Monday, June 12, 2006

Seattle innovations: storms in the produce section

Yesterday I was in a large Asian grocery store in Seattle. When I say large, I mean mega-supermarket size. About a hundred types of soy sauce, fifty of tofu--oh, perhaps that's hyperbole, but definitely many more than I've ever seen before in one place. A fresh produce section that contained the usual suspects and so many more, some of them varieties of fruits and vegetables I'd never seen before and couldn't identify without their labels.

While I was standing in awe in front of a bunch of mysterious greens, a mysterious sound met my ears. Actually, it wasn't a mysterious sound, it was a familiar one: the rumble of thunder. Only it was a beautiful day, with no threatening storm.

I looked about for guidance, and at that moment the sprayers that keep the produce fresh and crisp turned themselves on. So it seems that Seattle has grocery stores that display both politeness and a sense of humor: the sprayers announce themselves with a recording of a thunderstorm, so that customer can step back and avoid getting spritzed.

What a town.

17 Comments:

At 7:44 AM, June 12, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Fifty kinds of tofu, when tofu has no taste, is beyond consideration. I don't see how you can have 2 kinds of tofu since tofu always tastes the same.

 
At 8:21 AM, June 12, 2006, Blogger AlbuquerqueAmerican said...

The thunder, lightning, and sprinkle system must be an up-and-coming thing. A local grocery in Albuqueque (not known for its rainfall) has a similar system.

 
At 8:25 AM, June 12, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

We've had the thunder sprinklers in Houston (and Salt Lake City, where I used to live) for years. We don't have that many varieties of tofu, however :>)

 
At 9:38 AM, June 12, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

We have an asian superstore here in New Jersey, called Mitsuwa. The produce is the finest around and the fish is sushi-grade. It's pricey but worth it. There's all that plus rice cookers and bubble tea.

The thunderstorm sprayers are a California thing too. They're in all the grocery stores. I got used to the thunder warning when I was living out there, and I miss it now that I'm back. In Jersey, I swear, they wait till you're reaching for the stuff in the back, then they hit the spritzer.

 
At 10:34 AM, June 12, 2006, Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

The Krogers here in central Ohio do the same thing. If they do something in central Ohio at Krogers it's no longer edgy or hip.

 
At 10:57 AM, June 12, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

I like spraying unsuspecting customers better, sort of putting them in touch with nature as it really is - while out plucking lettuce we were rained on - lovely, lovely, but I guess litigation lawyers would like my idea even better..... we can't have Granny breaking a hip fleeing the sprinklers in the lettuce section, that's for sure

 
At 3:18 PM, June 12, 2006, Blogger Brian said...

The Whole Foods here in Austin does the same thing. We had a small, artsy movie theater with a tall lobby that was done up with painted cotton and painted boards shaped like clouds. Lights would flash behind the "clouds" in time with soft thunder, the delay usually just a few seconds, to give the impression of a distant storm. It created surprisingly mingled feelings of calm and anticipation.

 
At 4:54 PM, June 12, 2006, Blogger talnik said...

Jewel Food Stores, the Chicago area's largest chain, has it too, but after the rumbles of thunder, some jackdog (not the original)sings "Singin' in the Rain"

 
At 6:04 PM, June 12, 2006, Blogger Maj.BertramPudgeman said...

When these spritzers were first introduced (in my area at least,) they came on as I was selecting some produce. A lady about three feet away from me, obviously unaware of the sprayers, jumped back and glowered at me as if I some sort of pervert spraying something on her.

I laughed. She didn't. Oh well.

 
At 7:56 PM, June 12, 2006, Blogger Red River said...

I remember them from when I lived in LA in the early 90s. The VONs stores had them.

I always wanted to start channelling Bing Crosby and dance with a celery stalk when they started.

 
At 10:31 PM, June 12, 2006, Blogger THIRDWAVEDAVE said...

Here in Folsom, we have the same grocery-weather patterns, too. I like 'em.

 
At 12:46 AM, June 13, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Meanwhile in Baghdad, the supermarkets have few goods and nothing refrigerated, They're lucky to get 3 hours of electric power because US cruise missiles destroyed most of the civilian infrastructure and Halliburton, Bechtel and others haven't quite got to fixing it despite being paid billions to do so.

Oh and the water, you wouldn't 'spritz' your vegetables with that because the water treatment facilities were all blown up too and Hali....you get the picture.

It hasn't stopped Halliburton selling the water (complete with faecal coliforms) back to the US military though, at a significant mark up of course.

Baghdadis aren't that worried about the number of tofu brands on the shelves though because hardly anyone has paid work and thus no money to pay for it, the economy is down the toilet and it's usually too dangerous to go out anyway.

Oh well, soya bean protein causes colon cancer and nobody wants your genetically modified rubbish crops anyway.

 
At 11:34 AM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Promethea said...

Confude...

Normally I wouldn't write to you, but I seriously think you need to see a therapist. You are much too depressed. Maybe some type of pill like Paxil would help. Your posts betray a sad sack mentality. Even a silly discussion about thunder and rain in the produce section brings on your pitiful gloominess.

P.S. Did you know that they still fly kites in Iraq? Yes, it's true.

 
At 2:04 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Well ta for the advice promethea.

Yes I do find the unnecessary death of tens of thousands of people and the complete breakdown of a country of 25 million plus people in the pursuit of corporate greed a tad depressing.

You think this is a failing? A therapist eh? Not a professional then?

 
At 4:04 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Conned Fudd, I have your professional right here.

Mr. Fudd meet Mr. Ketch.

Mr. Jack Ketch.

 
At 10:48 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Snarkatron said...

Sounds like Uwajimaya. One of my favorite stores. You just have to remember to get ahead of the rush if you want the large tubs of fortune cookies during Chinese New Year, they always sell out. Oh, and if you need little dried octopi for any reason, check out the snacks aisle. They are right there next to the potato chips.

 
At 11:14 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...


Normally I wouldn't write to you, but I seriously think you need to see a therapist.


Sorry, I got all those therapists booked because it entertains me to do so.

People will just have to make do with self-hypnosis.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home


Powered by Blogger