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Ghetto Grocer #5
Foodstampable: Will The State Subsidize Your Party


How do food stamps work?

These are no longer the paper food coupons of old. But in retail food—and in the benighted ghetto!—we yet name them so. We are talking about an ‘EBT’ or ‘independence’ card that will have a ‘cash side’ and a ‘food side’. The cash may be taken out at the supermarket or other State money laundering operation and used to buy cocaine, heroin, crack, booze, lottery tickets, cigarettes, unregistered handguns, and all the other necessities of modern urban living.

When we talk about ‘food stamps’ these days we are discussing the ‘food side’. In Maryland this money is distributed through The Department of Social Services. Depending on your need, your greed, and how well-placed your relatives are within The Department of Social Services, you: our humble hypothetical ghettoite, will receive between $16 and $1,600 in ‘food side’ largesse. Now how may you spend this money?

If you are a dopefiend you simply lend the card and your pin number to a citizen in return for roughly half the cash. So, while your cash side money gets you face value dope, the food side money only gets you half the face value worth of dope.

Let’s say you actually wish to dine rather than join the greater deluded society in its fitful slumber. What might you, Joe Ghetto, buy?

It is easier to note what you may not buy: anything that you cannot eat [or is not intended to be eaten by you] such as detergents, paper products, pet food, etc.; and any prepared foods that are purchased hot [They must be hot. If the retailer cooks it and then refrigerates it, you can buy it with your stamps. The State just does not want their money going to foodservice labor. They want you to at least have to heat the stuff up.]

Any other edible item is kosher on the State level. Even items such as candy and sodas, which have bottle and sin taxes leveled on them, are foodstampable. And, the best part is, you don’t have to pay these taxes. Only that dumbass waiting in line behind you, who is actually working, has to pay bottle and snack taxes.

You are good to go. Now, before you head out to the local ghetto grocer’s to begin wisely spending your lump sum of monthly food dollars, let me introduce your cashier: Queen Fo’ Real. Queen is her real made-up-by-mamma ghetto name. The Fo’ Real sobriquet she added herself, as an indication that she can be expected to ‘tell it like it be!’

Queen Fo’ Real is a cashier at Fort Hoodrat, who I met at the bar complaining of having ‘T-Rex arms’ from ‘ringing up all them damn sodas en juices.’

Now that you too, Joe Ghetto, are one of the legions of ever-widening foodstampers let her tell it like it be:

“Stamps come out between the sixth en the sixteenth. I see so many fat people I don’t even know what fat is anymore. Muffin top shit! Try a wedding cake top! Just yesterday there was this ghetto bitch in there giving her mother grief for using her food stamp card. You know the mother was buying food for the children while this bitch wanted to get high. The police won’t come in on that shit. Security leaves same family female stuff alone. So after an hour of, ‘Bitch this, bitch that’, grandma came up in there and settled things.”

“Security runs six-five three-fifty, at least; big muvs, one bigger than the other. Those little white junkies don’t play that NFL shit with these boys. They are up for it, can’t wait to tackle someone on the tile. There is very little theft. The only ones that ever fight are the females—straight up ghetto brawling bitches. The stupidest one was the skinny white boy junky who tried to steal a gallon of Tide. He was shittin’ when Big Boy grabbed his ass and his feet couldn’t even touch the ground to run. So many of the males are on parole, and have their parole I.D. on them, that they are all terrified of security.”

“We had this one loser working in seafood who beat the shit out of his old lady. When the cops came for him he ran, and Big Boy took him down—hard! Shit, the cops didn’t even get in the way—boom! These boys get bonuses for apprehensions. You do not want them to see you running.”

“The largest order I rung up this week was six-hundred and thirty four dollars. She also had the largest remaining balance: eight-hundred and something. The typical order is three-hundred plus. We’re talking about heaps of heavy shit. Who the fuck buys twenty-five pounds of sugar! I pick up so much of that shit I like to die. Who buys twenty-five pounds of sugar—a whole lot of people that’s who!”

And don’t think those bitches can’t count. They might not be able to work, but they sure as hell can count. Shit don’t look right, shit don’t smell right, shit don’t add up, they’re commin’ back! They might not pay for their food but don’t try to take a fried chicken leg out of their hand! A penny, nickel, a dime, a quarter—and they are up in your ass! Back in the day, when they had to pay the bottle tax, this one bitch left her whole order of meat and everything sit in the lane and walked out, over having to pay seven cents in bottle tax. That’s how people are when they don’t have to work. They don’t care about anything, not even feeding their babies.”

As Queen regaled me with food stamp war stories I looked to my left out the bar door and saw two very rotund women, each carrying a stack of pizza boxes away from the pizzeria. They seemed serious, like people on a mission.

Queen finished off the interview by giving me a top-ten list of most rung items at her register for this, the foodstamp week of 9/9/13 to 9/14/13:

1. Chicken, mostly by the 40 pound box

2. Pork, mostly chops in family packs

3. Fresh turkey wings

4. Canned collard greens

5. Smoked turkey parts [used to season the greens]

6. Frozen whiting fillets in a 5 pound bag

7. Dollar-priced beverages in 16 ounce bottles [usually in 1 to 4 case lots]

8. Dollar-priced snacks [chips, popcorn, cheese curls]

9. Ramen noodles

10. Dollar-priced frozen pizzas, entrees and sandwiches

As a cashier in Baltimore County in 2010 my most memorable food stamp order was purchased by an immensely fat white girl of about 18 years, who had a morbidly obese teddy bear drone with her. They purchased 37 dollars and some change worth of 50-cent snacks bags, heavy on the fake onion rings, along with a few bottles of Mountain Dew. In most cases, when the female food stamper runs out of money or has to pay for taxable purchases, the male drone produces a knot roll of twenty dollar bills and pays the balance.

This is just one of many ways in which State food subsidies seem inextricably linked to the cash drug culture. From the anecdotal evidence I have sifted it seems that black ghetto food stampers generally make healthier purchases than white suburban food stampers. Of course, there can be no urban-to-urban racial food purchase comparison, since poor urban whites don’t appear to eat, but just bang drugs and drink booze.

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