Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Not Always a Ham

Last week, I checked out The Meat House in Coolidge Corner, not far from Trader Joe's. It opened last month. This national chain specializes in fresh meat and poultry. They also carry cheeses, baked goods, and gourmet products like cookies and jams, and there's an impressive-looking deli case as well. That's what attracted me. I don't eat much meat, but I like good deli ham.

So I went to the guy at the deli counter and asked, "Do you have Italian pepper ham?"

"No, sorry!" He said. "You need to go to an Italian shop for that. Try the North End."

"I'd like some Danish ham, then."

"We don't have any Danish ham."

It looked like they were well-stocked with deli meats in that display case, so I kept trying.

"Polish ham, then?"


"What kind of imported ham do you have?"

"We don't have any."

At this point, I knew the conversation had gone remarkably in the way of one of my favorite Monty Python skits. But I didn't know these people. So I decided not to show off. I politely walked away, rejecting their offer of capicola. (Ha! I bet they didn't really have any.)

I did not say, despite being sorely tempted: "It's not much of a meat shop, is it?"

They did not reply: "Finest in the district!"

I did not retort: "Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please!"

And no one was shot.

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