The price of pork is eternal vigilance

Without pork in the refrigerator, I am nothing. I am a lesser man. Neighbors for miles around hear my wails of anguish and the gnashing of my teeth. There are piles of rent garments below my balcony from when I tear at my clothes in grief.

So, earlier this week I realized that I had nothing left but a bottle of Bacos leftover from last PorkDope. They’re vegetarian bacos, no less, but I was willing to convince my subconscious that they were still pork-based so I wouldn’t have to go through yet another wardrobe. Intent on remedying this egregious omission, I dutifully visited the neighborhood Rainbow Foods store.

Rainbow Foods is a believer in the ‘discount card’ method of grocery sales – mark up the prices, offer a card for ‘discounts’ that are mostly just the original price, and track the customer’s purchases for market research and organ harvesting lists. They don’t tell you about the organ harvesting on the form you sign, but you can see it in their eyes. And when the bagger was groping my kidneys. That was the other hint.

Regardless, I was determined to purchase pork no matter what the cost. I wandered to the meat department in the back of the store, and lo, before my eyes, I saw cheap meat.

Woohoo, my inner child shouted.

Bearing in mind Homer Simpson’s difficulties with cheap meat, I carefully checked for expiration dates, horseflies, or anything out of the ordinary. Nothing. No stench of death or decay, no cries of the damned. It was a good deal.

$2.99/lb for boneless pork shoulder roast, marked down to $1.49/lb with discount card. Success. Excelsior. The day’s hunt would be successful, and the omnipresent spectre of starvation would be kept at bay.

I noticed, however, that some of the fine selections of pork had been marked with a discounted price, and some had not. Specifically, the one that first caught my eye was still originally priced. I felt it best to flag down a nearby employee and verify that, indeed, the cheap meat was truly cheap.

Following is the dialogue as best I can recall:

“Excuse me, kind sir, but would you be able to assist me with this? This succulent pork is advertised at $1.49 per pound of sweet, sweet pigflesh, but only some of the packages are so marked. Will these ring correctly at the register?”

“You need the discount card for that,” came the insightful and incisive reply.

“Of course,” I replied. “I wouldn’t dream of anything else - it is my paramount goal in life to provide a faceless corporation with information about my purchasing habits. With that in mind, however, will these specific packages reflect the discounted price?” Well, maybe I didn’t say every single syllable, but basically, I said it. Basically.

“Yeah,” he said, putting my fears to rest.

My soul soaring, my feet lighter than air, I made my way to the registers at the front of the store, and placed several boneless pork shoulder roasts on the conveyor belt. Ranging in size from 1.23 lb to 2.01 lb, I knew that my freezer would be well stocked for time to come. Despite the fact that a few of the roasts did not have a discounted price on the sticker, I blissfully watched as the gentle and kind cashier scanned the pork.

The first package had no difficulties. Beep, and 1.42 lb slid down to the waiting end to be bagged. $4.24 followed by EASY-SAVE DISCOUNT -$2.12 appeared on the register, and with another beep, another package of pork continued its incredible journey, with an ultimate destination of my stomach.

Then the trouble began.

Beep, I heard, and the register merely displayed $5.20, with no EASY-SAVE DISCOUNT to brighten my day.

There was no discount.

That’s when I started to get mad. Visions of the building in flames went through my mind, which then filled my nose with the beautiful aroma of roast pork, which promptly brought me back to reality.

“Excuse me,” I interrupted, as the friendly cashier scanned the remaining pork. “But I think those should have been discounted too.”

“You need the discount card for that,” he mechanically replied. For the second time that day, I bit my tongue, and then explained that I do understand that, and in fact, he had just scanned my discount card not sixty seconds ago.

A blank stare was my response.

I looked around. The store was nearly empty, there was no one in line behind me, and I felt justified in defending this issue. I pointed at the pork, at the discount card, and at the advertisement flyer that someone had left nearby. “It’s supposed to be marked down.”

A glint of comprehension appeared in the cashier’s eyes. “I’ll need a manager to do that.”

“By all means,” I said, returning to my Happy Place in my mind, surrounded by pork, ham, and bacon, all from a wonderful, magical animal.

Moments later, a manager arrived. I handed her my discount card, and she re-scanned the card and the pork. “This is supposed to be discounted,” she noted.

You’d think so, I thought.

A moment’s wait, a few more pleasant beeps, and thirteen dollars later, I was the proud owner of pork.

Some people may say that this is an unhealthy obsession with meat. I prefer to consider it a fond appreciation, perhaps even a partnership. Pork and I have a symbiotic relationship.

And if someone tries to deny me my cheap pork, I will watch. I will observe. I will remember. Vengeance is mine, saith the lno. I shall repay.

Once I run out of pork.

Mmmmmmm… pork, Arghghhghghghghgh

Have fun. Don’t it it raw.

You crack my ass up, lno.

I must regret to inform you that I have lost my connection to cheap imported and micro brews. We’ll somehow have to survive PorkDope 2003 without…

And, lo, a voice can be heard crying out, as from the downstairs apartment, saying, “Look what you done to my herb garden, you bastard!”

Yes, right! Your kidneys! I, er, HE wasn’t at ALL trying to grapple your OWN succulent rump…roast.


lno–the other “other white meat.”

I was denied the cheap beer and massive pork at the last porkdope, soley due to the fact that my wife thought I was a freak for wanting to meet complete and utter strangers (people die that way, she says) She felt it was well within her rights to make other plans for me on that georgious day.

I showed her.

I made a showing! I think she was strangely disappointed when I didn’t turn up bound and gagged in the trunk of a '72 Monte Carlo, or met some other nefarious end. “It was fun” I told her when I returned home after an hourlong Porkdope. “Do I have to wear a tie to this damn thing” I said in my next breath.

The few beers I consumed lowered my spouse annoyance monitor, and a fleet of angry ships materialized in the pools of azure water that make her eyes. The ships let loose a sortie of daggers across my bow. I shut my mouth and looked towards the one who I could rely on full support for some male assurance. Presley sensed the molecules of soon to be cooked swine (I left just as it arrived) clinging happily to my tee shirt. He circled me with great interest, secretly hoping a side of bacon would leap from my sleeve. I was sure the number one son would raise my spirits. “Hi buddy” I said as I knelt down to his eye level. Riley looked at me with the disdain only a two year old can muster, then silently shoved his pacifier into his mouth.

They hated me. They were jealous. They wanted to deny me the pork, and they had won. Their disdain came with the realization that the Porkdope itself had sated my need for a dance with the porcine arts. Pork. It’s not just an entree, side dish, snack item and munchie. It’s a life choice.

Don’t worry, NurseCarmen, over time my wife, who was also dubious of my meeting with Dopers in person, came to be swayed by their gentle and mysterious ways. Sure, she still refers to them as “my nerd friends”, but I’m sure she means that in a spiritually uplifting way.

If we only lived in Minnesota, for pork would definitely win her over. In fact, we’re making pork fried rice for dinner tonight. I just need to hie myself up to CAM and get some of that good red pork.

lno, nice OP, but I really expected some rage burning of the thousand suns variety. Actually, that sounds like a good name for a bbq sauce to slather on pork.

About halfway through your Op, I suddenly realized “Hey, I remember Ino, he can really write”… and you can!

We do pork ribs on the grill about once every two weeks and lately I’ve been on this big Owens Country Sausage kick (Italian) every Saturday and Sunday morning. Even if they stuck a picture of Ned Beatty on the front and said “eat this and you’ll look like him” I’d still have a hard time not snarfing the stuff down.

Mmmmm… are you going to eat that bacon fat?

When I went to Ames last year, the first thing I saw after I got off the plane at the Des Moines International (Budweiser) Airport was a big sign saying “You scream, I scream, we all scream for pork loin!”.

I almost got back on the plane. It’s not that I don’t like pork. I do ndeed love pork, but something about the sign… it made me think I had entered some weird kind of ice-cream-and-pork-sundae country.

It didn’t help that the friend I was staying with insisted on taking me to the supermarket several times to show me the pork, elaborately pretending that we don’t have pork in Canada, and that I’d never seen it before.

I left on the day the International Pork something-or-other started. Iowa was weird.

Batten down the hatches, somebody just called him “INO”.

[baconfat nazi]

No bacon fat for you!

[/baconfat nazi]

The other slogan that you may see is “One potato, two potato, three potato PORK”.

On that, you have my full agreement.

And hey, Iieu, glad you enjoyed it.

Lieu, you should know better!

lno, just calm down, refer lieu to your past rantings, and move on with it.


Nice story, and by an odd coincidence I just noticed a billboard on my way to work this morning:

“Life is a bowl of pork chops”

And I immediately thought <Homer>Mmmm, pork chops…</homer>. We should start a campaign to make chicken the “other” white meat and put pork on top where it belongs.

mmmmmmm- Anybody want to do a mini-porkdope at Famous Dave’s?

Just say when, Dangerosa, and I’ll be there. Uptown?

[homer]mmmmmmmm, porrrrrrrrrk rrrrrrrribs[/homer]
Uptown would be good.

2 + 2 = lower case “l”?

I’m sorry. I of all people should have recognized that… lno.

Iieu? Heh.

Mmm…this makes me tempted to dig out this recipe for pork enchiladas I have. Haven’t made those in a while…it would be a sad world, indeed, without pork…