If this were one of those what-I-had-for-breakfast blogs instead of whatever the hell kind of blog it actually is, you’d already know that in the past month I visited New York City for the first time and became smitten with the city and one of its inhabitants. You’d already know that some guy turned left into the path of my car in a little town in rural Illinois, causing $2100 worth of damage and prompting me to get out of the car and yell “goddammit” at the top of my lungs (and that I was surprised not to receive a citation for disturbing the peace: “We don’t say the GD-word in these here parts, boy—at least not in such a public forum”).
You’d also already know that after 28 years of being a fan of the Roches, I finally saw them perform live in Iowa City—and actually got to meet and chat with them afterwards.
It was all very exciting, obviously, but it’s not the sort of thing I want to write about here at the Runes. However, something absurd happened last night that I thought my twos of readers might enjoy hearing about.
My younger daughter and I were returning home from a trip to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, where Phillies righthander Jon Lieber had just tossed a three-hit shutout against the Royals. I stopped for gas at a Shell store just off 435 North, and after filling the tank I went inside for a drink. As is my custom in convenience stores, I got a bottle of pop out of the cooler, then filled a cup up with ice. (For some reason I find this preferable to fountain drinks.)
The woman at the counter informed me that I could save money by getting the ice in a larger cup. “There’s a special,” said she. “You can get the 44-ounce cup for 79 cents, as opposed to the 32-ounce cup for a dollar-nine.”
“Yes, I noticed that,” I noted cheerily, “but I’m not getting a fountain drink. I just want the ice.”
“OK, I’ll give you an ice cup,” she replied, proffering a cup much smaller than the 32-ouncer I had already filled with ice.
“But I want more ice than that,” I said by way of rejoinder.
“Then I’ll have to charge you for a fountain drink.”
“Balderdash, good woman! Prithee explain why thou wouldst charge me for both a fountain drink and the bottled beverage I selected myself from yon cooler?” (I’m kind of paraphrasing here.)
“Our distributor says we have to—”
“You know what? It’s not that important.” Since I’d already paid for my gas at the pump, I left the store in very non-dramatic fashion, leaving her to deal with about a nickel’s worth of ice and plastic cup, which I assume and hope she threw away. Distributor’s rules or no, I didn’t care to stick around and listen to why it’s okay to gouge customers by charging $1.09 for a 32-ounce cup of ice.
Most stores just give you the ice, and some charge a dime or fifteen cents. The store down the street, Pour Boys, was nice enough to give me the ice and will now be my official convenience store of choice for future trips to Kansas City.
Coming soon: What I Had For Breakfast.