Ah! The joys of rural life!

Like, all the available services…

That, fair readers, is the meat cooler of the only food market in the little town nearest where I live. I’ve been counting, and in the past ten years this cooler has broken down approximately 1,439,784 times. I may have missed a few since I only hit town every week or so.

The next closest town is 35 miles away, and it’s got a Safeway. After a few years around here a Safeway begins to look like an absurd Palace of Food in which the coolers never seem to break down. Local store management actually has the gall to complain that people who should be shopping locally are undercutting hometown retailers by driving to the Safeway.

He really said that to me once. I just pointed out that both his onions were sprouting.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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8 Responses to Ah! The joys of rural life!

  1. UnReconstructed says:

    When I saw the thumbnail, I had thought you were going to comment on Venezuela, I recently saw a picture of a store shelf there that strongly resembled that.

  2. Kentucky says:

    The locals must be really desperate for even minimal inventory, or that guy would have gone out of bidness long ago.

  3. Ben says:

    You gotta wonder if no store at all would be better than that place. That looks like a genuine health hazard.

  4. tweell says:

    Has Wilbur’s gotten that bad? It’s been almost a decade since I was last there.

  5. Andrew says:

    Good thing you have been getting regular shipments of canned meat. A place that can’t/won’t keep their reefers working at proper temp is a sign to never shop there again.

    Bet the Dollar store has about equal stock, and it’s fresher, too.

    I always use the fish-counter/meat-counter rule. If you can smell either from the front door, and it’s not a fishmonger or a butcher, walk, walk away, walk away fast!

    Though from what you’ve said about the area, you live in a mostly-dirt-poor county that is really underpopulated. Maybe the only incentive the manager would have to fix the reefer would be an increase of well-paying customers, which would be counter-productive to a mostly-hermit lifestyle like you have. (Since well-paying people tend to bring stupid regulations with them wherever they go, sort of like little governmental typhoid Marys running around. Bleh.)

  6. Claire says:

    I live in a small town just as far off the beaten path as Joel. Our area is relatively poor, though not as poor as Joel’s. And we’re blessed with a small but glorious family-owned grocery store that not only has good, fresh foods at decent prices, but even a nice little eat-in deli.

    People don’t leave town to buy groceries. People come over from the next town (which has a bigger but not-as-nice store) to shop here.

    The difference is the degree of give-a-damnness. Joel lucked into a town where the business community was a closed club that ran the place. With no threat of competition, ran it into the ground. Sorry for you there, Joel. Thank heaven for those frequent trips to Safewayland.

  7. MJR says:

    Oh Joel that sucks large, nobody should have to deal with crap like that.

    I guess I’m spoiled. While I live out of town it’s only a 15 minute drive in to several grocery stores so there’s enough competition that everything’s fresh at a reasonable price. On the weekends in the summer we also shop the farmer’s market for fresh in the field earlier in the day produce. In the fall we have several farmers nearby who will sell a cow at a good price per pound and we usually get one butchered with a few friends to cut costs.

  8. coloradohermit says:

    I guess our small town really isn’t small anymore. When we first moved here 25 years ago Pizza hut was brand new and had a hitching post for people who came into town horseback. There was one family owned grocery store and fortunately it was a good one. It was bought out by Kroger. A few more years and in came Safeway and a few years after that, Wal-Mart arrived on the scene. Now you have to drive 8 miles further west to find a small local grocer and it’s impossible to find parking to go to the summer farmer’s market. It took me a long time to believe our little mountain locale could support all that, but all of them are crowded all the time. It isn’t the big city(yet) but it sure has outgrown a hitching post at Pizza Hut.

To the stake with the heretic!