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Ghetto Grocer #7
Three Food Stamp Case Studies from October 2013
© 2013 James LaFond
NOV/23/13
Yesterday I stopped in to see Bubba [his real name] and asked him if he had any Ghetto Grocer news for me. He informed me that life behind the register had been uneventful this month, but that last month he had two extreme back-to-back food stamp customers. So, just in case you want to know what is being done with some of your tax dollars, here are two examples from either end of the very broad spectrum of people who are on the American version of the ancient Roman ‘bread dole.’ And we have something special sandwiched in between these two nightmare grocery orders.
“First, there is this black couple, an older man and his daughter, who has the card. They also have a number of WIC vouchers. They have a book with the pictures and descriptions of the products. I have the same booklet. Good to go. But no, he wants Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Can’t have it. He wants it. He wants to argue about it. Five minutes that I’ll never get back. Finally, they settle on something that is actually in the booklet.
“First off, they have this accent like they were living under the influence of some goofy-ass tribe. Off they go to get their thirty-six ounces of unsweetened cereal—shredded wheat I think. They’re back with more 12 ounce boxes of sweetened cereal. I explained to them that the 18 ounce boxes of unsweetened cereal are clearly marked with green tags on the shelf. He then insists that they cannot get two 18 ounce boxes of cereal because that would exceed 36 ounces! They should issue a tazer with this job!
“I voided the check and they stormed out, griping about peanut butter or something.
“Then comes Miss Snow Bunny: skanky white chick with seven mixed kids, a five hundred dollar order and a thousand dollar balance, just skanking out kids for money. Three carts every time—fruit punch, cookies, chips, soda…”
“Right behind them comes this family: white, mom, dad, two girls—twelve maybe—and this bratty kid, ten I guess. They’re well dressed. I ring out their order while the girls are hanging over the register saying, ‘Don’t mess up!’, ‘Don’t make any mistakes!’ ‘You don’t want to get fired!’
“Typical spoiled rich kids. The boy was quiet, looked like he tortured and killed small animals. These people are dressed well—thirty-five to forty. The order came to five-hundred-sixty-two and change. They have a fifteen-hundred dollar balance! There are some paper products that aren’t stampable, so dad breaks out his money roll and peels off a twenty. He had to have a thousand dollars in that roll! The best part, was when I went out to rack their cart, which of course they were too lazy to rack, and I see them pulling off in the new black Escalade!”
“What can I say? That’s America!”
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Charles M     Nov 23, 2013

Somehow I get a sadistic tingle of joy every time I see someone trashy buying junk food. It's like they're pulling the trigger so I don't have to. Eat up y'all!
James     Nov 23, 2013

And The Ghetto Grocer says cha-ching!

I used to work for an old guy who came around every 5th day of the month to make sure I had the Banquet 'gravy with Salisbury steak' loaded for the foodstampers. One day, he surveyed the entire pallet load of frozen entrees I had managed to jam into the 'coffin case' [we also called them 'bunkers' and 'wells'] and grinned, "That's right Jimmy boy, load it up. They think it's meat!"
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