Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bernie Coldcuts The Mind Reader

169 Bernie Coldcuts the Mind Reader

Bernie knows what his customers want before they open their mouths. He’s that good. Not every time, of course. But mostly.

Sheila Stone walks in. Pest. Never gets the same thing twice. But today, Bernie knows she wants a “heavy” half pound of Genoa salami, a “heavy” half pound of German potato salad and three pounds of knockwurst.

A “heavy half pound” means “give me a little extra, and don’t charge me for it.” That used to be easy when Bernie Coldcuts had those old-fashioned scales. He go along with Sheila. Next customer, he’d put his thumb on the scale and shortweight the guy by about the same amount he gave away to Sheila. It’s a wash. And who’s going to know.

Once, though, he did that to a city weights and measures inspector and they shut him down for an hour or two right around the busy pre-dinner shopping hour so they could check his scales.

They didn’t really have to, but they did it to teach Bernie a lesson. Which he learned. So he went out and got a couple of those digital scales and now he has to tell Sheila she can’t have her “heavy half pound” because the scales are electronic and he can’t charge her less than the cost of the actual weight of the knockwurst.

Sheila looks over the cracker display up front, and while she’s doing that, Bernie starts filling the order she hasn’t given yet.

When she gets to the counter, B has all the stuff packaged except the knockwurst, and he’s just about to wrap that.

“Hi, Bernie,” she says, “I need a heavy half pound of Genoa Salami, a heavy half pound of German potato salad and three pounds of knockwurst.”

“Gottem right here,“ says Bernie. I’m a mind reader.

“No,” says Sheila. You cut those for another customer earlier and now you’re trying to sell me stale goods. I won’t hear of it. And besides, those aren’t “heavy” half pounds, I can tell.”

“Sheila, I’ve been telling you for weeks I can’t do the heavy weights anymore. The scale won’t let me. And this ISN’T stale. I started cutting for you when I saw you walk in.”

Later, Petshop Tony walks in and pauses in front of the cracker display. Bernie immediately starts cutting a quarter pound of all-beef bologna and four thin slices of American cheese.

Tony walks up to the counter and asks Bernie for just that. Bernie hands him over the package.

“I can read minds, Tony. I knew what you wanted before you ever opened your mouth.”

This mind reading thing can get out hand sometimes.

Bernie and his wife Phyllis were out at a party the other day, and Bernie is hitting on the host’s daughter, Sarah. Phyllis walks into the room and surprises the two of them.

Bernie says “Phyllis! I thought when I was reading your mind just now that you had to go to the bathroom.”

“No, Bernie, I was just coming OUT of the bathroom when I caught you two lovebirds.”

Sometimes Bernie Coldcuts is a dyslexic mind reader.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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