Free-Floating Hostility

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bird Flu Finally Hits Home

Yesterday was my birthday. But it was also National Signing Day in college football and the day Anna had to the take a late (both scheduled and actually departing) train out of Berkeley. And work trumps everything in our family. So once I filed my story, I treated myself to a birthday dinner of Indian takeaway. When Anna's not around I order the chicken pakora -- a fancy name for fried bits of chicken -- instead of the usual veggie samosas as an appetizer. But when I arrived to pick up my dinner, I found the usually $2.75 meal had been hiked to $5.75. Normally I don't quibble over prices, but that was outrageous.

"Price of chicken breast has gone up," said the guy behind the counter.

My mind (for obvious reasons) jumped to bird flu. First war puts a crimp in the oil supply, the Katrina puts a crimp in the Girls Gone Wild supply and now this. Pretty soon we'll be living on the island from Lost.

"Bird flu?" I asked.

He gave me a strange look.

"No. We've just switched to all chicken breast so it will taste better."

I'm pretty sure this is a lie. I have some history with this guy's family. His older brother runs a cell phone store in town. When Trixie visited in October, her cell phone died, so we took it to this guy's place to look at it. The guy then negleted to tell anyone that he was closing up shop 45 minutes early with Trixie's cell phone inside and no way to get it out until Monday, after Trixie's return flight. Anna and Trixie took turns over the next 36 hours leaving abusive and vaguely threatening messages on the guy's voice mail. This was easy for them to do because they weren't going to have to pick it up that Monday. And when I went in, the guy behind the counter actually tried to sell me something, rather than give me something to keep from getting really angry. He should have just told me that his market research has shown that people really like fried shit (okay, not literally shit), and that he's trying to boost his profits. That I would have at least understood.

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