Semi-seedless sour grapes

I bought some seedless grapes at the grocery store the other day, and I’m not even kidding you, they were at least fifty percent not seedless. As in, seeds. And whatever, I’m not a farmer, I don’t know what it takes to get seeds out of grapes, but if you’re going to advertise a certain product, fine, I can see maybe one or two seeds slipping past inspection.

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But this was ridiculous. And even worse, the grapes that had seeds, there were like three or four seeds in each one. That’s like, at that point, you’re eating more seed than fruit. And I don’t necessarily mind seeds. Sunflower seeds? Fine. Pumpkin seeds? I’m not a huge pumpkin seed fan, but if you’re enjoying pumpkin seeds, that’s cool, do your thing.

But you never see anybody eating just grape seeds. Why? Because you take one accidental bite of a grape seed and the entire inside of your mouth gets really astringent. “It makes everything taste gross!” this was me, I brought the half-eaten bag of grapes back to the grocery store. Which, yeah, it is a little petty, like who goes back to the store to return grapes?

And like I said, maybe if it were only a few grapes, maybe even like ten or fifteen seeded grapes, maybe I could have let it slide. I would have been pissed, sure, but I’d have gotten over it, eventually. But this bag, it was like every other grape, sometimes two in a row, seed after seed.

“What do you want me to do about it?” the grocery store manager said, and I didn’t know, I didn’t think this far ahead. Now that I had this guy’s attention, it became painfully obvious, the grapes, the store, the money in my pocket, I had no idea what I was doing here.

But then I got a crazy thought, I imagined this guy in the back of the store, like a drug dealer cutting his Colombian snow with flour or baking powder, he was carefully measuring a select amount of seeded grapes to sell alongside the premium products. He’d run some numbers on a really old-fashioned calculator and, after figuring out just how much he was squeezing out of us, the unwitting customer, too meek to even challenge his little grape ring, he’d start to laugh, slowly at first, but increasingly more menacing, until somebody from the floor had to check in on him, to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong.

But how to express concern about such a potentially legitimate albeit highly unlikely scam? So I just said to him, “I don’t know man, but these grapes were terrible.”

“Yeah, well, how long did you keep them in the fridge for?”

And I was like, “I don’t know, five days? A week?”

And he just shook his head, “Nope, sorry, no returns on produce after three days,” and he held out three fingers, just in case I wanted to count along.

“Hey man, I didn’t say anything about a refund, OK, I just …”

And what did I want exactly? Again, a refund would have been nice, but after denying me one before I even had a chance to suggest restitution, now it wouldn’t make sense to argue for my money back. And yeah, I did eat like half the grapes.

“Well, can you at least get rid of these for me?” and I handed him the bag, pretending to then storm out of the grocery store. But really, I was watching him from the outside. I wanted to see if what I thought was going to happen would actually happen, that he’d take my rejected seeded seedless week-old grapes and mix them in with the fresh produce. Then I’d storm in and go, “Ah-HAH!”

But he didn’t. He just threw them in the trash and then started yelling at some box boy for stacking the boxes on the shelves the wrong way.

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