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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

FOOD FADS THROUGH THE YEARS


(left) A beautiful, quivering, tomato aspic from the 50s

I can’t remember a time when there was not some kind of crazy food fad making the rounds.  Whether the fad became popular because the items were supposed to assist in losing weight, or they just caught on because someone popular said they liked them, they were always there.  As one fad would become tiresome another was always in line to take its place.

The 1950s was a decade where there was an inordinate amount of food fads.  It was a time when America was becoming more mobile which meant discovering new food items from other parts of the country.  It also was a time when television was getting a foothold and driving the movie business into deep trouble.

The fad of TV dinners made its debut in the ‘50s as families loved to watch TV so much that they wanted to eat dinner while they watched the tube.  Hence, we had the birth of the TV dinner with families sitting behind flimsy metal trays eating Swanson TV dinners of turkey or Salisbury steak, potatoes, peas and a cherry cobbler (click here for Swanson TV dinner ad from the 50s (1:02).  Those concoctions came from the grocery’s freezer, cost about 89 cents, and were heated in the oven for a half hour or so.  Yum!  Tear off the tinfoil covering and there was that gourmet’s delight ready to be eaten while spending the hour with Ed Sullivan, Uncle Miltie, or whoever else was on.   Personally, I preferred The Lone Ranger.

If that wasn’t bad enough to label the ‘50s as a bad food decade, there was also the popular Jello salad and tomato aspic.  Before you get foolish and assume that “Hey, I love Jello!” or  “That sounds pretty good!”  let me warn you that we are talking about Jello with things like cabbage and carrots suspended in that wonderful  gelatin delight.  I never could eat that stuff.  I was a kid and thought Jello should be topped with whipped cream.  Silly me!

Tomato aspic was sickening.  To me it looked like a big blood clot quivering on a plate.  Other than a lot of tomato juice it was full of gelatin, spices, vinegar and a bunch of other unappetizing stuff.  No thanks!  I’d rather have an Eskimo Pie.

I shouldn’t pick on the 50s too much.  It was a great ten years in my life but if you were like me, your parents made you eat a lot of stuff you hated simply because it was “good for you.”  That was a turn off on a lot of items that later in life I would enjoy.

A food fad that worked for a while in the late 90s was the Atkins’ diet.  It was the era of low carb and no carb.  I would see people, especially women, eating big juicy hamburgers with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles but no bun.   They would lose weight but as soon as they went crazy to have a cinnamon bun and a milkshake, it was over.

The above is the tip of the proverbial iceberg of food fads.  Do you remember deep fried pickles, Mars Bars, and Twinkies?  How about fondue?  Didn’t you love being with friends and spearing a chunk of bread and double dipping it in a pot holding melted chocolate or cheese?  Were you into the Oat bran craze of the ‘80s?  It was supposed to clean the cholesterol out of your blood.  Sorry, it didn’t.

One item that has graduated from fad status is bacon.  Tell me the truth:  Is there ANYONE who doesn’t like bacon?  I think I’ll go make a BLT right now! 

85 comments:

Proud said...

Hey Jim, my parents got us to eat using the old,..." poor kids in Europe are starving" line. (which, come to think of it, is again becoming a viable / accurate, catch phrase...

A couple of passing fads I recall, "Tang","Flavor Straws", and "Whip & Chil"

Heading out to make myself a BLT, Regards, John

Ed Brown said...

The 50's might have been the TV dinner era but for me the 60's were "C" rations and the 70's were MRE's/Ed

jack said...

Had a great BLT yesterday at a great little place called Lunch Break on Roeser(sp?) Rd.and 37th. St. The wife had an egg salad sandwich that she loved too. If we get down that way again we will be sure to stop in again. I remember the Swanson Turkey dinners. They hid the dark meat under a slice of white turkey breast and had some decent but soggy dressing.

Jim McAllister said...

From: Sonny Walls, 2:00 4-24

Hi Jim!

I hope you and your wife are doing well today......and thanks for your always welcome blog!.......I was reading your previous blog of 4/18 also....and it reminded me of a man that I met about 25 years ago who built a "working" prototype of a car that ran on wind power with the utilization of a verticle shaft wind mill (wind turbine) installed under the hood where the gas engine used to be. It had a range of about 25-30 miles starting out with the onboard battery power.....but when you got out on the highway......you opened up the louvers that were installed in the grille at about 55mph....thereby activating the wind turbine...which would in turn recharge the batteries......Many people said at the time that there was no way it would work....that it was "perpetual motion"......I beg to differ with their analogy, because I actually saw the vehicle work as the gentleman claimed!......In fact, before the man died, he gave me a copy of the plans and patents from the UK, Australia, and Japan.....(US would not issue one). You might remember the gentleman because he built a windmill on the Mesa Indian Reservation back in the '70's which provided the reservation with "free" electricity.....and the Arizona Republic did quite a write-up about it...(I saw the article too).....The only reason the man did not go "mainstream" with his vehicle is because he was receiving many death threats from the Big Three auto makers at that time.....and to put it mildly....he was hiding out...When you get a chance, give me a call and I will tell you more about it........have a great day and God Bless...

Jim McAllister said...

John,

Oh yeah, the old saw about the poor kids in Europe. I used to hear that a lot when I was caught trying to sneak my cooked carrots in my pocket when they weren't looking. I've had people tell me over the years that "poor kids in China" was popular in other parts of the country; probably the west coast.

Tang was huge during the early astronaut days since they used it in space. That wasn't good enough for me. I have never tasted it and don't feel that my life is incomplete from that. lol

I had forgotten about Flavor Straws but remember them now that you mentioned them. I think they were more of a kids item so I never tried them either. Here is more on them: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/310953

Whip and Chill wasn't bad. I like that kind of stuff. I just make sure not to read the ingredients. Sometimes it's scary what that stuff is made of.

Cincy was a great BLT town and also a great club sandwich town. They were called "double deckers" there and between them, Graeter's ice cream, and Cincy Skyline Chile, it was hard to make the decision to leave. It must have been the crappy weather.

Jim McAllister said...

Hey CWO Brown!

Good to hear from you.

I know a little about "C" rations from my 4 month TDY to Germany in '63. I was stationed at a radar station in the hills above Kaiserslautern and they usually broke out the C rats once or twice a week in the chow hall. I always remember those OD colored cans with descriptions like "Chicken and Dumplings". It sounded so good and tasted so bad.

When they had those I would usually get a burger at the NCO Club!

Jim McAllister said...

Jack,

Glad to hear you found a good little joint. They are getting more few and far between as the chains keep swallowing them up.

A lot of places are clueless about BLTs. The bacon must be crispy, leaf lettuce is best, no pale pink tomatoes, and Hellman's mayo is the best. Put those items together and you are in business.

Good egg salad is REALLY hard to find. I'm glad you found a good place. Paradise Bakery has good egg salad and a good chicken salad and walnut sandwich.

Barb and I still eat dinner in front of the TV every night. We usually have on a ball game or something that we can watch and converse about.

Our TV trays are heavy wood, not those cheap tin things used in the 50s. Those are still around on the internet.

I never ate many TV dinners. Those were the good old pre-microwave days and the few that I ate were OK but nothing to fall in love with.

Jim McAllister said...

Sonny,

It's really a shame that a guy can't make vehicle like that and get mass production because of threats from competition. Usually it is some poor guy like you mentioned who has no way to fight back.

You have the plans for that? Maybe you could sell the idea somewhere. If so, don't turn your back on anyone! lol

Jim McAllister said...

This is irrelevant to the blog but I think it is interesting and damned funny:

Quote of the day comes from Jon Lovitz, formerly of Saturday Night Live, standup appearances, and co-star of several films.

Whether you like Obama or not, this is funny. Lovitz has voted for Obama but, as you can see, is not too thrilled with him at the moment.

Check this out:

http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/24/snl-alum-on-obama-what-a-fking-asshole-audio/

Jim McAllister said...

From: uremus 2:50 2-24

I can remember those you mention, and a couple others coming out of the depression and into WWII. But, we were rarely able to participate, since except for our garden, and an occasional chicken or farmers gift of a hog-shank, we tended to lust after a rare dish of ice cream or a soda occasionally tendered by a soda-jerk for doing some requested favor. But, during the war and for a couple years after, everyone...young or old....craved sweet foods....since practically all the sugar we could produce went to the military. And, the fruits we grew in our Victory Gardens were in short supply...and shared amongst neighbors and those who had no gardens....most gardens were primarily vegetables. Meat was in short supply, and was always a treat when not simply flavoring a stew or soup. From the late 40s, I can recall people spending time helping farmers with farmwork in return for 1/2 a hog or a slab of beef.......I spent 1946 to 1950 on a farm about 100 miles from home, and never got used to having daily eggs, beef, pork, chicken, milk, etc....and all the veggies and fruit I used to only dream about. Fig bars and fruit turn-overs were much sought after as treats, along with other treats sweetened with honey....like pies, cakes, and cookies....and various dishes and sandwiches which contained lots of cheese.
Guess those of us who, for various reasons, had so little, it took so little to make meals and treats out of what ever we could scrape up.

Jim McAllister said...

Great post Sam;

That is a good description of how Americans banded together for the war effort and gave up plenty of luxuries of the time to win the war.

Victory gardens were such a big part of that effort and I always enjoyed the way Hollywood kicked in with the work of guys like Bob Hope and Jimmy Stewart. I did a blog a few years ago with a photo of Rita Hayworth sitting on the trunk of her bumperless car. She had given the bumpers to a scrap drive for the war.

Things like the USO were also prominent in the war effort. I imagine after going without so many things you felt like a king in the Navy. I always heard they had the best chow. One thing I do know: The USAF didn't!

mike slater said...

Jim, I grew up in the 50's and 60's but my dad was a good cook and would cook every day so we never had TV dinners or ate while watching TV.

I love a good BLT but found a place that makes the best burgers I've ever had. It's called SteakenBurger at 1961 w. Dunlap. You should try it sometime.

Glo, The Lost said...

Sorry Jim: wrote a long response then clicked Preview and got a login Google screen. Backed out and lost everything. Stinks. Too tired and ticked off to retype, suffice to say I loved Swanson's TV dinners.

Rick Kepple, music publicist said...

Jim, you did a blog on home delivery milk at one time and that was a convenience. Using the jar, setting it outside and it was recycled for use with more milk! Well, I buy a gallon of milk from "Memory Lane" dairy in Fordland Missouri. It's about four bucks for a gallon of milk with tax in a glass jug. When you're done, you return the glass container for about $2.25 deposit return and the milk winds up costing about a buck and a half. I've noticed that soft drinks are being made in returnable glass bottles again. It's like it's the 1950's all over again! Sorry. I know you hate Facebook, but Dell Mack hates it too. He won't even use a computer.

Rick Kepple, music publicist said...

I represent Dell Mack alias Delbert McKinnon and back in the 1950's, "Dell Mack and the Golden Gate Quartet" performed the song, "The Way Love Goes," and it's on Youtube. But a trendier song was, "Crazy Cat." If you listen to them both, you gotta say, "That's not the same guy!" But one of Dell's early influences from 1952, was "Smokey Joe," singing "The Signifying Monkey" with Sun Records. Dell said that Smokey Joe taught him a lot of the music business. If you listen to Smokey Joe, you'll hear the influence in Dell's "Crazy Cat." Dell said that Sam and Jud Phillips insisted on using Black performers if they were better than the White musicians. The Phillips' brothers created trends! Between Sun Records and Goldband Records, country music and Rock n' Roll were born! The founder of Goldband died in 2005, and he recorded Dolly Parton when she was only 13-years-old. Dell remembers her brought in by her aunt and uncle. Mostly, he remembers Dolly's sister, Freda. Mickey Gilley, Freddie Fender and many others got their start with Goldband Records. When I walk into Hit House Recording's studio, it's like seeing the old 1950's recording booths, except everything is digital now. It's Dell's dream to build a studio where the musicians own the company, kids can just hang out, guitars are given to those who can't afford them and it's a glimpse back into a simpler time when making music was about the music itself. The golden age of rockabilly during the 50's right in Crocker Missouri in a little house where famous music stars sometimes drop by for a visit and walk the crooked floors and frogs are raised in the flooded basement.

Jim McAllister said...

From Joe Finnerty, 6:25, 4-24

I read your blog soon after devouring my morning bowl of “Wheaties” cereal which made me contemplate my eating habits. On the verge of turning 85, I estimate this morning’s bowl may have been, roughly, number 24,000 (300 bowls a year for the past 80 years.) You’d think a guy would want to try something else, but I have resisted all other cereals, by and large. Once in a while I’ll have a fling with some sexy box of Rice Crispies or Cheerios, but my love and devotion is too strong to break the bond of fidelity I swore to Wheaties after hearing them advertised on radio way back when.

As a youngster, I also swore brand allegiance to Campbell’s soup, Wonder bread, Heinz ketchup, Gulden’s mustard, Vermont Maid maple syrup, Borden’s milk, and everything Hershey.

I am a poster boy for those who are labeled “meat and potatoes” fellows. Food fads never impacted me as my taste range was so narrow. The fact that my wife always cooked plain and simple meals has kept me from experiencing food fads.

A few days ago, she came home with a bag of EPA approved organically sanctioned spinach, unable to pass up a bargain. This fad product normally sells for six bucks, but she nabbed it for only 99 cents. Popeye never convinced me to eat spinach, but I really enjoyed the flavor and taste of this particular bag.

Of course, should I demand more of the same, my wife will commit me. No way is she gonna spend six bucks for me to eat what many consider to be a grassy weed.

Rick Kepple said...

I posted a little blog and an attachment of this blog on my Facebook page. There's a lot of musicians, real celebrity personal pages (yes we talk), media, Humane Society folks, family, models, Author Dave Weinbaum (staunch Republican), Billy Arr (President of Missouri Music Assn & Hall of Fame) from Branson and lots of good folks who would like Jim's blogs. I'm not angry with Middy.

Anonymous said...

Jim,

I can agree with you on much - except the Jell-O. My Mom made Jell-O with sometimes canned fruit cocktail or, my favorite, sliced bananas. I loved both!

The Swanson TV dinners were another matter. From the get go, once the novelty wore off (for me after tasting the first one), that fad dipped fast. Remember, we were living in the era of good home cooking.

As for fads of the time, remember the Chlorophyll craze in the early 1950’s? It was supposed to kill odors. At one point they even had it in some brands of toilet paper, though one would think that at that point of usage who would care about odor.

The last remaining product from that craze was phased out in the U.S. about 20 years ago – Clorets Breath Mints and chewing gum.

Allen

CJinPhoenix said...

You know why the explosion of food fads coincided with TV viewing habits, don't you, Jim? I am going to say it is because of the magical influence of advertising in almost every living room. Remember how Darren on Bewitched was an ad exec & how often his inspiration came from magic? Yeah, some people actually recognized the power of advertising right from the get-go. And then you have that most of what people were starting to buy was, basically, junk: highly-processed & preserved sugary & salty food with most of the healthful stuff taken out ... And that's not to mention the experimentation with stuff that is not even really food -- from chemical ingredients made in a lab in order to maximize profit to new & improved ways to use jello gelatin (which is basically horse hooves) ... Bisquick, Kraft, Campbell's Soup "free" recipe books (of course, you have to use their product) ... I grew up with all that crap as a given myself. That's why I have a little cooking challenge going on.

I am on a high oat & fruit diet right now. Both are easily digestible & very high fiber & that is the reason why. No little seeds or nuts, though, plus it turns out that I need the fiber that I have been missing for most of my life. Seriously. Damned commercialized processed food almost kicked my butt recently.

Jim McAllister said...

Mike,

Same here, we never ate TV dinners. My parents were older than average for a kid my age so I was happy just to see us get a TV. We had our first one in 1950 before TV dinners got popular. Even when they were available, my parents wouldn't have given up their roast beef and mashed potatoes for some frozen 89 cent frozen slop served on a tin tray.

SteakenBurger is at 19th Ave. and Dunlap? Do I need to pack heat to go there; sounds like a rough neighborhood. If you say they are the best I'll have to try anyway. I'll let you know. Remember, I'm a wimpy Scottsdale guy. I get scared in the avenues. I'll call Middy to meet me there as my bodyguard. He knows how to handle everyone from his prison guard duty days! LOL

Glo,

Sorry to hear about the deletion. So you loved the Swanson dinners? They were OK; I kind of had to be in the mood for them.

I guess they still make them; I never check the frozen dinners often enough to know for sure. The price was always right. As late as the 70s they were still only about $1.

Rick,

You have a good memory. That blog on milkmen was from February of 2009 and drew 51 comments from 23 readers.

http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/Jim8413/47200/sort_A/Offset40

When I was a kid there was no such thing as non returnable bottles. You always turned in your empties for deposit and as you say, the milkman would take his when he left your next delivery. If they kept doing it that way we wouldn't have aLl the trash we have now.

I don't hate Facebook; it's just not for me. Middy says it right: "When they give it to you, you are no longer the customer; you have become the product." I have no intention of becoming Mark Zuckerberg's product plus I'm not looking for more ways to spend more time on the computer.

Jim McAllister said...

Rick,

You really know your music history. I remember Sun Records and Sam Phillips in the days of Elvis and Roy Orbison cutting tunes there.

Dell Mack is good. I listened to some of his stuff yesterday after leaving you a comment. I really like stuff from guys like him.

Jim McAllister said...

Joe,

You should be doing some Wheaties' commercials. You are a good example of the vaidity of their claims since you have eaten 24,000 bowls of them and are still perky at 85. That would be a great endorsement!

I'm with you on Campbell's soup, Gulden's, and Heinz. I still eat Campbell's Tomato and chicken noodle about once a week each. I buy the premixed ones that you just. They have the pull off tops and are still great products.

You can always tell a good restaurant by whether they offer Heinz. Anything else is unsatisfactory.

Don't get hooked on the organic spinach at $6 a shot. You will get spoiled! Buy the cheap stuff and wash out the sand and mix it with pork or bacon or ham hocks.

Thanks for the comment, Joe. I always enjoy your wit. Don't ever change!

Thanks, Rick.

I hope to see of those people hop on the blog.

Jim McAllister said...

Allen,

Jello with fruit cocktail or bananas is a gourmet's delight. The stuff I mentioned that I didn't like mixed in Jello were vegetables like carrots, lettuce, or cabbage.

To me Jello is a dessert and fruit items make it that much better so you're good on that. But, carrots, cabbage? Not for me. I'll take the fruit addition and shoot some whipped cream on top. Then it's a dessert as it should be.

Did you get any of that winter weather back east?

Jim McAllister said...

CJ,

You're right about processed foods and advertising. I try to avoid that junk but it's hard. Sometimes I go off the wagon and inhale a bag of Doritos in about 10 seconds.

'OL Darren was certainly a good advertiser for the booze industry. It seems like Samantha was always churning out those martinis.

You're right about Jello and horses' hooves. I remember hearing that when I was kid. I was shocked!

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

Dang Jim,

I forgot how old you are. I know you're retired but I can't remember if it was early retirement. If you do happen to be over 65.....my employer doesn't prosecute over 65......so STEAL at will. Just be smart enough NOT to admit you resell the product. (It is a good business as the really good boosters can make 50,000-70,00 a WEEK!)But ....should you happen to mention you resell (a felony) you might just face prosecution anyway. Otherwise.....grab a cart, fill it with Tide, Chi, Nexus, Pantene, Axe products, and/or 30 packs of beer and walk out. PRETEND not to remember too much. You might want to pin an "if found call this number " note to yourself....and play dumb. Lol. Had a busy day. Quite a few stops today with the various "clients" possessing drugs, a blade ***very large***in her bra, a porn video, a pipe......hmmm....I'm sure there were other items but my memory is failing me.....Lol

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

"But, carrots, cabbage?" I no longer practice religion but unfortunately I grew up Mormon. Mormons....by the way.....LOVE to put carrots in their jello. I always found that odd. Lol.

Jim McAllister said...

Blue,

You just gave me some ideas for a whole new career! I'm going to get some plaid long Bermuda shorts, a striped shirt and some black socks with sandals and head out to a store since you said they don't nail the 65+ crowd. Since that is me, I can finally get that new flat screen TV I've wanted. They don't have to worry about me selling it; I just want it for myself! Just to look a bit more convincing, I think I'll also wear some inch thick black rim glasses and do some selective drooling! LOL

I like the idea of pinning the phone number and if they ask any questions, I'll just say, "Huh?

Seriously, I didn't know that the older crowd could do that. I guess if you catch them, you just take the stuff back but don't prosecute.

What a world! It sounds like you are keeping plenty busy. Please be careful!

Jim McAllister said...

Blue,

That was a big thing in the 50s to put carrots, lettuce, cabbage, etc. in Jello. To me Jello was always a dessert thing more than a salad but I remember it used that way a lot.

Google "Jello salads", I'm sure there are lots of pictures of that yummy stuff.

Rick Kepple said...

Memory. I have my theories. The Prescription Niacin has helped the mood swings a great deal. On the days I forget to take it, I get bitchy. The liver enzymes are normal for now, but I changed doctors and diet. Still practicing music. I work very little and don't exhaust myself anymore. Thank God I served in the military when I was young, or I'd be on $400 a month like everyone else on Social Security and I really can't see how the program is going broke at that rate. And because I've slowed down, the memory's better. Less stress. And I volunteer in the music industry because I get to hang out with music stars.

Rick Kepple said...

Blue's comment with the shoplifting seniors ... I turn 55 this year, so maybe I can go steal some zucchinis and just say I'm on viagra.

Jim McAllister said...

Rick,

Be careful with that stealing. Notice that Blue says they only leave you alone to steal if you are 65 or older. That's me so I'm going to put on my stealing outfit, pin my phone number on my shirt, and go get a flat screen.

Wish me luck!

Rick Kepple, potential vegetable shoplifter said...

A friend takes care of the elderly and she checks on me once a week, but another one of her clients cleaned out his freezer of all steaks, etc. and packed it full of TV dinners. Heck, one day I put a roast on the grill and forgot about it! I go to the store and walk by the TV dinners and they are no longer 79 cents. Mostly, I eat pizza now. And another music publicist helps me out now and then. He's FEMA trained. I'm figured that if that land ever sells, I can keep my five acres and go play guitar in Phoenix, see the ocean, got an invite to South Africa and also there's a pretty gal in Australia who lives in the woods and plays guitar. The nice thing about getting feeble is that you don't know you're getting senile until you burn the house down. Pizza again tonight. I got a TV tray though! A big fancy one!

Mike slater said...

Jimbo, rest assured you don't have to be armed although I was when we went there only because I have a CCW and am armed all the time but that's another story.

BTW they don't open until 10 in the morning.

Rick Kepple said...

Jim, I just got an email from music artist Jon Seppanen. He's heading back from Michigan with all his stuff (amps, recording equipment, gutars, etc.) and going to partner up with Dell Mack. The FEMA trained publicist and I are working together for his client and my client. Golly gee, we got us a little industry going on in Pulaski County Missouri! And we got a pre-owned BMW/Lexus/Porsche dealership! Told ya! Everyone in fame is moving where I am! Heck, there's a photographer in South Africa who says that I can go there and make a ton of money just in the tourist trade! Australia is the same way! It's very strange. Course, the family isn't speaking to me. I'm working in the entertainment industry! I'm sinful! I know musicians who have the same problems. Dell Mack had an understanding father who encouraged him and I have pseudo-parents. Bunches of them! This music business thing is strange. Magical. It's the promise of making money from absolutely nothing. I feel like in the 50's. Rebel without a pause!

Jim McAllister said...

Mike,

If you say so, I'll check it out without heat. It's a shame we have t pack these days but like it or not, it has pretty much become a necessity.

My .38 sat at home for years. Now, every time I get in the car I have it. I keep thinking about that young couple in Alabama who were attacked by 4 scum balls and tortured and killed.

I'll check out SteakenBurger and give you a review.

Jim McAllister said...

Rick,

That sounds great about Jon, you, and Dell. Things seem to be looking up. Good luck and keep us in touch.

Rick Kepple, eccentric writer said...

Ha ha! I am such a great writer! Barbara Eden herself wrote back to a lovely comment that I wrote on her Facebook page and usually it's just Team Eden. Barbara is such a sweet woman to her fans! Course, many celebrities talk to me, because I give them the writing that their publicists don't. Liz Rosenberg hasn't written a thing on her Facebook page for two weeks! So occasionally, I make up some crap about Madonna and others and throw a little Dell Mack in there. Her numbers were low. But Barbara is easy to write for, because she's just so nice. Folks in other countries always tell me that they wish other writers were like me. I can't make any money, but ANYONE that I LIKE makes money. I like the Dixie Chicks. I'm helping them too.

Rick Kepple said...

Fans are wondering why Liz Rosenberg and her snobby Products aren't responding to fans' comments. So I comment for them, but in my name and I tell them the truth. Sales are down, as long as music is pirated, they work harder and can't write back. That's not the truth of course. The truth is that Liz Rosenberg and her celebrity clients are snobs and they wouldn't do anything unless it got them higher numbers. You would say, "Well Rick, what's wrong with that?" When a concert is cancelled, there are NO refunds. So combine snobbery, cancelled concert and her clients should just shut up and retire. Back in the old days, newspapers on the East coast had rich snobs writing gossip. They'd talk about those vulgar poor people eating lobster. Bottom feeding animals. Some people won't eat catfish for that reason too. Now we have an overabundance of information and celebrities can do a lot of things, but snobbery will kill their numbers these days. People like Barbara Eden are easy to make wealthy and famous, but snobs aren't worth many kind words. They get what they pay for. I hear, "We get 200 messages a day!" In the real world, their ass would be down the road and I'd be doing their job, but snobs hire snobs and that's why their numbers are falling. Ask the lobster.

midnightsstaff said...

I saved a can of c-rat fruit cake to remind me that things can always get worse, it was the only item that the indigenous people of Vietnam would give back if you tried to pass one off on them.
"number ten"...

I had the opportunity to eat rats exclusively for months on end- it was quite the ceremony every ten days to open up a case and divvy them up- it had to be a blind selection, because everyone had one or two boxes that just wasn't going to be put in the pack.
I think the ham and *other*uckers was my least tasty meal so it was normally saved for hard times.

Actually it was you and Barb who inspired me to buy a toaster oven- it's amazing what you can toss in one of them babies and quickly convert a frozen blob into a nice toasted snack of bread sticks...
I discovered the bread sticks sold at Costco not long ago and life will never be the same.
keep a cup of garlic butter in the fridge with a paint brush in it, swab em down, pepper and romano cheese- five min. later, delicious.
I suppose I will eat anything but anchovies.
Just try to buy one of those original tv dinners that came in a sturdy aluminum tray any longer- now it's microwaveable plastic or cardboard- but amazingly about the same price as in the early seventies.

Which leads me, albeit the long way around the barn to my main point, nothing has had the impact on the human element like the advent of the microwave oven..
how did we ever get along without them?

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

Lol....we gave up using a microwave 9 or 10 years ago. The only thing I hate is when it starts heating up again here in Hades and the house heats up even more by using the oven to reheat or cook. But somehow we survive.

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

BTW Jim,

We should coordinate your new career experiment with one of the days I work at 19th ave and Glendale. It is the only store where we sit in the office and work "mostly" by camera. (All the other stores we have to walk around and pretend to be shopping. Lol.) But I think that would be the best store for you to experiment in.....that way I get maximum entertainment value AND better seats to the show. Please don't show crack though. I get enough of that already. I "accidentally" got a VERY CLOSE UP shot of grandpa crap yesterday. Lol.

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

Oh.....and the accidental grandpa "crack" was in close up and in person.....not on camera. Lol.

Rick Kepple, professional geezer said...

I'm so lost with what Blue is talking about. I pop a half pain pill to sleep and woke up with a wonderful dream and excrutiating pain! Fortunately, Barbara Eden is sweet and comments back. I got a call from Dell Mack about his European music sales that we heard about. Charlie Daniels was in London and he saw Dell Mack's CD and Charlie got the label's name and called Elvis' family and the Presley's called Dell, and he called me to fix the problem. Pretty cool how I stumbled into this, huh? It is a mixture of education, preparation and just plain ol' dumb luck!

Jim McAllister said...

Middy,

I was fortunate enough to have only a minimal experience with C-rats in Germany. OD cans always bring back memories.

Glad to hear the toaster oven is working out. When we moved here in the 80s, someone advised us on that saying that it cost less to operate and was a lot cooler for the house because of its confined space.

The first one we had lasted about 21 years (a Toastmaster) before we bought a new one. Very handy item, takes a small amount of space and costs less to operate than a standard oven.

We still use the microwave to re-heat a cup of coffee, soup, or defrost something. We bought out first one in 1976 0r 77 while in KC and it cost about $500 and weighed about 100 lbs! I think it was an Amana.

You don't like those little fishy anchovies? I like them as flavoring for a Caesar salad or on pizza. I can't eat them straight though!

Rick Kepple said...

One of these days, I'll have to get another female roommate. The coffee pot turns itself off after two hours. I micronuke food. On a good day, I'll barbeque or bake something, but I get so sick of healthy food! My neighbor's son is home and I occasionally hire him to cook. He was trained as a gourmet chef in high school. Once a week, Lana cleans house and cooks up something healthy. The rest of the time, I nuke burritos or tostidos, or make a sammich. Gotta keep the place looking spiffy in case Charlie Daniels stops by. He would go by Dell's, pick him up and come over! Don't kid yourself! Crazy people stick together!

Jim McAllister said...

Blue,

19th Ave. and Glendale, huh? That sounds like a K-Mart or a Walmart.

I imagine that area keeps you pretty busy especially since you monitor over cameras. If I decide to start my career there, I'll be sure to wear my pants high and have on a long untucked shirt. You probably see enough crack without seeing mine.

Speaking of crack, I'll bet a tube of family size Colgate would fit nicely down there! lol

What do you do when you see someone steal? Do you just walk up to them and confront them about it? I can see that causing a physical confrontation if it is a certain personality type. Do you call the cops on them?

It sure is a different career than interior design! But, at least you are working in this crummy economy and probably making more money than Fry's.

Jim McAllister said...

Rick,

I'd love to meet Charlie Daniels. I love his style.

midnightsstaff said...

One would be surprised at where people can hide things...
So...if you are lucky enough to get one of those jobs where you have to strip out about three hundred inmates in a voc workchange or transporting turds it's kind of like being a junior varsity sled dog- there is only one view and it's not pretty.
But most of us at one point in life have to do what we have to do, and if we didn't strip em out and make them squat and give us three good coughs it would be a real easter egg hunt I suppose.
I've often said that if we didn't have such an amoral society there would be no need for Blue to have to sit there watching "smile your on candid camera" for a paycheck.
Actually that job of Blue's sounds like something right up Cj's wheelhouse, with a minimum of training I'm sure she could use those life experience skills she has amassed living among the natives.
Yes... the microwave oven and the drip coffee maker... two monumental inventions that has made those of us attempting to poison ourselves regularly much more bearable..
remember the old stove top percolator?..
I think there was a song about it.

Jim McAllister said...

Middy,

I'm still laughing.

"if we didn't strip em out and make them squat and give us three good coughs it would be a real easter egg hunt I suppose."

That's great stuff; you should write a book about your experiences working in the prison system.

Blue not only has to watch on camera but some of her duties involve stopping these people face to face. She say they have thrown stuff at her.

Barb and I were having lunch at Paradise Valley mall about 10 years ago when a guy was leaving the mall with a clerk chasing and catching him. He was grabbed by the jacket so he slid out of it and took off. he apparently had stolen a cassette from Sam Goody's and it was in his coat. The clerk got the coat and the cassette. It was amusing to watch. The guy got away but he was cold.

I remember perculators when I was a kid. How about toaster with side doors?

Rick Kepple, stressed disabled writer said...

I remember toasters with side doors! The old cloth covered cord that would get hot. They evolved into toaster ovens. *Charlie Daniels is a good friend of Dell Mack's. Dell still talks to a lot of guys in the mainstream and they all say to stop worrying about the past. Just help them in the music industry and things will work out. As for inexperience, they say that I can learn. I'm chatting with a music publicist now and he suggested "Pollstar" and "Celebrity Access" as a networking site. I couldn't find a song of Dell's that was being sold on the web, but publicist Michael Garrett found it in minutes, but he's been in the music industry since 95. Everyone's so willing to help me out. I'm like halfway retarded or something. Handed all these things, thown to the wolves and told to get to work by people in the entertainment industry. Sure, my friend won't help me much, but just keeps pushing me to succeed. I used to think she was mean, but Dora said I was an idiot and she was trying to help me. So here I am in the thick of the woods and I have no clue what I'm doing in the music industry, but all the famous people say, "You'll learn." Yeah, "If you're not writing, you're not living." Thanks. Push, push, push.

Rick Kepple in deeper entertainment waters and drowning said...

Middy's job sounds gross. And I foresee a time when the government may pass a law to combine a strip search with a physical exam to save money on health care.

Jim McAllister said...

Rick,

Middy isn't in the prison business anymore. He left there about two years ago and is happily retired. However, as you can see from his post, he still has fond memories of dealing with those characters in the hoosegow.

When i mentioned to him he should write a book about his experiences, I meant it. What he mentioned above is the tip of the iceberg compared to the rest of his stories. Those prisoners do, or try to do, things that the normal person wouldn't even think of.

Middy is built like a tank so I'm sure he handled them well. That is one tough job behind the walls.

Rick Kepple, writing entirely too much said...

Jim, it’s not a bad idea to write about Middy’s experiences, but nonfiction or fiction? Life story? People don’t really want to know what has to be done so they can get up in the morning and drink their coffee safely in their own homes. So it’s gotta relate. A soured prison guard realizing that the only reason why he’s not on the other side is because he’s never been caught and he does good things. Still, perhaps he confiscates a joint, stashes it, later smokes it because of the divorce, the BS at work, the kids need dental work that the insurance won’t cover, the uniform has to be perfect for the new boss, no raise, and the idiotic laws. Everyone’s got flaws and it’s what made Sherlock Holmes such a great character; drug addict solving crimes. Every person, fictional or real, must have a conflict at the beginning of the story that is solved by the end of the story. Gee, I can tell people how to solve their own problems, but I can never solve my own problems, but in the end maybe I realize that it just doesn’t matter. Life is a story and the story is our life.

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

Today was rather mellow Jim, just a few alcohol boosters. Catching the thieves isn't as easy as one might think. I let a lot go without making the stop. An example today was a girl who stuck two pieces of makeup down her shirt. It was so small I didn't want to make a stop on it. A bad stop can get you in trouble and I am not experienced enough to feel confident stopping the small stuff. Anyway I have to see them take it, I have to know what they took, I have to see them conceal it (some people roll out with beer or tide, etc so no concealment on some big stuff ) I have to maintain constant surveillance without being noticed (burned). And remember in all but ONE store I have to pretend to be a shopper. If I lose sight for too long I have to let them go as they may have dumped it in that time frame. I also have to let them walk if go in the bathroom. (Something about privacy issues standing up in court.) I have to let them get past all points of sale without offering to pay. I have to stop them within three feet of the exit door......or they walk. We can't make physical contact with them anymore, so they can just keep on walking.....the smart ones do. Over $25 (or booze) and we call the cops and prosecute. Yesterday two were taken to jail for warrants so, when the cops searched them, they found a VERY LARGE BLADE, an VERY SMALL empty baggie, a crack pipe and a porn DVD.....lol. For a retail job....it can be pretty entertaining.

Rick Kepple said...

Wow! Blue is just kicking shoplifter butt! A porn DVD? They sell porn in the grocery stores? Oh yeah, duh ... it's not the Bible Belt. Blue should be careful! Big blade? The Missouri Highway Patrol handgun shooting trainers told me that when someone has a knife, they are MORE dangerous than a person with a handgun. The cops will shoot when someone has a knife, but will ask someone with a gun to put it down. Totally clueless about that. Gun control, ya know? No knife control?

Jim McAllister said...

Blue,

I can imagine the frustration you have. Your list of restrictions as to what you can and can't do is tough.

I assume that the big stuff like 12 packs of beer and home laundry Tide gets somehow pushed by the checkout without notice if they can make it to the parking lot. Then, if they don't stop it's gone? It sounds like your hands are really tied as to what you can and can't do. That has to be frustrating when you know the stuff has been lifted.

In the 60s, Barb was a checker at a Kroger grocery store in Cincinnati while in college. They had a cop stationed by the door watching for thieves and they had plenty of them. They caught one woman trying to waddle out the door with a large ham stuck up her dress between her legs.

At the Safeway store she worked in Scottsdale, they caught someone putting a large bag of dog food in a car trying to conceal some whiskey.

It never ends with those people. It probably would be easier for them to work at a job and buy the stuff than go through the trouble of trying to get something for nothing.

midnightsstaff said...

Another beautiful Arizona day to look forward to... the magic never ends.
I am trying to figure out what breed of hummer I have sneaking into the hummingbird feeder- the boss Hummer is a female widetail I think but this little guy is a male with a distinct white ring around his neck that doesn't look like any I have seen before.. and he has a more nervous disposition than the rest which seem to be mostly black chin and broadtails..
I think he might be an immature Violet Crowned bird but I need to take a pic I suppose and research it.

So what makes you think I am soured on life?- actually I have never felt better- I would much rather talk of egrets and hummers than a herd of duplicitous political animals, but they just won't leave me to my musings and enjoyment of the finer things of life such as watching wildlife interact with a species that is invading their natural habitat and causing great damage.

You sound like you have been talking to Cj... she made a rude comment to me that I doubt she even realized she was making, she told me she was surprised that I didn't shoot the egret that was visiting in my backyard...
What silliness, can't eat them and they are good luck to whomever they decide to visit... I have been visited three times in the past month- so I expect a very prosperous future.

A wise man once noted that the last thing one should do is allow anyone else the control over their happiness, I didn't realize what sage advice that was until it finally hit me that most people allow others compete control over their sense of well being and overall happiness, it is that easy- just like quitting smoking or drinking to excess, you just have to decide that you have had enough and then start thinking for yourself.
By the way, before this thread I had never heard of tomato aspic- but then before Barb (Jim's child bride) made me a loaf I had never heard of zuchinni bread either... it is delicious.

Rick Kepple said...

I've noticed the prettiest birds on my farm since I've been spreading more chicken scratch in the morning. There are lots of cardinals, but I love the bluebirds the best. Dell Mack insists that I learn chords, specifically the major 7's. Barre chords if I can't play the chord right and I said, "But the diagram shows .." Dell says, "Look this is the way it's played and that's just easiest for your fingers!" So maybe one of these days, I can sit out on the deck on one of my bad days and just play any ol' song that comes to mind! I need a hummingbird feeder. What I really need is to sell the farm, move to Arizona or California and get a roommate who can say, "did you take your pills today?"

Jim McAllister said...

Middy,

I love all the wildlife we have up here in the high desert.

Speaking of hummingbirds, we have them come right up to the picture window in back and they look in at us in the morning like they are saying "hello." We have flowers in back and they really like those.

We also have a lot of rabbits, an occasional javelina, coyote, and may other bird species. We used to really hear the coyotes howl at night, not so much anymore. I haven't see n a mule deer lately either.

You never heard of tomato aspic? Probably not much of that in the Dumas-Dalhart-Perryton metroplex! Don't worry, you haven't missed anything!

Barb says thanks for the zucchini bread compliment. You should taste her punkin bread too!

Rick Kepple said...

I'm hungry, but I don't know what I'm hungry for. Pigs in a blanket? Gross. I hate soda. Chicken chardonnay? My only bottle is a 2010, I think. Maybe it's a 2006. TV dinner. Yep. And Jim, one of my friends is Billy Arr. I didn't know he was a songwriter! He lives in Branson now! He's in the "Nashville Music Guide," in the story, "The Past with a Personal Touch: Billy Arr." Billy was a speech writer for George Wallace too! I'm so senile, I don't ever pay much attention to all the famous people on my own Facebook page and Billy talks to me sometimes. He helped me realize that I'd been wrong about trying to find THAT WOMAN, as my mom used to say. So I've been ignoring all that talent trying to be friends with me and I'm too old to make a living, but I can still help the entertainment industry. And they've got good food too!

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

I don't normally like dessert type things made at commercial establishments but WildFlower sells a banana bread that I think tastes homemade (and I grew up with a mom who made home made pies other other baked goods from scratch.) One fairly good sized loaf of it sells for (iirc) $4.99. Lightly toasted with REAL butter.....even MORE yum!

Rick Kepple said...

DSoB has an interesting point. I live where I live and restaurants don't sell banana bread or anything country like that. On Saturday mornings though, the Amish will sell Banana Bread in the Waynesville Mo. park for about Blue's stated price.

midnightsstaff said...

Maybe everyone is just stunned to have our hockey team winning in the second round of playoffs right now or something, oh that's right... no hockey fans in Phoenix right?
I think the reason that your mom's scratch built banana bread tasted so good is because she didn't have a big bag of methylchloroisothiazolinone up there behind the flour sack to make sure the shelf life was extended.
But then homemade banana bread doesn't usually have a long shelf life anyway.
Now I toss my soon to be leaky bananas in the freezer to whip into smoothies- in the summer it's nice to have one for breakfast instead of loading up on something heavy.
I have a food nazi buddy who pulls the trash can over by my fridge and then goes through it telling me how bad that carton of yogurt and those cage bound chicken eggs are for me- it wouldn't surprise me if he went unprocessed grains and whole fruit before long, but I gotta admit for an old goat who is around a month older than me he is in pretty good shape- However we all know that means nothing... consider Jim Fixx.
Old reprobates like me who have the gastronomical excesses of a golf course coyote tend to get away with punishing the body way more than the original design allowed.
Have you tried some of that pomegranate juice?- it's expensive as hell but great stuff.
Actually when you think about nine dollar hockey beer it doesn't sound all that expensive..
I got hooked a while ago, hard to imagine that something like the wonderful taste of pomegranates have flown under the radar for my entire lifetime... but there it is.

I bet Blue never catches anyone trying to boost a bottle of Pom unless it's some swiss cheese for brains geriatric who drove a golf cart to the store and already forgot what Ethyl told him to get.

d said...

"I bet Blue never catches anyone trying to boost a bottle of Pom"
I'll bet I do, eventually. Sometimes these idiots steal Naked Juice with their other crap. Yesterday I accidentally stopped a juvenile (I say accidentally because we try to look the other way.) I TRULY had no idea she was only 13 though. She had a baseball hat on and her hair in her face. Anyway....the reason I started watching her in the first place was she "selected".....then started to "conceal" TWO $3.99 Starfruit....then she changed her mind and stole cheese and cat food and deli chicken, and a Milkway, etc. Lol.

Jim McAllister said...

Blue,

Barb makes pumpkin bread and zucchini bread from scratch and we put Mascarpone on it. Quite a difference from the bakery stuff.

I never heard of Mascarpone until we started watching all those Food Network shows.

midnightsstaff said...

Altho you probably meant Starburst instead of starfruit I get it..
BtW anyone with compromised kidneys should avoid starfruit totally... it is bad news for compromised renal systems...
Yeah, working these type of jobs means you will if you haven't already changed your view on the human condition..
As a general tip tho, and I would bet you already know.. try not to allow work to meld over into real life- don't take home problems to work and for sure don't take work problems home.
Well the trash in Watts because they are too stupid to reason with found out what the short sighted logic of burning their local businesses leads to.
Twenty years later and they have no place to steal their skittles and ice tea from.
I wonder if you would have followed someone acting and dressing like Trayvon walking in your store?
Like I said many times what this nation has is not merely a cultural problem it is a morality problem and that goes much deeper than some cultural abnormalities.

Jim McAllister said...

Middy,

Another ball buster last night. They got pushed all over hell the whole game but somehow pull it out in OT. I see that Tippett drops a puck in a cylinder after each win.

It looks like the had about 300 seats empty according to the attendance announced. That's not bad; some of those seats in the lower bowl were $114; too much!

I remember Jim Fixx very well. He was a popular guy in the 70s during the running boom; had books, calendars, etc. and a hidden girl friend who he used to jog over to see. If I remember correctly, it was during one of those jogs that he went ten toes up.

Back in the 50s, I had a fried who was a born thief. One day he stole a pomegranate off a fruit stand. We opened it up and all I saw was those sour little seeds. I guess they are best for the juice instead of trying to eat those seeds.

Blue says she has had some Pom snatchers but I agree with you; crooks who steal from stores don't seem to have the profile one would expect to be a pomegranate juice thief.

Jim McAllister said...

Blue,

From starfruit to deli chicken and a Milky Way. What was she thinking on the starfruit? That's quite a deviation of products. The latter seems more logical for a 13 year old.

Did she just walk out or were you able to apprehend her? It seems that you guys should be able to physically stop someone who you are positive stole the stuff. Knowing how the law protects criminals these days, you would probably be the one arrested.

Something is wrong with the legal system.

Jim McAllister said...

Middy,

"Like I said many times what this nation has is not merely a cultural problem it is a morality problem and that goes much deeper than some cultural abnormalities."

So true......

Jim McAllister said...

Waynesville, Missouri and Ft. Leonard Wood. I remember them well from my years in the 60s at Whiteman AFB in lovely Knob Noster, Missouri; the home of Boyd's saloon, known by servicemen around the world.

Rick Kepple said...

This nation does have a morality problem. Definitely. I wish I could sell this farm and move back to a Western city and maybe I could get a job writing, but most likely they will say that I'm too old, they don't hire the disabled, I don't have the education, I'm too educated or I look big and strong like a laborer. There's nothing illegal about any of that. Then that woman who claimed that she was my friend and how she was going to "make it right" with me lied and instead just asks her friends to give me advice, thereby avoiding any liability of her irresponsibility and immorality. In a recent blog, I wrote about the blue collar work ethic and white collar work ethic based on the responses of those asked in the work place. Blue collar puts work and a job well done FIRST. White collar America puts MONEY first and the satisfaction of a well made product LAST. The statistics completely changed from 1946 when America was all about working hard to succeed to the present when executives call blue collar workers lazy, when in fact their own White Collar answers clearly say they are the laziest bums on the face of the earth! So that explains why my old pal abandoned me. Money first, friendship second. That's how today's executives and their bean counting risk managers think. She saves money by denying her past and pretending to be a good person. I tell myself that things would be different out West, but it will be worse. The entire reason why I worked freelance is because I am discriminated against for the way that I look and the austism with all the symptoms. It's trendy to help the autistic, but nothing helps me. But it looks good on paper. Look at my friend; she won't even talk to me unless I make at least $250,000 a year! It would be embarrassing for her to be connected to someone as boorish as me. Hell, Frank Zappa said in the 80's that people like her and even Reagan and Bush want to be remembered well, and that's the precise reason why I was thrown under the bus! God forbid that people find out that a homeless kid helped those rich people! What would people say? That's the moral decay in this country! Sometimes I think of moving to Canada or the UK, but it's no different there. When success is guaged by the dollar value then we might as well just surrender to the Chinese or Islam right now and get it over with, because this nation is already dead. We just don't know it yet. GM just said in the USA Today that executive salaries are too low. Greed has destroyed this country and if someone doesn't want to be my friend because they might tarnish their image, there is something wrong with them. I probably don't want to be their friend.

RK said...

After writing that rhetorical nonsense that won't make one bit of difference, I'm packing up the guitar and headed over to Dell Mack's. Stop at Blockbuster and rent a movie. Maybe grab a sammich and some milk. It's best just to stay on disability and follow doctor's orders to volunteer my writing. I'm blacklisted from the local area powers that be and from the mainstream entertainment industry. They'll help Dell, but I'm poison. I was born that way. Cheers!

Rick Kepple, entertainment publicist in training said...

My idea for a periodic Internet reality show at Dell Mack's has been tentatively approved. The secret CD is almost done and the band and CD name are being kept under lock and key! There's a music video in the works. I'm in the hole, but I have faith in God and Dell's company! Six weeks, then production starts. I get stressed by stuff I read. Like lazy executives whining about another million dollars because the work's too hard! Waaa! Jim, Blue DG, Middy, CJ, Don Petersen ... if these things that I'm working on take off ... I'm gonna suggest that we have a blog party and I can pay for it at some swanky Scottsdale thing. I'm under a tiny bit of stress.

Jim McAllister said...

Rick,

Keep us in touch on the internet show. You have some good talent there in Dell, should be interesting.

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

The 13 year old was quite artsy...I think that is why the interest in Starfruit. "I wonder if you would have followed someone acting and dressing like Trayvon walking in your store?" I follow any kid with baggy clothes who goes into the booze or electronics and DVD section. Funny thing is....I have now become a "hoodie" addict myself. We spend a lot of time on the Dairy cooler... so I've come to appreciate hoodies. Lol. But I also follow most woman with huge empty purses who go into the health and beauty aisles. I caught a woman recently who had previously worked for one of the local news stations (in sales.) She now appeared to be boosting and re-selling beauty products.

And yes....only a few months on the job and I can see my perception of people already changing.

I know what marscapone is Jim....but have never seen recipes using it in zucchini bread....sounds yummy.

Jim McAllister said...

Blue,

These must be hard times for the crooks. You guys seem to be able to read them pretty easily with the big purses, baggy clothes, etc. What kind of sentences do these people usually get, a first timer for example.

That's funny about the TV sales woman reverting to stealing. I guess it pays better but since you know who she is, she must have been caught before.

If you see someone in dairy sticking a pound of butter in their pocket, what is the procedure you go through with them? I'm sure you confront them but since they are still in the store and can claim they were going to pay, do they just put it back? Have you had some of them get really upset if you question them?

I used to merchandise ice cream for a company called Dairy Maid. I used to see people grab hand fulls of peanuts from produce and go to the ice cream aisle, stick their heads in the freezer, and eat the peanuts leaving the shells all over the inside of the freezer.

I know what you mean about dressing for the dairy cooler. I used to go in the freezers. People would look at me funny when I walked through the stores with a wool knit hat, heavy gloves, and a jacket on a 110 degree day.

The mascarpone cheese is used as a spread on the pumpkin and zucchini bread, not cooked into it. Very tasty.

midnightsstaff said...

Boosting a Starfruit eh?- well I would have bet it was candy you meant instead.
Yeah.. this is the downside of these type of jobs, you tend to look at society differently.
Curiously despite the libs insistence, there seems to be little correlation between harsh economic times and criminal activity- petty crime tends to drop in these garden variety recessions as it did during the great depression.
bottom line is there is simply no excuse for stealing.
Yeah they corrupted the word Gay, Butch and now hoodie, I gotta laugh because I own a couple myself but am smart enough to take it off before going into a bank or some business that caters to shoplifters.

Along that same line of thinking I also take off the bandanna over my nose to keep the allergies at bay when I try to cash a check.
Someday the word hoodie will no longer mean visions of gangbangers and the other criminal element- one day it can be once again associated with druids, Robin Hoods merry men and dour head coaches of northeastern professional football teams.

I have a dream- please don't take that from me..

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

I have mascarpone in my fridge right now. I should go buy some of the Wildflower banana bread!

Under $25, sans no booze, we site and release. It is a Civil Citation, a $250 fine , plus the cost of the merchandise stolen.

Over $25 and we call the police. What happens after that is determined by what outstanding warrants they have, how cooperative they have been with us and the police, etc.

At first you feel sorry for the homeless dudes stealing food. (The story is always something like they lost their ID, and were on their way to get a new one but without ID they can't get a food basket....blah blah blah..) But then when you bust them, trespass them from all stores in Arizona and see them stealing food at a different store a few days later.....EVEN THOUGH YOU JUST TRESPASSED THEM...you kind of start to lose sympathy.

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

Oh and they don't really want is spending all our time on the petty thieves. The Tide, Pantene, Diaper (etc) boosters are making $50,000-$70,000 a week. Not a month, a WEEK! So that is who they really want us spending our time busting. But most of those guys/girls run.

midnightsstaff said...

You would think with all the legal stealing (WIC- WDC- sect.8 housing vouchers etc) they already are committing they would give the merchants who operate on less than three percent profit to begin with a break.
But turds are turds-
Right now California is letting "the little guys" go back to what they do best, banging, slingin', running home invasion crews, boosting diapers to sell, cooking meth, committing burglaries and instead of keeping society safe they allow them to return to their normal life of creating general mayhem because they have wasted tax money growing irresponsibility to the point we now enjoy so there is no money to support prisons and jails,
Obviously getting the high speed rail between gangland and queerville up and running will boost the economy and serve the inmate... er I mean "the citizens of California" much more efficiently than locking career criminals up and keeping them busy stamping out license plates and out of society.
I think the three strikes law needs a little tune up, execute the bastards on their fourth felony... no appeals no drama - a couple of examples of giving a career criminal or two a last walk from the courtroom to behind the barn with a loaded .38 should do it.
I don't believe the death penalty does all that much to lower the crime rate and frankly I don't care. but one thing it accomplishes is to clear some of the trash out of society.

Jim McAllister said...

Blue,

Since you can't touch them, when you stop them do they just stand there and watch you write the ticket then obediently go pay it and move on? That sounds too easy.

$50,000 to $70,000 a week? That sounds like a lot for those items. Who do they sell it to? That's a lot of Tide and Pantene!

I can see where your sympathy would wane a bit after a while. With that kind of money made per WEEK why would they ever want to get a job for $8 an hour?

Jim McAllister said...

Middy,

It's depressing to read but what you say pretty much hits the nail on the head.

With the government being a nanny state and the culture down the tubes anymore, why work? Rob a store or a house, steal a car; what the hell, they figure it beats working plus even if caught will get away with it. Very depressing.

Worst of all, those crooks will all vote for Obama. Why not, he sympathizes with them.

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

Jim,

We identify ourselves as store security and ask them to come back inside to discuss the unpaid merchandise. They typically play stupid until you say the "Pantene in your purse" or whatever else they stole. Sometimes they have a lot more what they got BEFORE you even started watching them. Then we do all the paperwork in the office.

Middy a lot of them go and get their food (EBT pays for that of course )but they also place all their NON-FOOD stuff up on the small, top portion of their cart then stuff it into their clothing and/or bags just before heading to the registers. Gotta get that non food stuff for free too you know! Oh....and of course most of them like the EXPENSIVE stuff. If you're stealing, you might as well take the GOOD stuff!

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

The boosters who make LOTS of money hit several stores a day. They often walk out with FULL CART LOADS. At $20 a bottle for Tide and $15-$20 per certain hair products it can add up quickly, especially if they get, say .50 on the dollar for these items at the Swap Meet. Some of the small mom and pops are buying from them for less than wholesale. They also have what are called "fences" or organized leaders in homes where they take it and sell it back. Many people believe the majority of the "fences" here are connected to the Mexican Mafia. It is these "fences" that my company is trying to unearth.

Jim McAllister said...

Blue,

Interesting. I wonder if the cops ever make the rounds of those mom and ops and flea markets and ask for bills of sale on that stuff.

It sounds like you are getting to see the underbelly of life with these people. I guess we just have to take it for what it is and keep paying higher prices so the store can make up the losses.

What a world. Most of us grow up trying to be honest and do the right things, obey the law, etc. then we get to see how others look at life.