Wednesday, September 29, 2010
1/2 of a $4 strawberry
If I have a vice it's food, and of course the obvious
overindulgences in penis and so forth, but this specific blog with start out
with food. Good food. Some days I'm a vegetarian, here and there I can pull off
vegan. I like to think I try. These loose requirements coupled with location
and internet access have landed me on an over-regular basis at Urth Caffe. So
I'm here now.
Urth Caffe is ridiculously over priced. If you'd like a side
of jam with your toast they will charge you. I think they try to cater to
people who only feel good when they're spending money. Why else would they
provide the option to valet your damn car for your morning coffee run? I
disapprove, but not enough to switch. They claim they're superior because
produce is bought locally, everything is organic, homemade, the coffee beans
were kissed by the firstborn sons of kings etc etc. All I know is it really is
good. My breakfast was served with exactly one half of a sliced strawberry and
a cute little orange curl. I did the math and I think these things account for
at least $4 of the total cost. I can't be sure. Needless to say I had to eat
the strawberry to feel justified.
This was no earthly strawberry. It was perfect. It should be
the founding father of all future strawberries. It was perfectly red and ripe
and so packed with flavor that it made my eyes water. The fruit fell off the
stem. It was everything a strawberry should be. It reminded me of children's
books, specifically of the one my mom used to read to me every night before bed
about the big-eyed girl with the pink bonnet who worked hard when all of her
friends were playing and gardened tirelessly and held out even when everybody
else was eating their barely ripe spoils. Then one day she woke up and saw that
she had grown the perfect strawberry, and everyone was jealous. I had just
eaten her strawberry. I felt bad for her.
It got me thinking about the other children's books that
were read to me and the superficial ambiguous morals I'm just now realizing
they were trying to implant, gently. I suppose the strawberry story was meant
to teach me that good things come to those who wait, or, work hard, future
slave child, so that some café can sell your precious strawberry with an
insanely high mark up. Or something. I believe in a strong work ethic but the
second it seems like you're just being steered into the hands of some
organization who will take the surplus stemming from your efforts I'm convinced
we're all just being conditioned for the peasantry. If I remember correctly, the
girl in the bonnet never ate her strawberry. She just looked at it proudly. If
I have my cake, you're goddamned right I'm gonna eat it too. Then I'm gonna
spend two hours in the gym.
I don't know what I'm getting at. I'm irritated that a
strawberry can be that good, that its that overpriced, that its probably not
overpriced at all because as economics would justify, I'm really just paying
the real cost of the widget now that the good people of Urth have paid full
price to local markets that don't rely on pushing negative externalities on the
general population to turn a profit. Or something. I'm irritated that I don't
remember the fine details of that children's book well enough to know whether
my mom was secretly grooming me for the peasantry. I'm irritated that America
pretends not to have class systems as it measures its shrinking middle class
and growing wealth gaps and I'm mostly irritated that people keep telling me
with big reassuring smiles that I can do better than porn right before they
rattle off a long list of occupations that would keep my pants on but take away
all the things I enjoy like one half of a $4 strawberry and the time to
complain about it and an audience to unload it on and its sickening how many
people would define 'better off' as me wearing a pink bonnet and toiling in
fields for a strawberry some random bitch with a blog will get to eat instead.
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