Lately, my total expenditures on regular trips to the food market are markedly higher for the same amount of products as purchased previously during the last fill of the shopping cart; and this has been going on for way too long. How can these people arbitrarily raise the cost of their products every single week?
Gasoline expenditures are that way too. “Let’s make some more money,” Sheikh Ur Bootye says, raising the price of a barrel of crude; and the executives at the oil refineries follow suit, as if they were in cahoots while quarterly profits bloom; nevertheless, the cost of a gallon of gas goes up again.
The futures and commodities markets need to feel the proverbial boot up their collective posterior motives. They find all kinds of excuses for justifying the raising of oil prices. My favorite one is if someone passes gas in an oil field—to put it nicely—bingo! The price of a barrel instantly went up ten bucks. [Editor’s note: as of January 2015, gasoline prices have been plunging to six-year lows, making the previous premise moot.]
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could systematically demand and get our salaries at work raised regularly to keep up with the economy, or have your pension payments increased at a moment’s whim, and blame the need for augmentation on someone’s farting in the Middle East? Just once, I would love to find I had actually spent less on groceries, the next time at the supermarket.
And is it just me, or has everything shrunk? The cereal boxes look smaller, and so do the rolls of paper towels; products instead of offering twelve ounces as they used to, are now providing ten for the same price.
To make matters worse, why does the slowest, most inconsiderate lane-blocker always end up shopping when I’m there, and at almost every aisle on which I turn; with that particular person totally oblivious to a long line of shopping carts waiting to get around her? How about the individual who constantly stops smack-dab where your intended items lay, reading his shopping list or trying to decide what brand of green organic tea to buy? This keeps happening lane, after lane, until reaching the cashier.
Then, there’s that loudmouth cell-phone user who rolled his cart in line behind me at the checkout station, all the while saying nothing much was happening except for his going off his diet and splurging to buy some Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream, finally finishing off his conversation with reading the headlines from the myriad of rags on the magazine shelf. Pow, zing, zoom to the moon, I felt like sending this lame brain; but then I found out my grocery tab had escalated by forty dollars more this week. I was not a happy camper.
My cable and Internet bill goes up periodically, with the provider sending a note saying, “Oh, by the way, we’re raising your monthly fee. Too bad, but you’ll have to cough it up anyway.” My electricity bill went up. Clothes, tires, appliances, and haircuts cost more. Even the replacement of my nine iron that accidentally landed in the water hole by the 17th green at my last outing was priced far more expensive than the last time I had to replace a golf club.
We’re living in uncertain times, and for me, all that it would take is a winning ticket for the Mega Millions Lottery, for which I bought my requisite five tickets on the way back home from grocery shopping today, and will be keeping my fingers crossed until tomorrow night’s drawing. The estimated jackpot is worth twelve million smackeroos. Not much you say? Ah, but it would certainly be enough for me.