The day after my initial exchange with the Tutti Frutti vendor, I returned for a reassessment. To my tremendous dismay, the 90 year old rutabaga was still for sale, looking all the more like Gandalf’s scrotum.
So as a public service, I stole it. Actually, I relocated it to the office of The Forks management, where it served as the centrepiece for an interesting conversation that I had with the Assistant Manager. Now, I understand this young lady was just trying to do her job and I took her by surprise with a geriatric vegetable. But the excuses she offered for the derelict state of the produce were nearly as bad as the produce itself:
1) We aren’t a port of entry so it’s hard to get good produce here. (Really? Vic’s Fruit Market must own their own jet then? And isn’t the idea of a market to not have to import food in the first place?)
2) Not all the produce is rotten, in fact some of the fruit is quite nice. (Sure. The apples look nice. Still not an excuse for some rotten food.)
3) It’s not like that all the time. (So we bring out the rotten food on Sundays only? Come on.)
A response to my follow-up email by The Forks Manager indicated that he would, “…discuss up my concerns with the vendor…”. At bare minimum, I would hope this discussion would include the directive, ” Listen, no rotten food on display, ever!”. It’s a conversation someone should have had fifteen years ago.
Winnipeg should not have to bear the shame of shrivelled root vegetables, impotent cabbage, and slimy scallions. It’s time The Forks Market was worthy of its name.