The Bodega Startup Is an Outrage and Not Just Because It Would Inconvenience Me, a White Person

UGH. Just when you think Silicon Valley can’t get any more heartless, Bodega farts its way into frame: a vending machine startup that wants to put corner stores out of business. Well if my Twitter feed is any indication, I’m not the only white person who finds this completely outrageous. And no, it’s not just because my bodega is the only place where I can get a $2 breakfast sandwich.

This isn’t about me, or eggs. It’s about social justice. It’s about the original Dreamers — all those hardworking immigrants who came to America on a raft or whatever, pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, and opened grocery stores or became cab drivers.

Okay, full discloj, I haven’t taken a cab in years. But to even hail one you have to step outside (wtaf) and flap your arms like some sort of pathetic flightless bird. Then half the time, the inside of the cab smells like Pakistani food or whatever the driver ate last — sick!!! I like the nice clean Uber drivers who give me Aquafina and don’t play scary music that’s a trigger for anyone who used to watch “Homeland.”

Where was I? Right, defending immigrants and making sure they can feed their families. That is what’s important, NOT the fact that my bodega will sell me 40s of rosé after midnight even though it’s illegal. That’s great, and so is the pamplemousse LaCroix they special-ordered for me, but this issue is so much bigger than that, you guys. These soulless startups cannot continue to run roughshod over every immigrant-owned business in America. First they come for the bodegas, then what, Indian and Mexican restaurants?

I mean I do exclusively order through Seamless. I know they take a 20 percent cut of every order, and most of these places are small, immigrant-owned shops just like bodegas. But when I used to call the restaurant, a lot of times they had like a really thick accent? It was SO annoying and hard to understand. If those places want my money, they should learn English. (Though tbh I feel like if I’m talking on the phone period something has gone horribly wrong and someone should make an app to fix it for me.)

My bodega guy Amir has an accent, but he also has a CAT in the store, which is super cute and most days my only source of physical affection. I can’t believe this bodega startup would have the nerve to make its logo a cat!!!! That is so offensive to all the stray cats that will become stray cats again if these bodegas shut down. How will they ever survive on the streets where they were born and spent most of their lives?

So much is at stake here — not just white people having everything they want at their fingertips 24/7.

Okay, I would love to keep talking about this, but I have to make a Minibar order for the party tonight and then run downstairs to grab a big package from Amazon Pantry, which Amir is holding for me. Seriously, what would I do without him?