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November 13, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Fowl play. Cuff ’em

Water bird in enjoying warmth of flow through culvert (© image: copyrighted. all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

“Well, it is waterfront with a balcony of sorts and eco friendly using passive solar heat. Guess the write-up was accurate-ish” Local guy enjoying sunny shelter on a chilly morning in a water flow through channel outlet. (© image)

Had to be some sort of – destroy your day – plot.

The chaos of the parking lot should have been the first clue.

The mob inside were those people-on-a-mission-get-out-of-the-way- how-inconsiderate-of-you-not-a-regular-without-an-established-route-and-no-clue-where-anything-is-yet-here-you-are-slowing-us-down.

You know those people. They are BUSY.

You almost feel like you should apologize for setting foot in their grocery store domain.

The glares would have been worse if we’d had a cart, but only after one thing, a small smoked turkey, we were pretty nimble.

Only optimists would not consider an entire length of meat freezers being emptied as a warning.

But at least the meat guy pointed where the remaining smoked turkeys were in hiding. There were four – must have been identical quads at birth as they were so similar in shape and weight…Weight…which was not marked.

How the heck are you supposed to know not only if it’ll be big enough, but not too big, but also how long to reheat as determined by weight.

And there was no price tag or sign on the freezer space.

Dodging through the bumper carts we located counter people with butcher sea food department coats on – and a scale. Living naively on false hopes and assumptions.

We determined weight, but no price per pound. Counter help was none.

Yet with confidence they said, “It has a bar code. That’ll tell the checker everything they need to know.”

Dashed to the registers.  Sprinted to the smallest line. (Hey, everyone knows those old ladies in the motorized carts in front of you are speed devils!)

Happily watched our frozen turkey conveyor belt its’ way to the finish line only to be crushed…well, it’s frozen, but anything bounce around enough will become smushed like our expectations.

The rest short and sweet:

Checker saw no price and pointed to the back.

Nope. Been there, done that. We pointed to the bar code tag.

Shoppers behind us who though they’d lucked into a short quick exit turned sour.

When the bar code refused to give up any secrets, it was “Meat Counter” (even though we said the seafood guy had said that ship had sailed).

Then, “Billy, register 6 please”. (Billy. Probably code for “maybe they will leave if the wait seems indefinite”)

The Manager (Really? Him? Must be the weekend sub.) was flustered – grabbed the turkey’s mesh handle and helplessly waved it around like a concrete balloon.

He asked the bag kid, who had just been told to assist the old lady in the cart with her 4 new packs of cigarettes and groceries out to her car, to run to the back and ask about the price. Cart lady wins over people stubbornly trying to buy turkey. (We tried “Let’s make a deal…”)

Another bagger was drafted.   He reluctantly grabbed the turkey’s mesh loop handle and slowly saunter off like a kid swinging an Easter basket.

The line groaned.

We were moved to the end of the counter into the swarm of shoppers trying to escape.

I started wondering just how many times had that once frozen turkey flown and bounced from freezer to checker and back again for other shoppers.

The kid came back, tossed the fowl lump onto the counter at a different checker, and ran away.

Yeah, we left.

Maybe steak for Thanksgiving.

Cuff ’em? Oh, “Cuffing” is something of a current holiday trend involving a different sort of turkey. It begins Nov 1 and lasts all the way until to Valentines Day.

Here’s the deal: apparently singles are frantically trying to tie up and secure a significant other so they won’t be alone for the holidays, so they will have someone to show off haul around to parties and family gatherings, and so they will have someone to get gifts from buy gifts for.

Having arm candy is apparently derigueur for the holiday social media/FaceBook season these days.

After Valentines, it’s unlock and time to cruise off into the sunset …to find that new summer love.

A little creepy to me….the analogy to handcuffs and all…

Turkey of a deal.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Energetic weed waving in the middle of a neatly trimmed landscaped bush. (© image : copyrighted, all rights reserved, No permissions granted)

Sometimes I wonder if this neatly groomed landscaped bush ever feels like Clark Griswold did in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie when scruffy, broke Cousin Eddie showed up unannounced and without being invited in that broken down RV.  Oh well, a relative. Sometimes you have to be tolerant.(© image)





  1. easyweimaraner / Nov 13 2019 6:44 am

    this way of shopping is literally walking the line like johnny cash said LOL (and his name fits too)

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2019 8:21 am

      The days of small little stores was so much more friendly – maybe not so many products/choices, but people smiled. thanks for the hilarious and astute observation during “Tis the season of snarling shoppers”!.


  2. Kate Crimmins / Nov 13 2019 6:56 am

    I’ve had these experiences. Now if it isn’t priced, I don’t buy it. It’s bad enough waiting at the checkout for someone to figure it out but the attitude flung at you is not holiday-like at all. I had to laugh about the flinging. My husband loves bananas. He buys often and has learned that they are delicate. They bruise easily and mush up. Many packers don’t know that after all, it’s a thick skin. He has come home with some that browned on the short drive. Now he’s neurotic at the checkout handling them delicately as if they were newborns. Gotta love when a guy figures it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2019 8:27 am

      This isn’t our normal store, but the company website said they had them…so to save time….Grrrr. They want everyone to use their websites, but by golly their checkers/manager won’t (It was much longer ordeal, but reliving it…shudder).
      I commiserate about the bananas…soft just out fresh bread can easily become a victim, too. Have been known to help the sackers – out of self preservation for food. Things are too darn expensive to lose to dunderheaded actions HaHa
      Good news is our local place got a shipment of smaller fresh turkeys so cheers!
      Thanks for lining yup a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  3. susielindau / Nov 13 2019 7:39 am

    You reminded me to order my fresh turkey! I’m always afraid a frozen bird won’t thaw out in time. Almost killed my mother-in-law one year. Oopsy!
    I hadn’t heard of cuffing for the holidays but can see how going dateless to holiday parties might be awkward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2019 8:12 am

      With the sudden change of plans, I was afraid all the fresh turkeys had flown the coop – but HA! Happened to be at the right place at the right time as a different place was a stacking in their allotment. Whew. Guessing with frozen is always tricky.
      Thanks for stuffing in a tasty comment. (And congrats on piling up the novel word count so quickly!)


  4. sustainabilitea / Nov 13 2019 7:46 am

    Grocery stores can be some of the most dangerous and irritating places in the world outside of streets and highways…although strictly speaking, the streets and highways are outside the stores. And parking lots are another dangerous place. But things without prices!! Grrrr! You can’t just tell a cashier the price of an item either, because it has to be entered by name. Then you get home and all your fruit has little identification stickers on which don’t want to come off without taking their bit of fruit skin along. I. also don’t like vendors at farmers’ markets who don’t price their items. If I ask and then don’t buy, I always feel they find me cheap. Sigh.But I digress. I hope your Wednesday is less frustrating that your trip to the grocery store.


    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2019 11:22 am

      There seriousness of the shoppers is really funny.
      Here, the checkers scan bar codes for everything except a bit of leafy produce. They are deer in the headlights if something doesn’t scan. (“What? I have to think, analyze, and draw logical conclusions?” That wasn’t in the job description…except with some of the older ones – we try to go to them…but the secret is out…)
      Stumbled in when a store was just unloading their fresh smoked turkey allotment – Bingo! On to greater – or at least more entertaining things. If possible I’ll stay out of parking lots/stores for the duration. Thanks for parking a comment here


  5. Curt Mekemson / Nov 13 2019 9:05 am

    Oh no. It’s that time of the year again. Time to go into hiding and not come out until January 5th!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2019 11:26 am

      Seriously – it’s a frenzy driven by merchants’ dreams. They actually had the Galleria tree lighting “ceremony”/show last weekend. Gads. People have Christmas lights up (the HOAs are furious and writing take-down letters)
      All I can say is people are desperately trying to find a little joy among all the politics and debates (click). Jingle is not such a bad thing? (but no, no Christmas music on here – I hear radio stations are already jumping on it). Wander out into the wilderness – save yourself! Thanks for tracking back to here


      • Curt Mekemson / Nov 15 2019 11:18 am

        The wilderness sounds like a wonderful alternative! –Curt


  6. Ally Bean / Nov 13 2019 10:45 am

    When I see those large frozen birds in the cases I wonder how frozen they really are? I don’t care for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, so no turkey sounds perfect to me. Lasagne makes for a nice meal…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2019 11:30 am

      Frozen can be iffy…especially if there’s been issues with the display coolers…or turkeys have been touring the stores without refrigeration.
      We prefer a simple Thanksgiving – turkey and a small batch of dressing with salad and fresh veggies…maybe Brussel sprouts this year – depends on what looks good at the time. Lasagne is definitely a winner very shortly after Thanksgiving! Maybe it’ll be cold and I’ll feel like warming up the house by cooking? HaHa
      Thanks for dishing out a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  7. shoreacres / Nov 13 2019 4:17 pm

    Let’s put it this way — not all the turkeys are in the display cases. This time of year, I start always going to Arlan’s on NASA Rd I. They have some kind of magic over there that keeps all of the checkers and stockers friendly and cheerful, even through the holiday season. It’s wonderful.

    I laughed at your description of getting sent to the end of the line. With luck, neither of us will have to endure a line for the rest of the season. I’m really looking forward to Advent this year. It’s a lovely antidote to the craziness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2019 6:11 pm

      People always laugh at me, but I usually have all the presents bought and holiday chores done early in November – so I can relax and enjoy the season. Quiet and peace instead of malls and loosing a piece of mind. Bring on the jingle and fireplaces
      Thanks for stocking some smiles!


  8. Beth / Nov 16 2019 4:49 pm

    I love my little HEB who when flummoxed by lack of info have cut deals at the register to get me to move on. It’s a shame the manager didn’t bargain with you all for a reasonable price per pound.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 20 2019 5:49 pm

      This was not my normal HEB (which is fabulous – that place hires such great people and does such a serious job of training new employees.). I had been to this one once – a couple of years ago – and swore I’d never go back…but they had the turkeys on their website and mine didn’t. Astounding how different the two stores are – and how confused the manager was. Crossing that place off my list permanently. (Found turkey – yea!!!)
      Thanks for baking up a comment to leave


  9. RKLikesReeses / Nov 19 2019 8:20 am

    Wow! Those turkeys should’ve fully labelled & priced! That’s awful!! And parking lots are HORRIBLE. (((hugs))) Groceries can be high stress zones! It’s the frenzied hordes & the people who stop in aisles & block what others want to see JUST to chitchat (on their phones or in person) that bother me. You’ve made me think about pricing – it’s been years since I’ve had that happen. But whenever there’s a sales hiccup it’s addressed fast. Still, I’m hoping to stock up soon & stay home as much as possible. ::waves:: 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 20 2019 5:58 pm

      Normally I haunt the grocery store during hours when others are busy – got the route mapped out. But the approaching holidays have all the feast foods and fixins’ relocated “for easy shopping” but it[‘s not – nothing is where it’s supposed to be. Arrrrgh. People are having to search and bounce from aisle to aisle. Luckily the staff is alert and very quick to help locate items for you…the oddest thing – with all the people taking advantage of curb-side or free home delivery, there’s all the big moving shelf racks being pulled through the stores – avoidance tactics required…and they always stop right across the item on the shelf you want. (but then again, those grocery pullers know where everything is – so they can direct you if necessary)
      I’ll have to make one more run for fresh produce, but then it’s close the drawbridge and stay home.
      Paw waves to the Princesses. (Bob sends a nod. He’s thinking…someday he’ll share…)
      Thanks for shopping some ideas here

      Liked by 1 person

      • RKLikesReeses / Nov 21 2019 4:18 am

        Ahhh, Bob. We all ❤️ Bob. 😁😁😁


  10. RKLikesReeses / Nov 19 2019 8:26 am

    Btw – I lovelovelove the top photo. ::applause::

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 20 2019 5:51 pm

      That little inlet/backwater has its’ own little eco system. The local residents get annoyed when tourist birds stop in for the night. THere’s always something to see going on there.
      Stay warm and dry and get snug for the winter!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Kirt D Tisdale / Nov 19 2019 4:10 pm

    The reasons I hate shopping this time of year….let me count the many…bah humbug I suppose:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 20 2019 6:00 pm

      Completing all necessary tasks and about ready to pull up the drawbridge for the duration. Ahhh, the only way to enjoy the next few weeks.
      Enjoy the seasonal snow scenes there! I’ll be ready to view those from the warmth of the fireplace here.
      Thanks for tossing a comment this way

      Liked by 1 person

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