Dear Mr. and Mrs. Publix, 

I hope all is well at your headquarters in Lakeland, Florida.

As a consumer, I thought I might give you some insight as to how your expansion march is going into the northern tiers of the South. 

Personally, I find your stores to be attractive, well-maintained, and at this point your personnel have been friendly and helpful. 

From a distance, I think some of your competitors in the Richmond market have better pricing. But, I’m assuming you are recovering your cost for all of the new construction you initiated across the Richmond area.

In your newspaper flyer that appeared in the Wednesday, May 6 edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, I found on page 4 a teeny-weeny concern.

At the top of the page, I read the following heading:

Southern-grown produce.

The first fruit displayed is a tempting image of golden ripe pineapples at a “surprisingly low price.”

Now, my wife, the Commander Supreme, can confirm for you that I am not the sharpest tack on the bulletin board. 

But, when I was a student a long, long, long time ago in the North Carolina Public Schools, when teachers actually taught ge-og-ra-phy,  I do not recall any teacher stating that pineapples  were being produced in significant harvestable numbers anywhere in the South. 

The only state in America mentioned that grew pineapples in significant numbers was Hawaii.  Last I checked, Hawaii was still way out in the Pacific Ocean. And since I have lived all my life either in North Carolina or Virginia, I believe I would have known if Hawaii had been annexed into the South. 

Thus in lies the problem, your ad has insulted the dignity of my proper North Carolina education by implying that pineapples are grown in the Southern parts of the United States. Uncle Jasper might have a few plants in his backyard out on Sanibel Island, Florida, but Uncle Jasper ain’t growing enough to supply all of your Publix stores.

Out of the twelve fruits and vegetables advertised on the page, eight named Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina as their birth states. No origin is noted for the pineapples, fresh attitude salad, and the mix and match offer on broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

And just to make this a bit more painful for you, I checked the website for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. I specifically researched Florida Crops Seasonal Availability/Typical Harvest Times. I hope you are sitting down as I gently break this news to you— pineapples were not on the list.

I’ll give you a few seconds to regain your composure, I know hearing that news wasn’t easy.

Better now? Is it ok for me to proceed?

Hang on, here is my handkerchief, your nose mucus, tears, and slobber are running together. Use that hanky to mop up.

Now, that’s better. 

Take a deep cleansing breath.

Even though, the dignity of my North Carolina education has been insulted, I want you to know that I am to some degree a person of honor. 

 I will not call for a congressional investigation. Those trifling mischief-makers don’t know anything about ge-og-ra-phy. The only thing they understand about land is if you live and vote in their district.

But back to our problem, I believe I might have a solution for us to ponder. 

  It is clear to me that your advertising writers, copy editors, and  proofreaders need some remediation in  ge-og-ra-phy. After all, you are paying these degreed people lots of pennies to attract customers.

So, I would recommend that your human resources department enroll your loyal communicators in Miss Crump’s remedial ge-og-ra-phy class. This all can be done on-line for $19.99 per student. 

Enrolling your personnel into this twelve week class is guaranteed to solve all future ge-og-ra-phy problems. Just ask Miss Crump’s prized student, Dr. Ernest T. Bass, from Old Man Kelsey’s Woods a rock toss away from Mayberry, North Carolina.

But, if you really want to insure that I cause you no more ambushes where your tears, nose mucus, and slobber conspire against you, here is what you might consider.

Overall, your beer pricing is way out of line. Here is one example, your price for a six pack of Anchor Steam Beer is ridiculous. At the Publix in Richmond closest to me, you are asking $11.99. I can buy that same six pack elsewhere for $8.99.

You follow where I’m going with this?

Lower that six pack price on Anchor Steam Beer to $8.99 for the rest of my life, and I’ll forget about the problem you have with ge-og-ra-phy.

Otherwise, my eyes will continue to scour the weekly flyer looking for teeny-weeny problems.

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