Thursday, October 16, 2008


Back in 1990, the government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed. Now are we going to trust the economy of our country to a pack of nit-wits who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling booze?

This is the type of amusing or eyebrow raising items that are sent to my parents. I am sitting here with a grin on my face recalling the headshaking things we have discussed lately. My dad discovered that he could track the price of gasoline online and often calls Fang to apprise him of the latest discounts on the other side of town--15 miles away. We laugh every time we drive out and go by the Murphy's over on Highway 79. We watch the prices as we go by each time and see how much they change in a matter of minutes. Today was just such a day. On our way over to Sutherland's, the price at Murphy's was $2.59 a gallon for unleaded. On our way back it was $2.58.

All this minute by minute price changing reminds me of a can of corn that I bought back when stores still had stickers on each item--before the days of bar codes. A worker was in the process of putting new stickers on cans which were already on the shelves. I stopped to get a can of corn and he graciously handed it to me--and put a new price sticker on it as he did. Now just how did that corn cost them more sitting there on that shelf! I suppose the same could be said of almost any commodity--and yes, I know all the arguments about replacement value, etc.

Even though bar codes have made reordering and inventory record keeping a breeze for stores, it definitely has its disadvantages for customers. A store we visited one day this week had signs up indicating that certain products were on sale for $7 each. Because I was watching to see that Fang didn't load bags of cans on top of squishables, I wasn't paying attention when the $7 item went across the scanner. I DID ask the clerk if she had taken off the coupon on that item. She pointed to it and said, "It's right here." We got to the truck and I looked at the bill. The sale item came up $7.23 and the coupon had NOT been taken off. Grrrr. Oh, I could have gone back in there and found the teller, interrupted her work, and demanded my $1.23 or I could have gone to the customer service counter and complained. As it is, I just will sit here and feel that Wally World has done it again! It's easy to drop prices if the cashiers pick 'em up again.

It doesn't take much to irritate most of us--ever-changing prices, faulty products, or an invasion of unwanted guests like lovebugs or flies. Dad said that my brother discovered a mouse in his new house. After years of martial arts training, Sterling found a way to dispatch a mouse. I have a cat AND a dog that live in this house and neither one of them have caught our resident mouse. But I won't wait for the government to come up with a better mouse trap. We might have to move to Nevada!

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