Friday, November 14, 2008

A Letter To the Head of Grapes

Ironically, I'm eating a banana right now.

National Grape Cooperative Association, Inc.
National Grape
2 South Portage Street
Westfield, NY 14787
Attn: President Randolph Graham

Dear Mr. Graham,

Thank you so much for growing your delicious grapes. Grapes have played such a large role in our nation's history, and every time I pop one in my mouth I smile and think of our country's ancestors who brought their family grape vines over from the Old World and built beautiful vineyards and large families with voluptuous Mexican daughters who pranced around the California moutainsides. I assume your company is a similar operation.

Since I love grapes so much, I was thrilled this week when Kroger Supermarkets had a sale on red grapes for $1.99/lb. So I went over to grab a bag, when I noticed something very strange. The plastic grape bags all have big holes in them. What is the point of a bag filled with holes? Naturally, I asked the produce manager, and he said it was to prevent moisture from building up and spoiling the grapes. They needed to "breathe" he said. I love Old World vernacular!

My real concern, though, was when I noticed my bag had a zipper pull-tab at the top. I pulled it to close the bag, but when I reached the other side the bag was still open. Thinking I had a broken zipper, I tried another bag. Then another, and yet another! All the bags have zippers at the top to close, but none of them do anything! I went back to the produce manager, and this time he was stumped. He said he didn't know what the purpose of the zippers was, but that "the grapes should still taste the same."

Well, I got home and the grapes did taste the same. But something still was lost. Maybe it's just me, but I can't stand a puzzle like this. Why design a Ziplock-type plastic bag that cannot close? That's like me designing a wool sweater with tiny piping filled with freon, so that when you put the sweater on it cools you down like an air conditioner. It doesn't make sense, and none of my drawings are financially viable inventions.

Please, Mr. Graham, I'm not trying to take up too much of your time. I know you've got to go chase your little barefooted Mexican daughters between rows of golden vines as the sun sets behind the rich-green mountain slopes, before coming inside to eat a big plate of pasta that your cheerily obese wife prepared. I know you're busy, but if you could just write me a quick note explaining the perplexing purpose of your plastic grape bags, I would greatly be in your debt.

Proudly At Your Service,

The Correspondent

Welch's gave me a pretty quick (albeit brief) reply, apologizing for something they probably had no fault in (and which I've come to realize was just my own bad luck). Also, it really doesn't matter if your grape bag zips or not. I suddenly feel very guilty for wasting Ms. Spicer's time. Although, seriously, hot name. You wanted to see me, Ms. Spicer? Yes, name redacted. We really need to do something about your biology grade...

Oh, and I got free coupons! I get a free bag of grapes and a bunch of free cartons of juice. Come to think of it, though, I don't believe I've ever actually seen a Welch's brand bag of grapes at the grocery store.


Anonymous said...

Wait, those zippers work for me. Am I alone here, or is the Correspondent caught in some sort of defective zipperless grape bag void in the universe?

42jeff - and why does my Google account not want to work? said...

I have to second that. While my grape purchasing experiences are limited to mindless grabbing of a bag and dropping it in the cart... the couple times I've tried to zip them seem to have been successful.