Lifestyle & Culture

Encounters of the Delicatessen Kind

June 16, 2019



THE OTHER day I was at Bow Street Market in Freeport, which is basically my second home. It’s a great little store, far superior to those giant supermarket chains with their fluorescent lighting and too much stuff. Bow Street sells fabulous farm-raised meats, fresh fish from local waters and veggies from the small farms dotting Maine’s countryside. It simply can’t be beat.

So I was shocked when I had this exchange at the deli counter with one of their new employees:

Me: I’d like a medium-sized cole slaw, please.” (Points to the desired item.)
Her: “We have regular cole slaw and blue cheese cole slaw. Which do you want?”
Me:  “I want the plain cole slaw.” (Speaks louder and again points to the desired item, which was on a different shelf and not near the other one mentioned.)
Her: “Are you sure you don’t want the blue cheese cole slaw?” (Spoken plaintively.)
Me: “Yes, I am very sure.” (Getting annoyed.)
Her: “Do you want to try it?”
Me: “No, just give me the PLAIN cole slaw, thanks.” (Full-blown angry, muttering things like if I wanted it I’d have asked for it, etc.)

I watched her bend down to the lower shelf and approach the pan of cole slaw, then turned away to get a few other items nearby while she finished packing up my order. Turning back and taking the container, which bore a label clearly marked COLE SLAW, not BLUE CHEESE COLE SLAW, I thanked her and walked away.

That night at dinner Mitch and I enjoyed a great piece of grilled swordfish. Along with it we had some mixed vegetables and a side of slaw. My husband ate some first and said, “Hmmmm, this is different. What is it?” I quickly took a taste and discovered, to my horror, veritable chunks of blue cheese in the cole slaw!

Explaining to Mitch what I had endured at the deli counter that afternoon, I said, “What if I were allergic to blue cheese? I could be dead by now!” I suggested he kill me on the spot, somehow making it look like an allergic reaction to blue cheese. Then he could sue the market for millions and go out and get himself a new wife, a boat and a motorcycle. He pointed out that he would be in jail and thus not able to enjoy those things (except maybe a conjugal visit every so often). Instead I wrote this post and I’m sending it to the store manager. That deli lady must be stopped.

—Andrea Rouda

Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid

One thought on “Encounters of the Delicatessen Kind

  1. bonnie casper says:

    The server in the deli is totally irresponsible and could endanger someone’s life as pointed out in the story. My husband is deathly allergic to eggs, and if a server were to serve him something because he/she thought it was better than the alternative, he literally could die! This woman needs to be fired.

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