I have this butcher who does not like to kill anything. He cuts raw red animal flesh all day long but he can’t kill ANYTHING. I find it kind of interesting, with his big meat cleavers. He’s not really MY butcher- I don’t have a personal butcher and rarely buy meat at the store but we’ve been talking for years when I go to our local grocery store. My daughter laughs.
“My mom is friends with this butcher and she shares all this stuff about our lives with him. He calls me ‘Sparkles” when I come into the store. When I was having trouble with a male friend on a road trip, Mom told him about it. Bob said he was going to ride his Harley out to whatever western state I was in to straighten him out.”
Deep inside, Sierra finds this very touching but both kids read me the riot act sometimes. Something might happen to them that is personal or embarrassing that they don’t want me “sharing.” A writer- mother sees material everywhere, happening all around her and has difficulty differentiating what is hers to use and is up for grabs and what is not. The kids will guide me and use Bob, “Don’t tell Bob the Butcher that please,” They use Bob the Butcher as a metaphor and gauge for my communication “problem” that I sometimes have.
But Bob genuinely cares about my husband and especially my kids. He doesn’t have any kids of his own, but he has chickens.
Many chickens – like 25 of them, give or take a head. I get fresh organic eggs from him every week, or did , until the girls finally reached their autumnal years and don’t produce anymore. He continues to buy very expensive feed and just keeps them. As pets, I guess.
I told him, ” Bob, Todd says you need new chickens. They’re not earning their keep. They’re too old. Every few years you have to replace them.”
He’s not killing them. He won’t kill anything. He asked me, “How many kids do you have? WHY do you have them?’ I told him they bring me joy and he said “same, same.” I said “Bob, You don’t bring them into your living room and sit there and pet them while you read a book. Todd can take care of them for you and put them in the freezer.”
Who ever heard of a butcher that won’t kill anything? But whoever heard of a butcher when last year when we lost our electric, on his short lunch break, he stripped off his insulated long underwear and white apron and raced home to get his generator and brought it my home and hooked it up for me so we wouldn’t lose our food.
Bob the Butcher has become my friend. This is the beauty of small towns. You can begin to chat it up with the local butcher, regardless if you even buy meat, and sometimes you are fortunate to find a soul with a big generous heart like Bob, who will reach across the freezer when you come and ask about your kids and husband and genuinely care and just completely brighten up your day. I won’t go into that store to get a mere cup of coffee or a soda without heading back to the meat counter to check in with my friend, Bob the Butcher.
Yes, the kids laugh at Mom as she talks and connects and touches base with our local folks in our community. But this is small town America and really how it is supposed to be . I can travel the world, but there is nothing like my homies. Bob the Butcher is at the top of my list of favorites. His meat counter is where I head to when I return from a far-flung country so I can check in.