Tuesday, March 17, 2015
It's a truth universally acknowledged that if you're not Irish or Catholic or living in Chicago, the local supermarket flyer is your only official St. Patrick's Day alert.
That this week caught me flat-footed, without so much as a cabbage to my name, I blame entirely on Ralphs.
St. Patrick's Day, historically, requires a circular featuring corned beef and cabbage at half price, plus a damned good discount on potatoes and Irish Whiskey, with clip-art of winking midgets and pots of gold in every corner.
So what's in this week's ad? Salmon and turkey burgers.
On this day of all days, no discount on Irish products? That's either a sin of omission (doubt it), or a shot fired across the bow.
I suspect a hidden agenda and a war on St. Patrick's Day. (Who owns Ralphs these days, anyway. Ever wonder? Not Ralph O'Toole, I'll tell you that much.)
If you're one of those people who choose to see the best in others, bury your head in the sand, then I have a story that may change your mind. When I visited Ralphs this morning, slapped down a side of Kielbasa (which sort of tastes like corned beef if you close your eyes, plus it's 30% off until Wednesday), the clerk had the nerve to say, "Happy Holiday."
And that's when I realized enough was enough. Time to take a stand. I leaned across the counter, grabbed her by the smock, looked her straight in the eye and growled, "That would be St. Patrick's Day to you, ma'am."
We all have our moments of heroism, I truly believe that. And though the people in line behind me said nothing, they looked stunned and amazed. I felt their tacit though timid support, and that was enough.