We go to Costco every week, usually on around the same day and time. As a result, we see the same sample servers every week, and we’ve gotten to know some of them a little, if not always through conversation then by observation. Well, there’s this one gentleman that we’ll call Ralph (not his real name) who stands out. Namely, he’s said some peculiar things.
The first incident was when he was doling out some sort of high-caloric treat. Papa took a bite and exclaimed that it was “good, too good in fact” and that he was on a diet. Ralph’s exact words I forget, but it was something that implicated that Papa ate a lot of fava beans. At first I just thought, “Huh?” and couldn’t make heads or tails of it. But later, in the checkout line, I thought, “Wait a minute… fava beans? Is Ralph implicating that my dad is some sort of… hippie?” I almost felt a little insulted! (Nothing against fava beans, which are a perfectly good food, I’m sure…)
I didn’t hear any more blogworthy quotes for awhile. Then, a few weeks ago, on January 29th, Mama and I passed by his stand, where he had some delicious (’cause they were salty) “veggie straws.” Mama reached for one pile, then shifted her hand to another at the last second because it was clearly a larger pile. Ralph commented thusly:
Go ahead, take three! Remember, you guys own this place. We work for you!
Hmm… interesting comment. Nothing wrong with it, just… interesting. (Draw your own conclusions.) Then, a minute later, Papa made it to the stand. After taking one, Ralph said:
Did you forget your cart again?
Now, there are really two layers of meaning here. One is the implication that we didn’t have a cart, perhaps because we were just freeloading on all the samples. Which could be interpreted as a joke as well. The second layer, however, is in the last word: again. As in, we never buy enough stuff to fill a cart, or…? I don’t know. But we always have a cart. I don’t even know. What is that supposed to mean? I was bewildered.
The next week, he made some nearly-out-of-the-blue comment to another shopper about Reagan saying greed was good and that Greenspan still says that and (sarcastically I guess) that we can trust those guys on Wall Street.
What makes these quotes so weird are there context, or rather, their lack of context. Maybe he’s just trying to spice up his job a bit.