Normally, I'm a fairly suspicious food shopper. When somebody walks up to me in a store and makes a suggestion, I just assume they're shilling for some product they have a spiff going on instead of truly trying to help me.
So when I walked up to a Harris Teeter produce manager with a $9.00 rotisserie chicken and asked if they had any fried chicken instead, I was on guard when he asked, "You wanna know what a good deal is?" I said no thanks since all I wanted was some poultry parts to take to a Sunday Titans wake.
"I'm just sayin'..." he continued. "If you're an eVic member I can get you a heckuva deal." OK, I'll bite. He leaned close and whispered conspiratorially, "First you have to go over to the service desk and sign up for the eVic program. Then come back here and ask me again."
Okaaaay. Ill-Way oo-Day, ude-Day. One short application form later I was back in front of the counter looking for my bucket. "Chicken's still in the fryer but we're four minutes away." I sensed this had all just been a stall tactic.
How wrong I was. Turns out that if you sign up for HT's eVic program, not only does the store send you the typical weekly email newsletter of store specials but they also offer some ridiculously good deals. Their "Game Day Special" was eight pieces of fried chicken, a pound of macaroni salad, a pound of potato salad and a gallon of iced tea or lemonade for $8.99. That's less than what I was planning to pay for my baked chicken in the first place and figured out to be a savings of $14.56 off what the items would have cost individually.
Even though I might have sacrificed a little healthy factor choosing fried chicken, it was meaty and crispy without being too greasy. Unlike some other grocery store chicken, Harris Teeter doesn't pick the skimpiest chicken parts and disguise them under extra batter. The sides were good for picnic food, although the macaroni salad needed a little pepper to overcome the abundance of sweet mayonnaise. The jug of lemonade certainly wasn't as good as grandma's, but when combined with Southern Comfort it did serve to take the edge off of another Titans' loss.
In the end, the deal was so good it made me feel like when Eddie Murphy dressed up in whiteface on SNL as part of a sociological experiment and discovered what it was like to be a member of the club:
Slowly, I began to realize that when white people are alone, they give things to each other for free.
If you want to be on the inside, go sign up for eVic at Harris Teeter's website. Don't worry, everyone is invited. Yes we can.