was fairly bouncing up and down in the driver’s seat, mentally organizing my meal -- hit hors d’oeuvres first, move on to a meat course, finish with hazelnut chocolate and a thimble of coffee.
Three fruitless runs through each aisle convinced me our salad days are over. Our fruit and our salad and our shrimp and our gooseliver and liverwort cheese days. Gone.
Whole Foods has closed the all-you-can-eat-for-free daily buffet, i.e., they no longer have unmanned sample kiosks. They barely have any sample kiosks at all. God, I was there just two years ago for an 8-course Thanksgiving dinner.
I finally found a kiosk, but it was guarded by five hatchet-faced employees dispensing Dixie cups that rattled with one walnut and five peanuts. How low can you go. Whole Trader Joe’s Food samples. Next thing they’ll be giving you is the rind end of an old chicken sausage doused in expired marinara sauce.
Probably, some responsibility should be laid at the doorstep of people like me. One time Whole Foods had a snack table of aged cheddar, curried artichokes, and pumpernickel. I tried to play it cool, and every fifteen minutes took a walkabout, me and my mouthful of goodness, over to dairy and studied the goat milk display. But no one, not even the security camera, was fooled. Finally they played the hook music you hear at the Oscars, so I picked up a couple of apples over at produce and made my way to the check stand.
What falls next? The cocktail wieners at Bristol Farms?
This was so disheartening, I dragged the county extension agent out to read our economic barometer. Look at that banana plant; look at that face. Recovery and curried artichokes are years away.