Andy Livengood

Actor. Comedian. All around fun guy.

Andy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

A brief history of Thanksgiving Day: 

The first thanksgiving was celebrated in October 1621. 53 Pilgrims were joined by 90 Native Americans for a feast that lasted 3 days. 

In 1789, Congress urged George Washington to issue a proclamation about the celebration of this new Holiday. 

In 1864, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. 

In 2003, Andy Livengood started working the butcher's counter on Thanksgiving Day. 

For 153 years, Thanksgiving has been the last Thursday of every November. For  Despite this fact, there seems to be a  growing number of people who Thanksgiving manages to sneak up on. 

It should be a simple process. Drive to the store on Thanksgiving, select a turkey from the thousands they have, take said turkey home, cook, and serve while discussing why you should be thankful this year. 

Unfortunately, turkeys do not magically appear at the butcher’s counter. Most stores, at some point, run out of this finite resource. 

It used to blow my mind when people showed up on Thanksgiving and freaked out when I revealed the store ran out of turkeys. (or hams, or oysters or really anything). Now, I see it as a holiday tradition. 

Every year, I am treated to wave after wave of customers who have been utterly defeated by this 153 year old holiday. 

The following is a section of 100% true interactions I’ve had while fending off customers that missed the memo that President Lincoln put out. 


Customer: Hey, chief. Where are your fresh turkeys?

Me: I'm all out. I'm sorry, sir.

Customer: Did you idiots forget Thanksgiving is tomorrow?


Customer: Last year we bought 43 hams from you. I'd like to do that again.

Me: when did you want to pick them up?

Customer: Right now.

Me: Um.... did you place an order?

Customer: No.

Me: I have like 6 hams in the entire store.

Customer: What? !?! How is that possible? !

Me: We're almost sold out this year.

Customer: Well what the hell am I supposed to give my employees? I'm going to look like an asshole. Thanks a lot!


Customer: What type of heartless corporation would make you work on Thanksgiving? 

Me: Well, they want us to be here if someone needs to buy something. 

Customer: What's this country coming to? 

(He looks at the counter for a few seconds)

Customer: Can I have half a pound of this shrimp? 

Me: Yes, sir. 


 

Customer: Why can't I cook the turkey while is frozen? 

Me: Well, if you cook it in the oven, it will come out undercooked and you could get sick. 

Customer: I was gonna fry it.

Me: Oh. In that case, you run the risk of it exploding. 

Customer: Ah. I see. Would you put this turkey back for me?

Me: Yes, sir.


Customer: Do you have any turkey wings? 

Me: No, sir. I'm sold out. I'm sorry.

Customer: That's fucking great! (To wife, but clearly loud enough that he wants me to hear it) sorry honey. It's possibly your father's last thanksgiving and he won't have any turkey wings!

Wife: Dad's not eating with us.

Me : Um.... anything else I can help you with?

Customer: No. You've done enough.


Customer: Is it possible for me to thaw this turkey quickly.

Me: Not that big one. You could do a smaller one in maybe 2 hours. You have to put it in water and completely change out the water every 15 minutes.

Customer: (Throwing a peace sign) Forget that! I don't have that kind of time! We getting pizza today!!


Customer: Yo! Turkeys!

Me: Sorry. I'm all out.

Customer: Yo! For real?

Me: Yeah. Sorry.

Customer: (sadly almost to himself) Yo.

(This is legit, my favorite interaction I’ve ever had with a customer)


Customer: This is bullshit!

Me: I'm sorry?

Customer: They make you work on Thanksgiving! You got family in town.

Me: I do.

Customer: That's fucked up. You should be there! Corporations have too much power. They shouldn't get in between you and your family.

Me: Thanks. It's not that bad. I get off around 2. Then I get to go to my family's place.

Customer: Fucked up, man.

(We stand in silence for a few seconds)

Me: Um....anything else?

Customer: Yeah. Can I get half a pound of salmon?


Customer: Hey, dude. I don't see any fresh turkeys. What do you have in the back?

Me: I'm sorry, sir. I don't have anything in the back. I'm all sold out.

Customer: Look, man. I get it. I used to work at Walmart when I was in high school. What do you really have in the back?

Me: I promise you, there's nothing in the back. I'm sold completely out.

Customer: (gives me a wink) Alright. Alright. I get it. (He pulls out a $20 bill and does that snap thing with it) What do you have in the back now?

Me: Still nothing.

Customer: Oh, you are good. (He pulls out a $10 bill and adds it to the $20) Eh?

Me: I'd love to take your money, but I really don't have anything to sell you.

Customer: Really?

Me: Really.

Customer: Damn. I really thought that would work.


Customer: I'm looking for a turkey.

Me: I've got a couple left.

Customer: Oh, thank god. Wait. Is this raw?

Me: Uh....yes, sir. If you got one of the cooked meals, they're in the deli.

Customer: I just came from there. APPARENTLY you have to ORDER those AHEAD OF TIME! So, you don't have anything that's cooked?

Me: No sir. I'm sorry.

Customer: Great! Wish someone would have told me before I volunteered my house this year. I've got people coming in 1 hour.


Intercom: ATTENTION CUSTOMERS! WE WILL BE CLOSING IN 20 MINUTES! PLEASE MAKE YOUR FINAL SELECTIONS AND COME UP FRONT!

Customer: Wait. This store is 24 hours.

Me: Yes sir, but we close early on Thanksgiving.

Customer: Oh, god. I have to go get a turkey, some oysters, and some smoked neck bones! 

Me: Um...I've got some bad news.


How Andy Stole Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great holiday. How can you hate a giant meal that’s made entirely of side dishes?!?

When I look back on Thanksgivings as a kid, I think about each member of my family saying what they were thankful for, getting to use the fancy tablecloth, and breaking the wishbone with my brother. 

When I think about Thanksgiving now, I think about how I have singlehandedly, utterly, and throughly ruined Thanksgiving for hundreds of people. 

As a butcher, Thanksgiving is the start of my busy season. What would Thanksgiving be without a turkey? That’s right, a Thursday.  It’s my sworn duty to ensure your family has it’s ham, turkey, or holiday roast. 

I take my job seriously. So seriously, that I agree to work on Thanksgiving. Yes, the store is open on Thanksgiving, yes I always work it. (14 years and counting). It started as a nice favor to my coworkers. I don’t cook on Thanksgiving. I realized how much goodwill I would generate by agreeing to work and quickly learned to jump on that turkey shaped landmine. 15 minutes into my first Turkey-day shift, and I saw how amazing Thanksgiving in a grocery store really is. 

Thanksgiving day at a butcher counter is an amazing experience of pure unadulterated schadenfreude.By agreeing to work I had, in fact, traded the Macey’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for something far more entertaining. The Clueless Thanksgiving Customer Parade. 

Most customers are good at planning out their holiday meal. There are a few (I’m being conservative here) that seem to forget the special day is coming. They parade into the store hoping to get enough ingredients to put together their Thanksgiving spread. To most of these unaware shoppers, I am the sole reason why their meal is ruined. (Heavy is the head that wears the hairnet.) 

The following is a selection of 100% true interactions I’ve personally had, working on Thanksgiving Day. 


"No ma'am, we are all out of fresh turkeys."

"Yes ma'am, it is ridiculous that we're out of fresh turkeys on Thanksgiving. "

"No ma'am, I don't have any in the back."

"I'm sorry ma'am that we ruined your thanksgiving. "

"No ma'am, that 18 lb frozen turkey will not be thawed out by 2:00"

"No ma'am, I don't recommend cooking it frozen."

"Happy Thanksgiving to you too, ma'am. "

(These were all from the same woman.)


Customer : Do you have any oysters in the jar?

Me: No ma'am. I don't have any oysters.

Customer: What about any in the shell? I can just shuck them.

Me : Sorry. I don't have any oysters.

Customer : How does that happen? I mean it's not like the oyster has gone extinct.

Me: I've just sold out. They're very popular this time of year.

Customer: That's shady practices. You engage in shady practices!


Customer: Where are your roasts? And do you have any neckbones ?

Me: I'm out of neckbones. What type of roast did you want?

Customer: I don't know. Any neckbones?

Me: No neckbones. Everything from here to here is a roast.

Customer: Cool. What about the neckbones?

Me: I'm out of neckbones.


Customer : Why would this company make people work on Thanksgiving?

Me: Well, as long as there are customers in the store, someone needs to be here.

Customer : That's just dumb and inconsiderate.

Me : Happy Thanksgiving.

Customer : You too!


Customer: You sell gizzards?

Me: I do. I'm out right now. All I've got are chicken livers.

Customer: WHAT KIND OF STORE IS THIS!?!?


(A customer slams a half wrapped turkey hanging out of a pan on the counter)

Customer: The turkey you sold me is to big to fit in my fucking pan!

Me: I'm sorry ma'am. What size did you ask for?

Customer: I don't know!

(I look it up in our order book)

Me: Ma'am, you ordered a 14lb turkey. This one is only 12 3/4. I'm really sorry.

Customer: Fuck your sorry. What are you going to do about it.

Me: I've only got one turkey left. It was from an order that someone didn't pick up. Problem is it's a 20lb turkey.

Customer: Well that's not going to fit in my pan.

Me: We do sell those foil disposable pans.

Customer: I don't do disposable pans. Happy Fucking Thanksgiving !

(She storms off)


Customer: Hey! I don't need anything, but can I ask you a question?

Me: Of course! What can I help you with? 

Customer : My wife is making something called a turduckin. How do they do that?

Me: You mean how do they make a turduckin?

Customer: Yeah.

Me: They take the bones out of a chicken, duck, and turkey. Then they stuff the chicken in the duck and the duck in the turkey.

Customer: Well, now I feel like an idiot. I thought they had created a duck/turkey/chicken hybrid. I was wondering how they got those animals to breed.

Me: No, it's just a stuffed meal.

Customer : That would be some real Dr. Moreau type shit.


(Phone rings)

Me: Good morning. Meat department. This is Andy. How may I help you?

Customer : Just calling to see if you're open.

Me: Yes sir. The store closes at 2.

Customer: Closing at 2? That's fucking ridiculous! You're store is open 24 hours a day!

Me: We have amended hours on holidays. 

Customer: Bullshit! I can't get there until 4. Someone will have to let me in.

Me: there won't really be anyone here past 2:30.

Customer: Fuck that! Happy Thanksgiving! (Slams phone down)


Customer: Are you out of oysters?

Me: Yes, sir. I'm sorry.

Customer: (to his wife) Great. Thanksgiving is ruined.

(They leave Their shopping cart and walk away)


Customer: This turkey you sold me has no arms or legs.

Me: Ma'am, that's a turkey breast. Not a whole turkey.

Customer: Are you sure? I thought this was just a small turkey.

Me: I'm positive. That is a turkey breast.

Customer: Why are the holidays so hard? 

Me: Happy Thanksgiving.


Customer: I'm here to pick up a turkey I ordered. Name's Smith.

Me: Sure thing. Here ya go!

Customer: it's kinda big. We ordered a 10 lb turkey.

Me: 10 lb turkeys are incredibly rare. This one is 12.18 lbs.

Customer: The guy said 10 lbs are almost impossible. Got anything smaller?

Me: Not really. The deli just brought me an extra turkey they had for the meals they make. You can take a look at it.

(It's a 11.95 lb turkey)

Customer: Perfect!

(He hands me the turkey that weighs a quarter of a pound more)


Customer : Do you have any bigger turkeys in the back?

Me: literally every turkey I have is in that counter right now.

Customer: Damn it! I'm not thankful for you this year.


Customer: I bought a turkey a couple of days ago. I'm looking at Your thermometer it says like 33. Does it have to stay at that temp?

Me: My cases run really cold. You don't have to do that; you just need to keep it refrigerated.

Customer: Crap. Really?

Me: Um....yes. It needs to be kept under refrigeration.

Customer: I've just had it sitting on my kitchen table.

Me: For two days!?

Customer: I put it in a freezer bag.


You're a Mean One

It’s not a surprising concept that serving the general public can lead to some insane encounters. I’ve seen some real jackasses. I’ve seen customers so mean, they’ve made clerks cry. One shitty customer can ruin your day. Sometimes a jerk customer is more funny than mean, and those are the stories I’ve prepared for you today. Once again, these stories are 100% true!


(While working the counter, I smell smoke. I soon learn the chicken case has caught on fire.)

(I yell for the guy I'm working with. He grabs a fire extinguisher and I start moving stuff in the case so we can get to the growing electrical fire. )

(A customer approaches. He sees I'm holding up a shelf so that my coworker can get the extinguisher close to the VISIBLE FLAMES.)

Customer: Do you guys have anymore hams?

Me: Yeah. I'll get them after we take care of this.

Customer: (agitated) Is there anyone else that can help me?

Me: No. Is just us. I'll get them as soon as the fire is out.

Customer: Could you hurry?


Customer: (Can barely walk and smells like booze) I want...... (mumble) 3..... (mumble)

Me: I'm sorry?

Customer: What do you think I'm saying!? I'm not asking you for a date!! I want 3 pounds of salmon!


Me: Anything else?

Customer: No. 

Me: Great. Have a good one!

Customer: What is it with you Charleston people. That is offensive, but I like it. 

Me: I'm sorry.

Customer: You overuse "one" One can be anything. I could go home and eat a sandwich. I could eat one sandwich. Is that the "one" you mean?!?!

Me: Um...day. I meant day. 

Customer: (She walks away in a huff) Really! You southerners are sooo weird. 

Me: Have a good DAY!


Customer : Where's your lamb?

Me: Right here.

Customer: Do you have any that isn't for Jewish people? I'm not Jewish.

Me: Um.... I'm sorry?

Customer: Right here! (Pointing to the brand name and logo) Seder Farms!! I'm not a Jew!

Me: Sir, that's the brand name. And it's pronounced "Cedar Farms."

Customer: Great. (Takes his lamb chops to the front)


Customer: One pound of crab legs. 

Me: Yes sir. (I start to sort through the crab legs for good looking ones)

Customer: Not that one. I want that one in front. 

Me: (reaching towards the front) I can’t really see in the counter from back here. This one?

Customer: NO! The front one. 

Me: This one? 

Customer: UNDER that one! Damn. 

(I get the crab legs priced. He takes them and reaches into his pocket. Without looking he hands throws a bill on the counter.)

Customer: Thanks.

Me: Have a nice day. 

(I pick up the HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL he left me. )

(He’s walking away and pulls out his money to get ready for the register. He looks down at it and runs back over.

Customer: Gave you the wrong one. Give it back. 

(I hand him the hundred. He hands me a one dollar bill. )

Me: Yeah. So…have a nice day.


Customer: Is there gluten in these crab cakes?

Me: It doesn't say "gluten free," so it's likely.

Customer: Trying to eat gluten free is really hard.

Me: Yeah, my mom had issues with gluten and she says the same thing.

Customer : You know, it's she had issues with gluten, then you probably have issues with gluten too.

Me: Um. .. yeah. It's probably coming...

Customer: You already have it That's where this (pointing at my stomach and indicating the size) comes from.

Me: So anything else I can help you with?


Customer: I want a pound of shrimp! 

Me: Yes, sir. 

Customer: And hurry up! I'm not one of those housewives with all the time in the world. 

Me: Um...yes, sir.

(meanwhile this tiny older woman walked up behind him)

Woman: Excuse me?!?! I have all the time in the world?!?!? Let me tell you about my day! I have to wake up at five to make sure my boys get up for school...

(I keep getting his shrimp, while he stands there not making eye contact with her. It is VERY CLEAR he is uncomfortable.)

Woman: ...then I have to run my errands. I went to the dry cleaner cause my husband needs his suit cleaned...

Me: Here's your shrimp.

(He takes it and walks away. The woman follows behind him, continuing to yell at him.)

Woman: I'm at the store because its my turn to cook dinner for a family at our church who just suffered a loss. Then I have to....

(A little while later, I walk up front to by a drink on my break. At the register is the Customer...and the woman. He is turning red and is still silent.)

Woman: I have to make dinner tonight! Ain't nobody gonna help me! So you listen to me..

(She kept going, but I went back to my department with my water.)


So, don't be a jerk. 

Now We're Cooking!

Cooking is tough. When I first moved out of my parents house, my meals consisted of kraft mac & cheese or hot dogs. (Sometimes both, if I was feeling fancy.) It’s really tough to live off of frozen dinners and at some point, I knew I must learn the ways of the kitchen. 

Now, I’m not a master chef, but I know how to make a few things. Part of my job at the butcher’s counter is to teach customers how to cook the meat or fish they buy. I like this part of the job. I love when a customer comes back in to tell me that the recipe I gave them was a hit. 

There are some customers that really have no business being in a kitchen. I don’t mean they don’t know how to cook, I mean they can’t comprehend the concept of cooking. They don’t understand what they’re buying, what they’re eating, or how to cook it….and they don’t care. 

Here are my favorite 100% true stories of customers that might want to watch a little more Food Network:


(Guy comes to the meat counter, orders a top sirloin fillet.)

Me: Here’s your steak!

Customer: I’ve been leaving this in my refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. It gets green and slimy. That’s dry-aging, right?

Me: Uhhh….no. To dry age something you need to control the humidity. That’s hard to do in a refrigerator.

Customer: So if it wasn’t dry aging, what was it doing?

Me: Um…..decomposing?

Customer: Oh. (long pause) I guess I should eat this soon. 

Me: I would.


Customer: Are these shrimp cooked? 

Me: No, ma'am. They're completely raw. 

Customer: Okay......do I need to cook them?

Me: I'd recommend it.


Customer: (snippy) Why do you take the marrow out of your pork chops?!

Me: Marrow? We don’t take the marrow out. That’s almost impossible to do.

Customer: Yes you do. When I get pork chops from Bi Lo they have the marrow in them. I buy them here, no marrow. 

Me: I promise you, we don’t remove any marrow. 

Customer: (pointing to the chop) Right here. No marrow!

Me: Um…we remove that, but that’s not bone marrow. 

Customer: Then what is it? 

Me: Um…the spinal cord.

Customer: (looking disgusted) Am I gonna get sick?


Me: Hi! How can I help you?

Customer: Is this shrimp raw?

Me: Yes, Ma'am. I have some cooked over here, if that was what you wanted. 

(She looks at the cooked shrimp)

Customer: Welcome to Charleston!!!!!!

(She walks away)


(A woman approaches the seafood counter.)

Customer: I just want you to know, that lobster tail I bought from you was the toughest thing I’ve ever eaten!

Me: How did you cook it?

Customer: Cook it?

Me: Uh yeah. They’re not cooked. They’re raw.

(Long pause)

Customer: ….Oh Lord Jesus, what did I do?

(Shejust walks away.)