When I was a kid, one of my friend’s moms enjoyed telling this “true story” of something wacky she witnessed at the grocery.
“I was waiting to check out when all of a sudden, I saw a woman who looked pregnant start to struggle with her coat. I watched in total shock as an entire ham slid from under her coat to the floor. It gets even better. Because she had attracted attention for shoplifting, the woman started screaming ‘who threw that ham at me?'”
Maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t. But on Prince Edward Island, a pig and dairy farmer is literally throwing meat at his customers in order to maintain social distancing practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. And folks are not insulted. They want more.
Farmer Ranald MacFarlane explained that the vacuum-sealed pork products are “remarkably easy to throw.”
“When you start throwing roasts and pork chops through cart windows, your aim gets better and better,” MacFarland said. “But some people just don’t trust me. They get out of the car and we have a chit-chat—from over [four metres away]—and I just throw the stuff and they catch it.”
MacFarlane says his “literally back-door sales” started out of necessity after the local farmers’ market was shut down because of the pandemic. Now, he throws ham to customers from afar.
“We have a lovely back porch that we put on the house and there’s an upright freezer there and the product is there, and the people phone ahead,” MacFarlane said.
Customers drive up to the freezer and place money on a clip attached to it, or they pay via e-transfer. MacFarlane then throws the meat at them.
“I would [hope] the chance of transmitting coronavirus in the cold air with money clipped to the fridge is low.”
He added that sometimes when people pay with cash, they will “stuff it in a roll of toilet paper and chuck it” to him, which is truly very thoughtful.
The self-proclaimed loner says the key to keeping sane while in self-isolation is to “just be yourself.”
“I am every bit myself as I always was and self-isolation for me has never been a problem. People aren’t really that fond of me,” he said.
He also had a bit of good, if maybe gross, advice: “If people persist in coming around, shower less.”