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The Mashup 

Dear H-E-B,

From the Editor

Dear H-E-B,

WTF? I thought we were even. On November 1, we produced a (in truth, very funny) cover gently lampooning your downmarket Hill Country Fare brand and our downmarket District 23 Congressional Rep. HCF = “toaster pastries.” Henry B = “working-class M-A from the barrio.” Neither one is exactly what it advertises itself as, which doesn’t mean they don’t appeal to a large segment of the marketplace — to some who believe they’re getting a good value, to others because they think they can’t afford better. In the accompanying cover story, Current staffer Keli Dailey argued that Bonilla spends a lot of time posturing about education, minority advancement, and other issues that really do matter to his inner-city, more-Democratic-than-not constituents, but he is in fact a Hill Country Republican who manages to stay in office thanks to the white suburban and rural voters that have been wedded to his border and urban populations.

The parody worked because your de-facto position as the city’s only grocery-store chain means the HCF logo is almost universally recognized within city limits — so it was, in its way, a compliment.

You threw us out of Central Market for a week. ’Nuff said. Actually, ’nuff said once the faxed letter from Akin Gump Strauus Hauer & Feld arrived, but we thought if removing our rack from your store for the run of the offending cover put a spring back in your step and a smile on your face every time you thought of all those warm Current All You Can Eat mentions for your environmental awards, scholarship giveaways, and Hatch Chile Fests, we could be sports. We can get as good as we give.

Up to a point. It’s been a week now since our sunset-toned Hill Country Republican cover (alluding, too, to that apt quote, “When little men cast big shadows, it’s a sure sign the sun is setting”) disappeared over the horizon, replaced by our minty, refreshing “Race Issue” cover — illustrated by a studiously neutral, non-corporate-identified trio of ice-cream scoops. And yet, no joy in Central-Marketville; the mighty Current has struck out with our hometown grocer.

Honestly, it never occurred to us that you’d be so upset. N