The Mole People
This story is the result of working at The Fresh Market alongside a bunch of absolutely mental people. Back in the prep room, the common topic was bullshit.
And most of the bs we talked about was why, oh God why, the prices at Fresh Market were so high. The only explanation we could come up with was that it was a result of a H.G. Wells-like tale of adventure.
Rebecca Hannigan was used to the uber-inflated prices at the grocer’s down the street, but this was a bit overboard. It’s not that she didn’t like salmon–she did. It was just that $7,000 an ounce seemed a bit pricey. It’s not like she couldn’t afford it–with over a hundred million dollars in net worth, she could–it was just that this price confused her. She called over a seafood clerk, a girl who looked like she was ready to graduate from high school. “Excuse me,” said Rebecca, “can I speak to your manager?”
“Of course, ma’am,” said the girl.
Rebecca waited for the manager. The item marked “Under-Earth Salmon ~ $7,000/oz.” was sealed off from the rest of the seafood in its own glass compartment. It had a vaguely cream-like color.
“Can I help you, ma’am?” asked the manager, a woman about forty dressed in a tan almost-pantsuit.
“Yes. What is Under-Earth Salmon and why is it $7,000 an ounce?”
“Ah. Yes. Well, Under-Earth Salmon is exclusive to us, you see. Imagine, if you will, the best salmon you’ve ever had. This is guaranteed to be four times better. You see, the taste comes from inbreeding: only the second and fifth generation salmon will taste this way. Any other generation is toxic.
“We keep them in the pond out back. It’s sealed off from the rest of the seafood like this because with Under-Earth Salmon, there’s always a chance that the aroma of the salmon will drift from the meat to other meats and spoil them with amazing taste.”
This last sentence made absolutely no sense to Rebecca, and as such, she blinked. “But why is it $7,000 an ounce?”
“Ah. Yes. Well, let me tell you. Please, come in the break room, it’s a long story.”