Battle of the Funny Garage Bands

Notes from Nan: Funny, Funny Staff!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

BOY am I a good person! You want to know how good I am (virtuous, I mean)? I just opened up Rob’s Grocery Talk with Rob e-mail and laughed so hard I wanted to pee in my pants. And you know what that means?

Rob is funnier than I am. If we had a funny-off, Rob would win. My friend Diane Young and I once thought we should start a Funny Festival—like a music festival, except that everything would just be funny on all the stages. You could have music, but it would have to be really funny music. Nothing at all soulful – unless it was funny soulful. We could have the Rhythm and Happy stage. We were going to hold the festival in Kansas because it seemed like the least funny state and we wanted a good, solid, high-contrast background for it.

If we had the Funny Fest, Rob would be the emcee. Or the headliner. In the Battle of the Funny Garage Bands, Rob would win.

So what does that have to do with me being a good person? I’m so good that I am putting Rob’s Grocery Talk with Rob today’s post even though it’s funnier than I am. I am getting stars in my crown for that, and I will go directly to heaven.

So here’s what you the reader should do if you want to stay on my good side: When you see me, you should say, “That Rob is a funny boy! Yes indeed!”

You should NOT bless my heart by saying,

1.) But you’re funny, too! Really, you are!
or worse,
2.) He’s WAY funnier than you!


Here’s what we’re having for dinner on Friday night:

  • Miso-Glazed Salmon
  • Lime Peanut Jasmine Rice
  • Sesame Baby Bok Choy
  • Asian Mixed Green Salad


Hey guess what! You know how they’re having the Solstice Celebration on Saturday night (12/22/07) out of the Ashfield Town Common? And you know how it’s going to be cold? (See, that’s when winter starts! This has just been the pre-game warm-up to the real season.) Well, Elmer’s is going to have good, hearty food for you to warm up with either before you go out to welcome the light back, or after you get in from it. We’ll start serving at 5:30 pm and go until about 9 or so. And even better than good, hearty food, we’ll also have Morris Dancers in here doing the sword dance! I think that’s going to happen after the actual Town Common part. This is now going to be the Second Annual Solstice Sword Dance in Elmer’s Old English Pub. This year we’re marking the event by raising the chandeliers out of swords’ harmful way! So you won’t want to miss that!


Little Donna Elwell was so tuckered out from her Dance of the Sugar-Plummed Farm Report last week, that she seems not to have got it in yet this week! So I’m just here to tell you two things:

  1. We have plenty of produce for you.
  2. And nine-million oranges.


And now, here at the end, just like a fine dessert is Grocery Talk with Rob:

Oh, I had big plans, all right. I was going to get in there and kick grocery butt. Yessir, things were going to be a little different around here from now on (new sheriff and all that). So I had a little “meeting” with the products that were, shall we say, under performing. You know the ones. They sit there day after day; taking up precious space, sucking up heat that WE pay for (can’t just let them freeze to death). Anyway, I let them know in no uncertain terms that their days may very well be numbered if they didn’t get their act together (I told a bottle of balsamic vinegar that a can of Diet Coke would sell better in his spot). With that taken care of, I placed my first grocery order confident that the deadbeats wouldn’t need replenishing anytime soon.

Then you people came in and bought EVERYTHING. Cleared the shelves, you did. Tomato paste, capers, soy whip, soy capers, tomato whip. You name it, it sold. Even a bottle of balsamic vinegar (which, for some reason, gave me an obscene gesture as I was ringing it up).

Now here I am, desperately trying to remember what even goes in those empty shelf spaces. Peggy just sighs and shakes her head. Being a grocer is hard. You have to anticipate and plan and order things weeks in advance. You have to see into the future. You have to know that if there is a half moon on a Thursday, and the temperature is less than 25 degrees and the humidity is over 65 percent, there will be a rush on curried salsa even if you’ve never sold a jar of the stuff. I’m not kidding, folks.

So I’m instituting my own personal ratings system on which I can evaluate my week-to-week performance. This will provide me with benchmarks which I can improve upon. I call it the Whipple Scale, named for the best grocer America has ever known. While I may never achieve Full Whipple (after all, who could?), at least I can try to beat last week’s score.

Week 01 : 2 Whipples (out of a possible 10).

See? Not that good. But I’ll get better!

Oh, by the way, if you need something in time for Christmas, let me know right now! We get the delivery on Christmas Eve, but I have to put the order in by Thursday. Kind of short notice, I know, but we can get all kinds of stuff for your holiday entertaining needs (grocery-wise).

Happy Holidays,


P.S. Ladies, please don’t squeeze the El Jardin!


SO, have a fun time, come in for dinner and on Solstice Night for the Clanging of the Lights with the Swords

And God Bless Us Every One!

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