Price Gouged at Maxwell's
April 26, 2005
On Friday afternoon, I got a call from Mrs. theskinnyonbenny. She wanted to marinate a good steak, and then sit outside at the Regal Beagle cook on the grill, drink a few martinis, and eat.
She had seen a recipe for a certain marinade meat combination that she wanted to try. It called for center cut tenderloin.
I went to Maxwell's market on Corporate boulevard, and browsed the meats in the case. They had boneless sirloin, filet tips, and even a full tenderloin displayed, but no center cut pieces. I asked the guy behind the counter.
He went to the back and pulled out a long tenderloin. He let me pick the piece I wanted. "From there to about there," is how I specified it. He cut the piece wrapped it up, and gave it to me to take to the cash register.
I picked up one more thing, and went to the register. As I handed the meat to the cashier, I noticed the price: $24.99. For one pound of meat.
When I regained consciousness, I considered my options.
Option A: Throw a hissy fit, and take my money elsewhere. But then, I look like a cheap bastard to the other people, and I was also going to go home without the specific cut of meat that the Mrs. had requested. Then, if the steak didn't turn out perfect, it would be blamed on my failure to buy the right meat. The embarrassment of being the cheap bastard weighed more heavily than the other option.
Option B: Suck it up and pay $25 for a pound of steak. I really couldn't win here, because this was certain to get a complaint. The good thing is that the heart worm pill for the dog, bought the same day was a lot less expensive than I expected. Even Steven, more or less.
So yes, I chose option B, but in an alternate parallel universe, I threw the fit. It went something like this:
"JEEEZZUSSS CHRIST! TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS A POUND. YOU CAN TAKE YOUR D--- OUT OF MY A-- NOW, THANK YOU!"
Heads turn. Perhaps a delicate lady faints.
"Ummm, well sir, that's our price for custom cuts of meat. We'll be happy to provide you with an alternative."
"HOW CAN THE WHOLE TENDERLOIN BE $16 A POUND, BUT THE CUT I WANTED BE $25? THAT MINUTE THAT YOU JUST SPENT WAS WORTH $9 PER POUND, OR DID I JUST DEVALUE THE REST OF THE MEAT BY THAT MUCH?"
I then unwrap the expensive meat, and drop it on the floor. I leave.
In that alternative universe, we eat instant grits for dinner that night.