Monday, July 20, 2009

20 JUL 09: Meat on the Street

It's common across the country at this time of year to see fruit and vegetable stands along the side of the road. I recall one Saturday afternoon years ago, when a stand remained open along Moon Road after a winter ice storm. I didn't stop to check, but maybe it sold frozen foods.

But this year, the fruit and vegetable sellers suddenly have some competition. Other people are parking along Columbus roadsides, selling meat. And why not? A balanced diet is very important - although I haven't found anyone parked along the highway selling loaves of bread.

Have you seen the meat-sellers, with their signs saying things like "TEN STEAKS FOR 25 DOLLARS"? Admittedly I haven't stopped to ask how they do it. For all I know, they could be "hamburger steaks" - and a nice name for frozen patties you put on the grill.

The steak-peddling went to the next level this past week, when a man knocked on my door during the afternoon. His T-shirt said something like "Steve's Steaks" - and yes, he was selling steaks door-to-door. I don't even recall a Future Farmers of America chapter in Oklahoma trying a fund-raiser like this.

The salesman said he had boxes of ribeye steaks in his truck, and I could buy one for 25 dollars. This was downright remarkable - as I've never heard an ice cream truck roll up my street. Someone must have done research, to learn my neighborhood has more disabled and retired men than happy children.

"Do you like a good steak?" the salesman asked me. Yes, I do for special events - but I don't buy boxes of them at a time. In fact, I seldom buy more than one a year at the supermarket. They cut into the budget to buy other important items - such as burritos and chocolate chip cookies.

"I'm just trying to make a living.... trying to get the word out about my business," the man told me. Yet he didn't do what church groups with Krispy Kreme doughnut boxes do on weekends. They actually bring the food to your door, to enhance the sales pitch --- or should we say with doughnuts, to add to the temptation.

The man ad-libbed for a while - and when he finally stopped, I gave him a short history lesson. Someone else came to my home years ago selling steaks. But it was a woman at the window, claiming she had just received her steaks at nearly 2:00 a.m. [12 Sep 05]. So at least the delivery times have improved, by reducing shifts.

The steak salesman was puzzled by that true story. But he wasn't ready to accept Excuse #2: "I don't own a freezer." I have a refrigerator-freezer - but the top part is dominated right now by items costing one dollar or less. A "mini" pizza from Piggly Wiggly is enough of a dinner for me.

The salesman insisted he could make room in my small freezer, and stack the steaks for me. Hey, there's an idea for the next Aflac Outdoor Games - steak-stacking. How many can you fit on a plate, without burning your hand or having them topple onto the lawn?

The sales pitch came down to Excuse #3, and this time I meant it. Because of my present situation, I really can't afford to buy boxes of steaks. "I'm on a ground turkey budget," I told the man. And I have yet to find a box of Ribeye Helper at the grocery store.

For some people in my neighborhood, a box of ribeye steaks might be a good value. A couple of men cook outside on grills once or twice a week. But I don't own a grill, and have never even taken a picture of the men cooking out - to borrow from that old Duran Duran song: "Grills on Film."

-> Sunday was a very good day for us at the online poker table. Find out why at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <--

BLOG UPDATE: Richard Hyatt's web site declared Sunday this blog "drew incorrect conclusions" about today's switch of TV and radio partnerships. If I was in charge of North Korea, I might declare this a provocation dangerously approaching all-out war.

Richard Hyatt explained Clear Channel Radio in effect fired WTVM. The managers apparently were upset with the TV station reporting on the last round of Clear Channel layoffs [30 Apr]. At least the radio group was consistent. Don't report on my firings, or I'll fire you as well.

I'll assume Richard Hyatt's explanation is right, since he still appears on Clear Channel's WDAK two days a week. But it's also a bit strange, since that station is filled with right-wing talk show hosts who oppose any muzzling of free speech. Well, at least until a Democrat says something against Ronald Reagan or some other improper thing....

Let's see what else caught our eye Sunday, on National Ice Cream Day:

+ Columbus had a record-low morning temperature of 62 degrees F. Now I look brilliant for neglecting to pull the ice scraper out of the car back in April.

+ The "Friends of Libraries" in Columbus wrapped up their annual book sale. The "area's only local weekend newscast" reported sales this year totaled more than $5,000 - and that total should be recorded in a ledger book, which is autographed and put on sale next year.

+ The Montgomery Zoo held "Animal Enrichment Day." The Montgomery Advertiser explained that meant the animals received special foods. Zoo visitors had to settle for enriched hot dog buns at the concession stand.

The number of unique visitors to our blog in the first half of 2009 was up 11.1 percent! To advertise to them, offer a story tip, make a PayPal donation or comment on this blog, write me - but be warned, I may post your e-mail comment and offer a reply.

BURKARD BULK MAIL INDEX: 545 (- 30, 5.2%)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.

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