Minutes (Chicago)

July 21, 2009

posted & written by Caroline Picard


  • The Last Thing To Be Said About the Farmer’s Market (for now, anyway): There is a man who sells vegetables under a tent with flames on it. Each morning, before the customers arrive, he studies the price points of other vegetables. He can see that spring onions are sold for three dollars at the stand across from him. He prices his spring onions at two dollars. Tomatoes are sold for five dollars/crate three stands down from him. He thus sells a crate for four. He has an outstanding reputation for his surreptitious activity. Last week he set up his stand and crossed the aisle to examine the prices of his approximate competitor. He had a pad and a pencil and took down notes. One of the vendors scowled at him. “Doing some re-con, eh?” The farmer from the tent of flames looked up and scratched his head with the visor of his baseball hat. “Maybe,” he said. “You do it too though. You came last week and looked at my prices.” The woman to whom he spoke would have none of this. She cussed under her breath, “Fucker, SOB, Apple-Faced Bitch,” and looked up at him again. “That’s just not so,” she said. “I came last week to buy a tomato plant from you. And you know it.” The farmer from the flame tent licked his lips, a surly smile spread over his small teeth. “You and I both know that’s not so. You and I both know what you were up to. Plotting. Undercutting me. Pssh. Tomato Plant. Indeed.” He shook his head and, while rubbing his hands together, went back to his tent of flames, put his sunglasses on and lowered all of his prices a dollar.

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