The place I usually get a cheese omelette and a banana every morning decided to stop giving out plastic fork and knife packages that include salt and pepper. I must now request salt and pepper packets. The plastic utensil (now singular) given out is a single fork. No knife, although I always questioned the viability and useful life of a skimpy plastic piece of cutlery.

So far the transition to condiment-free cutlery has not gone well. On day 1 of this new regime I requested salt and pepper packets. I was handed no less than 40 of those fucking things.

Day 2 (today) brought a more modest interaction. I requested salt and pepper and was presented with two containers filled with said packets. I carefully picked just one salt packet, then felt obligated to take more. I don’t know why but it seemed the cashier who presented this offering to me deserved some affirmation that her gesture resulted in the dispensation (dispensory?) of more than just one measly salt packet. It mattered to me that she felt valued, and worthy of her time.

The ongoing salt/pepper fiasco comes at a stage in my life where, for the first time ever, I have actually used those little things. When the cutlery came with salt and pepper I dutifully and non-wastefully spread the content of both packets across the surface of that cheese omelette. I also get a sausage patty with that, being careful not to toss the salt and pepper onto that greasy breakfast gruel that is likely already high in sodium.

In this epoch of my life I embraced the salt and pepper. I do not let them molder away in a desk drawer for decades. I do not leave them at the bottom of my carry-all  bag, nor do I throw them out. I use those fuckers, dammit. Now I have to make a nuisance of myself by requesting them individually. This takes away precious time from my life, and from the work of the cashiers who work the counter.

Research has to have been performed. The place (it’s a grocery store) must have spent thousands on focus groups and customer feedback events to conclude that nobody fucking used those things, accounting for untold millions of pounds of wasted salt and pepper across the run of this program.

Or did they? Did they actually decide that it was cheaper to give out just one utensil, and that no one would miss the salt and pepper…

I don’t know but I demand answers, and hope you do to. Please join me for a protest outside the Jubilee store at John Street and Gold Street. We will pelt incoming customers with naked salt and pepper to make the point that no paying customer of the Jubilee establishment should suffer this tiny agony, this daily indignity of exploring the joy of making legitimate and as-intended use of the typically forgotten salt and pepper packets.