Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Great Walmart Walnut Caper.

Walmart shoppers never cease to amaze me.

This afternoon, as usual, as I entered the eastern door, I took my first right through the produce area.

I just happened to notice an elderly woman - looked to be 70 or so - with her store-provided power cart parked right next to a bin full of mixed nuts. I was struck by the fact that her dress reminded me of news footage from the late Balkan wars. She had one of those large, greenish, plastic produce bags and was picking through the nuts with her fingers rather than using the scoop provided.

I went on about my shopping at a leisurely pace, eventually making my way all the way back to  the dairy case and then back to the front. As I was passing back through the produce section, maybe 20 minutes later, the woman was still there, picking through the nuts.

Curiosity aroused, I cruised by her. It was obvious that the woman had been at work for some time picking all of the walnuts out of the supposed mixed nuts. The woman was literally elbows deep into the pile of nuts feeling around on the bottom for walnuts.

I took up a position over in front of the deli and continued to watch. Finally, when the large green bag was absolutely full, she hefted it up into the hanging produce scale. The thing is graduated from 0 to ten lbs. When she let go of the bag in the pan, the needle shot all the way around, past 10 lbs (0) and to 1. I took that to be 11 pounds of walnuts.

Now, it just so happens that next to egg nog, walnuts are one of my favorite Christmas season treats.
This year, I bought a  1 pound bag each week for 3 weeks.My recollection is they were about $2.29 a pound - a very good price for walnuts - or so I thought.

It turns out that if you have the petty larcenous chutzpah to stand there and brazenly pick them out of the mixed nuts, you can get them for $1.50 per pound! Screw the more timid, honest customers.


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