mango

The Health Food Store that’s Been Here the Whole Time: 7-Eleven

As I walked through a double door that read “pull” but really needed to be pushed, I couldn’t wait to see what kind of cliental was lurking on the other side. Could it be truckers, ex-cons, current cons, rural Americans, young entrepreneurs, the confused elderly that thought they were at the Mill Valley Market, or fellow high schoolers who need that mid-day Arizona Iced Tea for no good reason?

After I made my entry, I took a deep breath and acknowledged the beauty of it all: 7-Eleven.  Often called the Harvard of cheap chain convenience stores, 7-Eleven has been a staple of this nation since 1927.  In Mill Valley, we are blessed with not just one, not just two, but three 7-Eleven stores. Well… two are technically in unincorporated areas that border Mill Valley, but it’s all the same to me.

This was not just any trip to 7-Eleven, for me. I was on a mission: review every fresh produce item they had to offer.  As it turns out, this wasn’t a very difficult task, given the extremely slim selection in the fresh fruits and vegetables section. All they had in store for me was an exotic green apple (no red ones on the premises), a majestic banana, and an oddly round mango. I do have to say that I was very pleased with the price of my items: under $3 in total. I would be willing to bet that Good Earth and Whole Foods have nothing on 7-Eleven prices. Quality, on the other hand, is another story.

I started off nice and slow, going for the apple first. After just one bite, something hit me: this was a terrible idea. The apple was so bitter and acidic that I had to inspect it to make sure I hadn’t accidently gotten a lemon. But like any great journalist, I kept on digging, no matter how ugly the story got.

Bite after bite, I devoured the apple, until that wretched thing was all but a core. It was so gnarly that I even accidently ate some seeds on a particularly aggressive bite. Okay…that one might have been on me. But besides that, I had exhibited excellent journalistic behavior. I was all over this breaking story, even before USA Today got ahold of it.

However, the pain and suffering that I had experienced was beginning to take a toll on me. I realized that I had two choices: forget about the assignment and play Uncharted 4 or continue uncovering the untold truth, and eat the mango and banana. Guess which one I picked?

After playing Uncharted 4 for about six hours, I got back to saving the day, even though the day was almost over. I had to pick up where I left off immediately, so I grabbed a meat cleaver, and went to work on that poor mango.

Note to self: when cutting a mango with a meat cleaver, wear shoes, in case you drop the cleaver on your foot.

But anyway, I gobbled up that slimy mango, and boy was it hard. Literally.

The flavor of the mango wasn’t awful. It was nice and tangy, although at times it lacked sweetness. Despite all of this, it was probably twice as good as that nasty apple.

Finally, I give you the 7-Eleven banana. Actually, I gave myself the banana, but that sounds kind of weird. I was burned out from all of my hard work earlier, but I knew I couldn’t leave any stones unturned.

So I closed my eyes, said my prayers, and swallowed that banana. I couldn’t believe it: The banana was mediocre! It was ripe, smooth, and flavorful. It lacked in size a little bit, but I felt like I got my money’s worth.

So, to all of you Tam kids out there, never forget: Arizona’s are dumb. I don’t care if it comes in a cool looking can that was hand painted by an edgy street artist. I don’t care if it’s the official sponsor of skateboarders everywhere. I don’t care if all of the popular kids are doing it. Just drink some damn water. Is it really that hard? Also, stick to Good Earth, Whole Foods, and Safeway, for your fresh produce. I love 7-Eleven, but next time I go there I’m sticking to a Slurpee.




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