CONTEXT

July 22, 2014

Whadda they think, I’m stupid?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jchatoff @ 11:25 am
Tags: , , , , ,

IMG_2114Here’s a little Shakespeare for our times:

PORTIA
Twelve ounces of that same merchant’s flesh is thine:
The court awards it, and the law doth give it.
SHYLOCK
Most rightful judge!
PORTIA
And you must cut this flesh from off his breast:
The law allows it, and the court awards it.
SHYLOCK
Most learned judge! A sentence! Come, prepare!
PORTIA
Tarry a little; there is something else.
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood;
The words expressly are ‘twelve ounces of flesh’…

Yeah, I get the short pound. I’m so used to it that when something that looks like it weighs a pound actually does, I’m a bit startled.

Everything has been very meticulously retooled to be a fraction smaller, thinner, shorter, lighter. Do they think we haven’t noticed?

Pizza dough is for purists. Just had pizza at a posh place this weekend that was made with something like lavash (very thin flatbread) and about a millimeter of cheese topping. If you had to, you could probably read through it.

Subs, heroes, whatever you call them, are now served on rolls noticeably shorter and lower than they used to be. Which, of course, means less in the way of contents.

If you are still eating the same items in the same quantity that you ate five years ago, you are probably starving all the time.  You have to buy thick-sliced bacon to get what used to be regular weight – if you don’t, the stuff will shred in your hands before you get it in the pan.

But one of my three local grocery chains just broke the camel’s back. It’s bad enough that they lie to me – by omission – but I won’t play this new game.

From three bins away, I spot a big sign saying ‘Cherries, 2.99 a lb.’ That’s only twice what I think reasonable, so I seriously consider treating myself to a pound.

But when I get there, I find the food bullies have a little surprise for me: they’ve invested in some very fancy plastic bags for these cherries,  with a tear-here-for-the-zip-top arrangement and, hefting one, I estimate they weigh about three pounds.  The grapes have been treated the same way.

So really, the sign should say ‘Cherries, $9 a bag.’ Otherwise, might as well label a jar of pickles ’20 cents each.’

Food prices have already risen 2.7% over last year, while a Social Security cost of living increase was a measly 1.7%. And what about all the families – with kids – whose wages haven’t risen at all over the past five years?  Yeah, I know there’s a drought, yadda, yadda, but I also think we are feeding a lot more of the world, creating a real seller’s market here.  I have absolutely no problem with that, but a) stop subsidizing stupid corn and b) don’t lie to me.

A sensible government would put price controls on some things, tariffs on others, and teach me how to cook parsnips and rutabagas. Just don’t pretend it isn’t happening. Jeez.

And admit we live in a world that, as Thorstein Veblen pointed out, “It is always sound business to take any obtainable net gain, at any cost, and at any risk to the rest of the community.”

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2 Comments »

  1. wonderful! and true =/

    Comment by ninachat — July 22, 2014 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  2. And the beat goes on dadadoop

    Comment by avery zia — July 23, 2014 @ 6:51 am | Reply


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