Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Mr. Brown (On Reading Too Much William Gibson)

Several times a year I visit the Great Wall Supermarket. Built in the shell of an A&P "superstore" which then folded and was converted into a generic on-the-cheap supermarket, which then opened and was driven out of business by the local Stop & Shop, it survived initially because it flew low under the radar. Filled with cheap cookware, bulk rice, bad decorations and frozen items (I have never seen so many brands of dumplings in my life), it started with a small produce section that grew and grew. And attracted many non-Asians as we tired of the same-old, same-old of the produce at Stop & Shop. (I have never seen so many kinds of, say, bok choy, in my life...makes the standard vegetable units at S&S pale in comparison).

I last went in on New Year's Eve to try and pick up some vegetables and find several excellent choices. Faced with long checkout lines (some too many who appear to celebrate multiple yearly changings), I shopped some more and picked up some Mr. Brown.

Mr. Brown is canned coffee. Made in Taiwan, shipped to the USA, sold in several variants (in this case, Blue Mountain Blend) and sporting (get this) an ISO 9001 stamp, it is one of those things that you just won't find in other stores in the area.

8.12 fluid ounces (240ml) of ready-to-drink coffee, slightly sweet. Even with the temperatures below freezing, I grasp the can in my shaking hand and cold-wrinkled fingers and swig it on the way to the car.

8.12 fluid ounces delivered right to the gut, ready to reboot the system. Suck it, S&S.

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