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The Old Fool

I grew up poor in the Mississippi River Bottoms of West Tennessee.  Wearing jeans to school with patched knees was just the way it was.  I wasn’t the only one and I knew there were kids that didn’t wear patched jeans and homemade shirts but I don’t remember it as a big thing.  Just the way it was…….

One of the events of the year was when we got a side of beef to fill the huge chest freezer in the garage.  By the time we got the new beef there had not been any choice cuts of meat served at the table in sometime and the whole family was hungering for some good meat.  The first meal was always a t-bone steak and baked potato.  The steak was broiled in the oven and I still prefer them that way to this day.   We would not get a charcoal grill until years later and even then, the only thing ever cooked on the grill was hamburgers.   I can still remember settin’ down to the table with those t-bones and my Dad saying “even the fat tastes good!”

So I rolled through Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2014 running solo ‘cept for Tuco the Dog. First time that has happened in many,many years.  Any way,  when my birthday came up, I decided it might be good for the soul to do something special to mark the day.

I do not remember  the last time I bought a steak here in the Puckerbrush.  It was well before Little Blondie blew out of here;  I do know that.  Steaks had gotten way too expensive to even think about buying.  Right around Christmas, Omaha Steaks (no link for those rat bastards) was saturating the TV with special deals on their meat products with what looked like a decent price.  One evening,  the commercial came on and I thought “Why the hell not?  It would be a good birthday present to myself!”

Omaha Steak goodie box

Omaha Steak goodie box

When it was all over and done, even with a little add-on upsell there at the end of check-out, I had a ’bout a hunnert dollars of fine meat headed to South Texas.  It wasn’t cheap but I figured if it it was good and tasty USDA Choice aged beef, it would be just fine.  UPS Charlie showed up a few days later with a smallish styrofoam cooler and I remember thinking the amount of meat and fixings I ordered would never fit in a cooler that small. Well, they did and with room to spare.  Filets mebbe a little bigger than a 50 cent piece,  sirloins not no bigger than a dollar bill but !damn! they sure did look tasty in those obviously expensive boxes and individual packets.  I would find out the very next day just how delish they were because my birthday was upon us!

Funny thing happened right about then.   I got an email from Omaha Steaks saying that since I was such a fine, fine customer they were going to let me in on an opportunity to buy another cooler of goodies at a great price just special-like for me.  I didn’t even think twice!  I mean, listen here, they sent me some quality looking meat in some top shelf packaging and it got here quick so yeah,  I’ll be having some more of that!

Birthday dinner was oven broiled bacon wrapped filet and a loaded baked potato and I gotta tell you the steak SUCKED!  Tough as boot leather with an odd texture. Very little flavor except for an off and vaguely chemical aftertaste.  Preservative?  Coloring agent to make the meat look superb??   I dunno,  I tossed the meat scraps to Tuco and was glad my potato was on the big-ish side.  Tried it again a few nights later with some sirloin steaks and the same same results.   Just this week I used 4 center cut pork loin chops in the skillet with tomatoes and rice and the chops were sorry as hell.  About the size of a hockey puck, tough and flavorless.  I am just tempted to feed the few packages left to the Mama Cat who is all feral and stuff here in the brush.  I reckon maybe some high dollar meat cuts would beat that wood rat I saw her dragging across the field early the other morning but then again, mebbe not.

I should have done my due diligence on Omaha Steaks  —  online negative reviews are everywhere and mirror my experience.  I noticed several reviewers mentioned a follow-up high pressure sales call from Omaha steaks and sure enough the call came in about a week later. I was ready.

OS:  Hello, Mr. Jones??  This is Vivian from Omaha Steaks.  How are you?

Me with loud voice:  WHAT?  WHO IS THIS?  SPEAK UP!  I DON’T HEAR FOR SHIT.

OS (marginally louder) Mr. Jones.  This is Vivian and you recently go an order from Omaha Steaks, correct?

Me:  IS THIS THE DAMN DEMOCRATS?  HOW DID YOU GET MY NUMBER?

OS (louder now):  No Mr.  Jones, This is Omaha Steaks and we recently sent you an order.

Me:  I HEARD YOU!!!   WHY WOULD THE DEMOCRATS  HAVE ORDERS FOR ME?

OS:  (loud as me now) NO MR JONES, THIS IS O-M-A-H-A  S-T-E-A-K-S!

It gets sorta slow out here in the Puckerbrush at times and I often spend the slack with Tuco the Dog.  She is the most non-agressive dog I have ever been around but she has a big Bad Dog Bark.  I taught her to bark on command with a hand signal.  With all the hollering going on, I have her full attention now.

Me:  OK LADY!!!  YOU HAVE ORDERS FOR ME FROM OBAMA’S SNAKES.  WAS ALL THAT SPELLING SOME SORT OF SECRET CODE?

OS:  NO!  WE SENT YOU AN ORDER OF FOOD!   FROM OMAHA. 

I give Tuco the Dog the high sign and she starts to bark like a crazy dog.

ME:  DAMMIT WOMAN!  THERE IS SOMEBODY ON MY FRONT PORCH!  DID YOU SEND THE DHS AFTER MY FOOD?    DOWN, DOG, DOWN!!!  GET OUTTA THE WAY OF THE SHOTGUN!   NOW!!!!!!   C’MON YOU BASTARDS!!!

My line goes dead.  Oh well.  Just another day in Paradise.   That was fun huh Tuco?

 

All in all, this Omaha Steak experience was distasteful – literally and figuratively.  I feel the victim of a slick and shrewd marketing campaign to sell an inferior product. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, you wouldn’t call ’em biscuits.  Shame on you Omaha Steaks!

*************

Something real damn positive to end up this entry.  Gettin’ old is no picnic, let me tell ya.  Stuff hurts every day for no apparent reason.  Lately,  my feet have been hurtin’ quite a bit due to all the activity and I finally figured out maybe I needed some new socks.  You have to take the advantage where you can as you age and stuff what never even crossed your mind back in the gets to be important.  Socks came to the top of the list some time back.  I did some research and ordered some Champion Men’s 3 Pack Crew Socks.  They are working out SO GOOD, I ordered two more packs this week.  American made as well.   The old Wal-Mart socks went in the rag bag I use to clean my bowling equipment. I know dang well they were Made in China.  Everything at Wal-Mart is.  Even so,  nothing goes to waste around the NO Princess Palace.

So now I think I will take Tuco the Dog and a good pipe and go set outside for a spell on this glorious South Texas morning!

Be well y’all!

 

End Note: Waitin’ for the Bus / Jesus Just Left Chicago by ZZ Top from the Best of ZZ Top.  If you are gonna be an anarchist, might as well dress the part.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 comments to The Old Fool

  • David

    Mornin’ sir,

    Sorry for your bad mail order meat experience. There is another one that I am aware of that might be worth a try for you. We drive by their farm on the way to our 10 acres. It’s between Hillsboro, NC and Danville, VA on 86. I think they are exactly as the claim to be. They have a store at the farm (closed on Sunday) and their meat is carried in the NC based grocery store chains sometimes. We may have tried it but don’t think we ever did the mail order thing. It may be worth a try though since you are limited in trips to shop.

    http://www.baldwingrassfedbeef.com/shop/pc/home.asp

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    • David

      Hey Andy,

      We have ordered a small sampler pack from Baldwin Beef. It is also carried regularly at the local Whole Foods but it sells out the same day it is delivered.

      David

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      • Andy

        Let me know how that works out David?

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        • David

          It was fine. We ordered it some time back. It is expensive but very good. I drive by the farm probably a couple times a week and it is just like the pic on their website, white cows and all.

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          • Andy

            Thanks David. It sure is expensive just like you said.

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  • Joel

    Sorry to hear your 59th B-day was ruint by Omaha. Hope you have a better experience for the big six-oh this year.

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    • Joel

      BTW, I bought some local aged grass-fed beef a few years ago and found it disappointing: tough and relatively flavorless. Certainly not work paying a premium price for.

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  • Maura

    I can’t help but love your Rugged and ‘Ol Boy’ lingo…just gives me a good laugh. I do agree about Omaha Steak though…save your money! I grew up loving getting the bone from my Daddy’s T-bone, yea even the fat tasted good!

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  • Libby Nester

    Awe! Sorry the steaks turned out to be disappointing. But, you have to admit the phone call was entertaining. I bet they won’t call you back. LOL This wss the best laugh I’ve had in a while.

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  • Wallace

    Looks like Omaha Steaks hasn’t changed through the years. Many moons ago, we bought an order from them for the in-laws; my father-in-law has passed since then, but my mother-in-law is still going strong, & fortunately, she doesn’t hold that misdeed against me.

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  • Larry

    Always have been suspicious of on-line food, even though they make it sound so good. Just reading about Omaha Steaks makes me hungry, and I have thought more than once to ignore the alarm bells and order some. You saved me from disappointment. Just last month my Son talked me into going w/ him to Estancia Churrascaria here in Austin for some meat served on swords, w/ a circulating staff of waitpersons drifting amongst the tables to carve off slices of various meats that LOOKED so GOOD. ALL ranged from tough-tougher- bloodier to dripping in hemoglobin. Moral of story: Bold Advertising is usually made to just get into one’s pocket and loosen up the grip I keep on my wallet

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  • Larry

    OH Yeah, happy birthday on the #59. Birthdays are better met head-on, soles of your feet on the ground, rather than flat on your back toes up

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    • Andy

      Gracias

      Every day I wake up above ground is a blessing!

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      • Larry

        In short order, I will pour an extra measure of Woodford Reserve, stand on the patio pointing South/Southwest from Austin and toast your B.Day.

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