FILL ‘ER UP AND HOLD THE MEAT

OK, I say with a gentle sigh, it’s time for another friendly reminder.  The year is 2023. May we PLEASE stop selling bait on any premises where food is served?  Oh sure, you try to dress them us as ‘night crawlers,’ and put a fancy sign out front but we know they’re worms. Stop it.

Here’s how it all started. Once upon a time, there were three business establishments all on the same winding country road.  There was a gas station, a restaurant, and a bait shop. Then one day, the owner of the gas station had a brainstorm. “What if I sell food and bait along with the gas?  I bet I could make an extra two dollars and fifty cents a week!” Ladies and gentlemen, this was the end of civilization, as we know it. Yes, I’m sure it made it convenient for Jim the angler to come strutting in holding an empty satchel and instructing the clerk to ‘fill it up’ with his finest night crawlers. But suppose they got into a heated discussion about the previous night’s episode of Duck Dynasty on TV and concentration was lost for even a second?  C’mon, when the blood starts to boil, bacon and worms can look an awful lot alike.

Goober:          Hey Jim Bob, why is that sandwich moving across the counter?

Jim Bob:        Oh, you’re cruising for a piledriver, bud!

On the other hand, who among us didn’t serve our little sisters the occasional worm sandwich with mayo on Wonder bread from time to time? But we’re adults now and worms do not belong anywhere within twenty- five miles of where food is being served! I really can’t think of anything more unappetizing. OK, maybe that cylindrical piece of questionable twenty-five-day-old meat slowly spinning on the roller at the convenience store, but beyond that, I can’t think of anything.

Hey, I’m now knocking the hard-working people who sell bait exclusively. How about the hundreds of thousands of dollars they spent on schooling just to learn how to sell bait? What happens to them when you try to hone in on their business?   They’ll go out of business, their kids will have to go around without shoes, their poor spouses have to pick up a side hustle, that, by the way, is illegal in most states, and the whole family will have to head off to  that convenience store and eat that dried out piece of shoe leather on the spinning roller.

Let’s forget for just a moment that in a recent survey, 85% of people actually preferred the taste of unleaded regular to the ninety-nine cent breakfast specials at quick stops.  It’s a scientific fact that the sight of slithering invertebrates appearing anywhere near where food is being served is likely to cause an unpleasant intestinal reaction resulting in huge laundry bills. I say stick to what you do best. Restaurants should serve food. They’re well equipped to do so. They have highly paid and competent professionals with aprons, spiral notepads, and clean fingernails eager to jot down our every wish. They also have something called silverware. Overall, it makes for a nice dining experience. So, if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to delve into the wonderful world of bait, then sell all-season radials or chewing tobacco, or work gloves, just leave the food preparation to the pros. For Heaven’s sake, what’s next:  Barnes and Noble booksellers dispensing specialty coffees?

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