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Chicken of the NYC

I was standing on my corner waiting for the light to change when an older woman of European or Middle Eastern descent with a utility push cart suddenly stopped and asked me, “Do you eat tuna?”

“Sorry?” I was sure I understood her, but wait. What?

“Tuna. Do you eat it?”

“Oh, tuna, yes I eat it.”

“Do you know of this Chicken of the Sea. Is good yes?”

“Sure,” I shrugged. “Brands are kind of all the same.” I didn’t think it worth it to parse out the differences between oil and water, chunk, light, blah, blah, blah.

“Because my husband say it CHEAP!” She then launched into a scathing detailed account of how she came home with the groceries and he bitched about the cheap tuna demanding she go back to the store to return it. She disagreed and said, “He eat what I bring home!”

Strong words for a woman who was on her way to Western Beef to exchange the tuna.

I laughed and said, “I don’t think the brand matters but look for solid white albacore.”

“Huh? Al-buh-core?” She repeated, unsure of this new word I was introducing to her vocabulary.

“Yes, A-L-B-A…You know what, I’ll just show you.” So she and I walked along with her pushcart to Western Beef, her complaining of her nitpicking husband the whole way.

In the canned meat section of the store, I showed her the difference between tuna packed in oil versus water and chunk versus solid white.

I gave her a wicked little grin and said, “Take home Bumble Bee, so your husband will think he’s right.”

“He will complain about something else then! He eat what I bring home!” She said as she placed the Bumble Bee in her basket.

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