Conversation with a vegetable


In all fairness, he was wearing a yellow ribbon that read, “Please Be Patient, I’m New.”

I’ve heard it said that a high school diploma is merely a license to keep learning, and I certainly hope that’s true, because the conversation today with the young man running the grocery store register went something like this:

“Hi, did you find everything you were looking for?”

“Yes, thanks, I think we got everything.”

“This is a cucumber, right?”

“No, that’s a zucchini squash.”

Okay, he might be forgiven for that mistake. They look somewhat alike, but it got worse:

“What’s this?”

“Uh, that’s asparagus. . . . You don’t eat a lot of fresh vegetables, do you?”

“Ha ha! No, I don’t! Okay, these are limes?”

“Ummmm, no, those are jalapeños.”

Seriously? How do you mix up limes and jalapeños? True enough, you might find both in a bowl of guacamole, though I prefer a finely diced serrano pepper in mine.

A lime and a jalapeño are easily confused. Both are green.
A lime and a jalapeño are easily confused. Both are green.

My wife and I found the whole thing ludicrous, but to our credit, we didn’t expostulate on our WTF moment until we were out in the parking lot.

This poor kid. If he can’t tell the difference between a lime and a pepper, how’s he going to distinguish between cilantro and parsley, or carrots and parsnips? I’m afraid the effort is liable to leave him in a vegetative state!



Add yours →

  1. That may be why our local grocery stores have installed to self-weighing scales in the produce department. The customer certainly knows what he/she is buying and can presumably enter the correct code into the scales to get the proper price, so that the cashiers don’t have to. It would be much too stressful to ask a member of the younger generation to distinguish between pears and apples, cucumbers and zucchini, lettuce and cabbage – and then have to weigh and price it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Amazing. When I was a checker at the supermarket, back in the 70s when dinosaurs roamed the aisles, we not only had to know the vegetable, we had to memorize the price per pound, put it on the scale, and figure out how much it cost from that. And the prices changed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve encountered older checkers who don’t know the difference between the various peppers, like jalapeño vs. serrano, or poblano vs. bell pepper, but then this IS New Jersey, and most of ’em don’t even know Mexican food exists. But not knowing what asparagus looks like was a new one.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jason Fredric Gilbert March 12, 2016 — 2:37 pm

    You say potato I say tomato…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Deborah Farrisi March 12, 2016 — 5:30 pm

    I think you should have the poor kid over for dinner. Obviously he has been poorly fed his whole life. Help a brother out.What store was he in by the way?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Good thing you didn’t have a pummelo, a romanesco or a dragon fruit in your basket. And no doubt, counting out any change would be completely out of the question.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are different peppers ? ☺ lol. This was a fun post. Sad, but fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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