Dr. Know: Deli Dilemmas, Odd Turns, and Bragging Wrongs

Dr. Know ponders deli-related queries, weird turns on Duck Creek Road, and what came before Remke Market in Hyde Park.

When I get fresh-sliced meat at the Kroger Deli, the workers always seal the price label so it goes over the bag’s top and down the front. There’s no way to open it without tearing a hole in the bag. Am I the only one who is driven crazy by this? Can you talk them out of doing this? —WE DON’T HAVE THE MEATS

Illustration by Lars Leetaru

Dear Don’t:

In general, the Doctor avoids topics that approach the “On Your Side/We’re Fighting for You” type of TV news activism. We try to stay in our lane. But it’s hard to resist, when one orders a nice pound of freshly-sliced rare roast beef, writing off the cost by doing some investigative reporting on the topic.

Two different Kroger delis told us the same thing: You are far from the only customer to raise this issue. Those who wish their price label stuck squarely on the side of the bag need only ask, and many employees do it that way anyway. Kroger supervisors mandate, however, that all sliced meats placed in their “Grab & Go” display cases must be sealed in exactly the frustrating way you describe. We weren’t given an official reason for this, but it’s probably to prevent customers from opening and tasting the meat and then putting it back, because some human beings are disgusting. So order at the counter, and enjoy your slice of life.

Driving on Duck Creek Road in Evanston, I pass intersections at Bevis, Wabash, and Evanston avenues. None of them are real intersections, though—each requires a weird turn to continue across Duck Creek Road. My guess is that something happened here. Can you investigate? —DUCK WHEN CROSSING DUCK CREEK

Dear Duck:

The obvious answer is on your left: Interstate 71. You may not even be aware that all three streets continue on the other side of the highway. Before I-71’s rude interruption, they cleanly and straightly crossed Duck Creek Road.

Except they didn’t. The “obvious” answer, if we smugly decide to skip our research, turns out to be the wrong one. While you can blame the highway for the unkind cut that severed the three streets, those distorted intersections at Duck Creek Road are several hundred feet away. And a detailed city map from about 1917—a time when the only use of the word interstate was invariably coupled with commerce in Supreme Court decisions—shows that all three intersections were just as non-intersected as they are today.

Duck Creek Road, once a long and important Cincinnati thoroughfare, is now a shattered series of stump streets thanks to various highways. But neither it nor Interstate 71 is responsible for your distracted worry about these Evanston cross streets. Turn up your radio, and keep your eyes straight ahead.

Please settle an argument. The Remke Market in Hyde Park Plaza just closed, and my friend and I disagree about what business was at that location before Remke. She says it was a Bigg’s. I say it was a Goodyear tire dealer, Hyde Park Tire. I remember buying tires there! So I’m right, right? —BRAGGING WRONGS

Dear Bragging:

That’s right, you’re wrong. But so is your friend. In fact, this is a rare instance of two wrongs being right. To wit: Your friend is correct about bigg’s (too-cutely spelled with a small b), which was there before Remke. But she is also wrong, because the two groceries were actually the same. The store opened in 2005 as bigg’s, and when Remke bought the company in 2010 it became Remke-bigg’s. The store itself, though, did not change. They quietly dropped “bigg’s” in 2013.

Therefore, while your friend is technically correct that Remke was formerly bigg’s, she is technically incorrect because bigg’s had been basically the same store. So you’re slightly more correct about the true previous tenant: Hyde Park Tire, in that location from 1980 to 2005. But they shared the footprint with a Thriftway grocery, which had previously been an Ames/Zayre’s discount store when dinosaurs walked the earth. Therefore that makes you slightly incorrect by a now-incalculable fraction.

Thank you for giving the Doctor this opportunity to be King Solomon.

Dr. Know is Jay Gilbert, radio personality and advertising prankster. Email him your questions about the city’s peculiarities at drknow@cincinnatimagazine.com.

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