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Does This Look Like the Face of a Guy Who Choked a Grocery Clerk for Crushing His Super Bowl Chips?

SourceA Pennsylvania man claimed he was having a ‘bad day’ when he allegedly choked a grocery store cashier because he crushed his chips while placing them in bags.

Bradley Bower, 55, was arrested on February 2 at the Giant Food Store. … Bower told police that while he and his wife were getting checked out, he asked the cashier, Neil Lerch Jr, not to ‘throw his groceries around,’ according to the York Dispatch.

According to police, the cashier had bagged Bower’s chips with canned goods and ‘he was smashing the chips that Bower was purchasing’.

As Bower was preparing to leave the register, he asked Lerch if he had a problem.

Lerch reportedly responded: ‘Do you?’

Police say that led to Bower grabbing Lerch and putting his hand ‘around the cashier’s throat’. Bower was subsequently charged with simple assault.

Bower told police that he knew he was wrong but ‘he was having a bad day and this issue with the chips just sent him over the edge’.


The cashier told police that Bower put enough pressure on his throat to ‘make him pass out’.

To know me is to know I’m not one to advocate violence. To me, “Use your words” is not just a catchphrase; it’s a philosophy. The blueprint for living your best life. But even it has limits.

There are times when violence is the only logic response of a rational mind. Let’s say, someone is harming a defenseless person.  Or a former Austrian corporal with a square mustache and one testicle decides to invade Poland. Someone insults your wife. Or a grocery clerk shows an utter lack of concern for your Super Bowl spread. Instances like this are exactly why our laws are not monolithic and we have a little thing like judicial discretion.

It’s one thing if the bagger is smashing your regular, run of the mill, ordinary, weekday chips. He’s still wrong. But there, violence would be overkill. In a situation like that, common courtesy dictates you politely express your disapproval and request a bag of non-crushed chips. And, if necessary, ask to speak to the manager.

But the Super Bowl chip is the single most important chip of the calendar year. It’s the one you most look forward to. You’re still fat from the holidays. You’re just on the verge of giving them up for Lent so for now it’s all about indulging yourself. And enjoying their sodium and saturated fatty goodness is as much a part of the holiday as fireworks on the 4th of July. Somebody carefully sewed the seeds of those potatoes, grew and harvest them, sent them off to the factory where they were peeled with the utmost care, thin sliced, fried and seasoned with almost deadly amounts of salt. Packaged them. Boxed them. Drove them to the store and arranged them on the shelves. And they didn’t go through all that just so one step from your car some minimum wage high school kid can annihilate them.

We can do without a lot of things. But pouring out a bowl of chip dust on Super Bowl Sunday is not only disappointing and embarrasses you in front of your guests who’ll assume you bought them at the Dollar Store like some trailer trash, it’s disrespecting America during one of our most sacred days. It’s an affront to all we stand for as a people. Not to mention this poor fat-faced bastard is from Pennsylvania. So watching this last Super Bowl had to be particularly hard on him and yes, he was having a bad day. Judge Thornton orders the case dismissed. Mr. Clerk, please call the next item on the docket.