So we have this Italian butcher down the block and I needed some lamb.
"Do you have any lamb?"
"What do you make? A roast?"
He's Italian from Italy.
"No, I'm making a stew."
He starts cutting up some leg of lamb. It's beautiful. We've been going there since we moved and it's always been great. One thing, though. I believe that in this past century we've put too much emphasis on sanitation and not everyone died of salmonella before refrigeration. I do. But as he was cutting my lamb a piece fell on the floor. He noticed as he reached for the next slice and he picked it up and addded it to the already cut pile. And last time we were there we needed some prosciutto and beef. He cut up the beef with his hands then the prosciutto and offered us some. With his hands that he hadn't washed. What was I gonna say? He's cheap and, as I said, the meat is great. So I ate it.
While watching him cut up my lamb this other guy walks into the store.
"You got any frozen livehs?" He's got a real heavy Italian American accent.
"Livehs. Frozen livehs. You got any?"
He's walked past me to right next to the butcher at the butcher block. Not a foot away from him.
"You fuckin' know Jimmy. Jimmy! Jimmy the Exterminator. C'mon."
The butcher pauses.
"No. I no have."
"You don't have any."
"This is Jimmy the Exterminator."
"I no have. I give you call if I get any."
The guy stares at the butcher for a hard moment.
"Thanks for all your help."
He takes off.
The butcher weighs my lamb. Fourteen dollars for three pounds.