This morning, whilst taking care of my morning toilette, I remembered something that happened a few years ago and giggled so hard that I snorted. This to me means I should share my amusement with you.
Several years ago, I worked at a small hippie-owned health food store. You may remember this from when the idiot customer spit prosciutto into our herb garden. I happened to be manning the floor that day with my trusty cordless phone in the pocket of my apron. As was the custom, I answered the phone quickly and pleasantly only to have a brusque voice ask me right off the bat
“How do weevils get into bread?”
As you can imagine, I was a little surprised. After a moment I explained to her that they get into the flour sometimes and could probably end up in bread from there.
“Well, I bought some flour there the other day and made rye bread for my pastor. His wife cut into it when they got home and he called me up last night saying he had to throw it away because there were bugs in it. Weevils.”
This was worrisome to me, so I went immediately to the bulk flour bins and looked inside the rye flour. Then I put on a glove and dug around in it with the scoop. There were, predictably, no weevils. I reported this to the customer on the other end of the line and she reiterated that her pastor said there were bugs in his bread, so there must be bugs in the bread. I asked her to describe the bugs and she said they were small with stripes and kind of curled up.
Something clicked in my head. I asked the customer to hang on a second and put her on hold while I went to the spice wall. I went straight to the ‘C’ section and opened the caraway seeds. Then I got back on the phone.
“Ma’am, did you by any chance put caraway seeds in your rye bread?” There was a prolonged silence on the other end and the sounds of what I recognized to be someone rummaging through either a pantry or a medicine chest. Then
She hung up and I commenced laughing hard enough to make my stomach hurt and my manager come over to see what was so funny. In retrospect, being that today is 4/20 and I worked with a bunch of hippies, she probably thought I was tapping the old herb. I explained to her that I just talked to a woman whose pastor had mistaken caraway seeds in a loaf of rye bread for weevils and that she proceeded to call said man of god an idiot. Her reaction was the same as mine.
The moral of the story? Know your spices. Or at the very least, know your bugs. Secondary moral? If you’ve gotta work retail, go for health food or photo labs. They’re both rife with wacky men of the cloth. But that’s a story for another time.