Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Logic of Grocery Stores

The cans you see before you have several things in common: they are, in fact, cans; they all contain some form of tomato; and two of them are going in my vegetable soup. Can you guess what they don't have in common, aside from size and a few different colors? One of them, the tomato juice, is not to be found in the canned vegetable aisle, no matter how much time you spend staring at the shelves. You will only find it in the beverage aisle. Think about this a little. The canned vegetable aisle contains diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and pretty much any other variety or combination of tomatoes under the sun. The beverage aisle contains many bottles of liquid, including some bottles of tomato juice. It contains many cans as well, although they're generally the soda sort of can, not the soup sort. Generally, but obviously not without exception. "Honey, could you hand me the can opener and that quart of tomato juice you bought the other day? I'm feeling a mite thirsty."

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