There is a butcher shop on the corner of town that is always busy. People come from miles outside of town just to go here to pick up the cuts of meat they desire so badly. I don’t know why the shop is so popular. It is like all other shops. You walk in and the smell of animal blood and meat fill the air. It is like when you enter a fish market. The foul odor of seafood hits you like a ton of bricks. I don’t know why but like I said, for some odd reason this shop is always busy and people will drive past other butcher shops just to go here. I have never been there and never could figure out the reason why it was such a busy and happening place. That was then and now, after what feels like years, I finally discovered why this shop is the king of the butcher shop world.
It was a few days ago when I walked inside. To my surprise, the shop wasn’t as busy as it normally is. That is good for me since I was in a hurry. I was planning on making a couple of rib eyes for dinner and I wasn’t wanting to wait in line while I held on to a little, white ticket with the number 89 on it. There is a woman and a man in front of me. They look like they are together but I can’t tell. Their constant chatter and the fake laugh she is using means only two things. They are together or he is hoping she’ll opt out of getting the meat from the shop and take a craving for his meat. Gosh, people bother me. Get your meat and move on. This isn’t social hour. I need my rib eyes. I have people waiting.
My theory was correct. These two weren’t together. Too bad for him. He tried but the butcher got her number instead. No, not her phone number. The little white ticket with the number 88 on it. The man left with his items but never did get her to try his meat. Maybe next time, Rico Suave. Maybe next time. I am next. I like being next. Don’t you get a giddy feeling when you’re the next person in line? You feel better than those standing behind you. It is a great feeling to know that the line of people behind you will have to wait longer while you get to experience it first and all they can do it watch in sadness. I win. I was early. You slacked.
Oh, that’s me! I walk up to the counter. The butcher looks at me. He is rugged and covered in blood and sweat. He is the typical butcher-looking guy. He would probably skin me alive if I tried to eff with him. He is tough. Probably too tough for the Marines and that’s why he is a butcher with an apron drenched in the blood of his slaughter merchandise and possibly, some of his own. He is staring at me. He wanted me to order. He doesn’t have time for me to wait. I should know what I want. I was in line for a while and had enough time to decide what items I want. I shouldn’t walk up to the counter with a look of confusion and be completely dumbfounded like I was totally unaware of what items they sell.
“COME ON, KID. WHAT DO YOU WANT!?”
He is getting upset. I knew what I wanted. I wanted the rib eyes. I didn’t know why I was taking my time and wasting the time of the others behind me. I just complained about the people doing that to me. Crap. Am I one of those people? Am I one of those rude people who get whispered about when waiting in long lines? I don’t want to be one of them. I want to be the person people rejoice about because I was quick and ordered without making it seem like I am trying to explain Schrodinger’s Cat to the people around me. I apologized to the butcher for my rudeness and told him that I wanted two rib eyes. There were no rib eyes in the case. I think he was expecting me to change my order to something else. I know he didn’t want to go in the cooler and find me some. He just wanted me out of the shop and out of his hair. He was annoyed with me and my lack of respect towards him. He walked away from the counter and what felt like hours (but was only about 5 minutes), he returned empty-handed.
“WE HAVE SOME RIB EYES IN THE COOLER BUT I’M NOT GETTING THEM FOR YOU.”
Not sure how that makes any difference but to him it was too much work and he wasn’t about to make a special exception just for me. I asked him what I can do for my rib eyes. I really wanted them for my dinner tonight and I was willing to pay him the 80 dollars for them. He motioned for him to follow him inside the cooler. Reluctantly, I followed him inside. It was a massive cooler. Way bigger than any cooler I have ever seen. I gaze around trying to find the rib eyes I was willing to buy for the price of 80 dollars. He coughed and pointed up. He pointed way, way up.
“THEY’RE UP THERE. IF YOU WANT THEM, GO GET THEM. GET THEM DOWN AND I’LL GIVE THEM TO YOU HALF PRICE.”
Half price!? Surely he can’t be serious. I asked him for a straight answer. I wanted to know if this deal was real. Would he really give me these rib eyes for half price if I scaled the racks and brought them down for myself. I asked and he nodded. He wasn’t lying. He was really offering to give me the rib eyes for half the price. All I had to do was climb about 50 feet in the air to get them down.
“WELL, KID. WHAT DO YOU SAY? THINK YOU’RE UP TO THE CHALLENGE?”
I looked at the rack and the nauseating height in front of me. I looked at the butcher and then back to the rack. I walked out of the shop without my rib eyes. I declined the offer. Those rib eyes sounded great but the deal he laid in front of me was such a risk, I hate to admit it but,
the steaks were too high.