M. SCOTT MORRIS: One week from today, eating vienners' gets complicated

My wife mocks me because I'm a Vienna sausage fan.

And, yes, we call them “VI-eenners” at the house, except for my daughter, who calls them oysters, though I've tried hard to correct her.

Both our kids have adopted some of my taste for less-than-gourmet food. Their mother rolls her eyes whenever I slide a finger into a tab and pull the aluminum top off a can of vienners.

“I'll get the cheese,” my daughter said.

“Cheese,” the boy agreed.

“Yuck,” their mom said.

We're still a Bryan family, though I'm not sure that'll last after the West Point plant closes a week from today.

I'm genuinely curious to see what I buy during my next visit to a canned meat aisle.

Will it be Bryan because it's “from the South” or some other brand because Bryan is leaving our part of the South?

“Boycott all vienners in protest,” my wife suggested, but let's not get ridiculous.

It's hard to know the “right” thing to do when dealing with large corporations that tick you off.

Before moving to Northeast Mississippi, I worked in the southwest Louisiana town of St. Martinville, where Fruit of the Loom employed 3,000 to 3,500 people. Several years ago, the company decided to refocus its efforts elsewhere.

As Bruce Springsteen sang, “These jobs are goin', boys, and they ain't comin' back.”

As a result, I don't buy Fruit of the Loom clothing. It's a small decision, and I know it probably doesn't affect anyone's bottom line, but I'm a Hanes man now.

I say that suspecting Hanes has probably done the same thing FoTL did. I just don't know anyone who was personally affected. The writing on the back of my undershirt says “Made in Honduras,” and I'm willing to bet it said “Made in U.S.A.” as little as a decade ago.

Man, these are complicated times. I've got nothing against the people of Honduras making a living, but I don't want American families to suffer.

The sad truth is I don't have any real say in the matter. Even when trying to make a stand, no matter how tiny, there's always another obstacle.

My mother doesn't know about my FoTL boycott. She visited a couple of weeks ago and was scandalized to see the shape of some of my undershirts.

“Good lord, son. There's no need for that,” she said.

She took it upon herself to throw away a bunch of Hanes that were rotting away to nothing, then bought a five-pack of FoTL. I refuse to throw them away, but I get a vague twinge every time I put one on.

After next week, I expect to get a similar sensation whenever I'm in the canned meat aisle at the grocery store. It's a strange world when a man can't eat a vienner or put on his underwear without it gnawing at his conscience.

Can I get a witness in St. Martinville or West Point?

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com

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