Apr 6, 2010

Disturbing bulk purchase at the grocery

There was a strange man in the checkout line in front of me at the supermarket. He looked and acted like a Chinese version of Mr. Harvey from The Lovely Bones. The man had a shopping cart loaded to capacity with 21 five-liter jugs of cooking oil. His bill came to something like 750 yuan ($110).

I can't imagine one person having a need for that much oil. I buy a one liter container of oil, and it usually lasts me six months. What is this guy doing with all that oil, deep frying horseshit and twinkies for every meal, every day of the week?

I think what it really was is that this guy's got an insatiable oil fetish. He's probably planning to fill up the bathtub completely with glistening, fresh oil, and have his Wenzhou¹ hooker take a bath in it.

There's no other possible reason. The oil fetish theory is the only one that makes sense. Who could possibly use that much oil for cooking? When you make a stir-fry, you use two or three tablespoons at most. This guy purchased 7,101 tablespoons worth of oil. At three tablespoons per stir-fry, that's still over 2,000 dishes.

Now, a bathtub typically holds 45-50 liters. Supermarket Mr. Harvey bought 105 liters of oil. That's exactly how much he'd need for two bathtubs full of oil for his oil fetish. How crazy does my theory sound now?

Wenzhou¹: Wenzhou is a southern coastal city whose main export is escorts and hookers. In China, everywhere you go you can find barber shops with signs that read "温州保健" (Wenzhou massage) in the window. This indicates that the salon in question is in fact a prosti-barber shop.


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