Friday, October 9, 2009
The following is a true story:
Last night I stopped by Pios, a local old timey meat market to pick up something to make for dinner. While I make my way to the counter I overhead a lady ask "Do you want steak tonight?" I look over and she's asking what appears to be a ten year old girl. "Must be nice," I thought. When I was a kid we rarely got steak and even now steak is a luxury. But I'm all for those who work hard and don't begrudge anyone what they've rightly earned.
Except this lady and her daughter and her twelvish looking son in their baggy clothes and greasy hair didn't exactly look like go-getters.
As it is a small store they have plastic baskets to put your food in instead of the giant Walmart-type carts. "Carry that basket up the front so mamma can pay."
"I can't. It's too heavy!"
By this time I'm by the counter and can see a basket overflowing with bundles wrapped in white butcher paper, capped off with a side of ribs. Again, I loves me some good ribs but it's not something I can afford, opting instead of the more affordable pulled pork.
Somehow the basket gets to the front of the store while Neil gets my order together (two and a half pounds of hamburger which I will stretch to feed a family of seven, if you must know) and I overhear the lady approve of the candy her kids have picked out. I take my solitary purchase and walk to the front of the store in time to see this lady pay for her feast of meat with a food stamp card.
I sure was glad that I could help pay for her $84 of meat. This wasn't the first time I'd been standing in line behind someone buying $50 of meat using food stamps while I pay cash for a pound or two of hamburger, sometimes seeing these same people drive away in nice new cars out in the parking lot while I climb into my 1995 Ford Taurus.
What's wrong with this picture?