The new year is off to an expensive and interesting start…
(by Half Dollar) The new year is off to an expensive and interesting start for so many people, isn’t it?
Last Tuesday, my parking tab at the airport was eight bucks, and interestingly, I barely managed to slip the cash through the now not so recently installed plexiglass barrier to hand to the vinyl-gloved, 300-pound properly muzzled and head-visor connected splatter shield protected airport parking lot employee, who asked me if I wanted to donate the other two dollars to a daily cause or something, and I’ve got to be honest, between my ears, my beanie cap, the chatting of the passengers, the music playing through the premium audio system, a halfway rolled down driver’s side window, the roar of my giddy-up pick up truck’s gas guzzling engine, the wisping of the bitter cold wind gusts, the plexiglass barrier, a thick sliding glass toll booth window, the employee’s stupid face shield, an even dumber face mask, and maybe even something else that I’m missing, I couldn’t quite hear what the Extortionist of Hourly Fees was saying, but whatever it was that she said, as I was patiently waiting to be handed my change as the desperate drivers in their cars behind me were honking their horns and flashing their lights with the intention of motivating me to get a move on, I could have sworn that the last time I parked at the airport, the price that I paid for parking was only six bucks, but whatever the exact cost was, this time around, those eight dollars were simply the icing on the cake after the questionable detainment of a frail, elderly Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States and a pay-or-else $589 fine imposed from US immigration “services”.
And to think, we’re only in January.
But other than to constantly front-run the already hyperinflated US dollar, what is one to do?
Now, I’m an idiot, but I’ve been thinking about things to do in general, and I’ve been thinking about investing in things that would be useful in a year or two specifically, especially as my family is growing and going off to college and stuff, so I’ve been thinking in particular about things that I can buy for a good deal right now that will be super useful later.
Things like, oh, say, linens?
Indeed, I know that based on any given flicker, I’m not really the brightest lightbulb in the toolshed, and I’d be cool with that if I only knew why, but I’m pretty sure that even as people are asteroid mining gold from a forward operating base on Mars to fund deep space exploration from Planet MetaUniverso, whether it will even continue to be a planet or not, that people will still need to sleep from time to time, and as such, they will need bed sheets.
And I don’t know about you, but I would agree with Costco in regards to its latest email marketing campaign for “hot buys”, because two sets of queen sheets for ten bucks at Costco seems like a good deal to me:
Only, it’s not.
Because in addition to wasting my time and wasting my gasoline, which, ironically enough, I purchase at Costco, scamflation strikes again!
You see, in the real world, whether that world be “online” or “in-warehouse”, the item simply does not exist at that price.
And I’ve got to tell you, when it comes to scamflation, Costco is the King!
But wait, there’s more!
That’s right folks, because the “Japanese” “steakhouse” strikes again!
That is to say, in an enjoyment that continues to this very day, Wifey and I have enjoyed the so-called Japanese steakhouses all over the country for a couple of decades, and I specifically remember that when we were Newlyweds, many years ago, we would eat the “early bird special” at a particular Japanese steakhouse in Durham, North Carolina.
In fact, I recall that the special, which, believe it or not, was actually a special, something that is no longer found at restaurants today, was between the hours of 4:00p.m. and 6:00p.m. exclusively, but hey, that’s why it was called a “special”, and that particular special was “2 for $24.99”, meaning, two people ate the hibachi dinner-show, and I’m not talking about some watered-down, meatless version of the hibachi dinner-show, financially gimmicked as a value, but rather, I’m talking about a delicious chicken, steak and shrimp dinner, as well as all of the other standard Japanese steakhouse goodies, and way more than any one of the up-to-ten patrons at any given table could eat, with the exception of myself, of course, for one special price!
Well, fast forward a couple of decades later, to sometime around the start of the Zombie Apocalypse, and by the years 2020 & 2021, we had arrived at the point in time where the fried rice is considered a $2.00 “upgrade” over plain rice and all of the Masterfully Spot-On Japanese Hibachi Chefs have been replaced by Short-Statured Spanish-speaking Mexican Cooks.
Although in 2022, not be be outdone or left out or whatever, because everybody knows ‘Ol Half Dollar enjoys some fine dining every now and then for the, uh, you know, the research, as my luck would have it, as my luck always has it, our latest trip just yesterday to The Land of Well Done Steak, no matter how you order it, dipped in Super Yummy Yummy Sauce, or whatever that pinkish-orange sauce is called, didn’t just seem kind of expensive but also sort of lacking.
And by “expensive”, I mean, “$230 for five people”, and by “lacking”, I mean, well, you know how in pre-Zombie Apocalypse times, you would order a pizza at some crappy pizzeria on the strip in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and whenever it would have a hair on it or some other random questionable thing that would cause the pizza to get sent back into the kitchen, only to be returned to the table as a Frankenstein Pizza seconds later, where the best thing to do would be to just close your eyes, chew, and swallow, and where the worst thing to do would be to focus on the operations of the place and the haphazardness of it all?
Kinda like that.
For cryin’ out loud, it’s called a “lobster tail” and not “strewn together pieces of a raw mystery meat puzzle that somewhat resemble shellfish meat in the form of a tail”.
But I digress.
Making matters worse, my beer was not from draft but came in a can, with no glass, and it wasn’t even really all that cold, even though it was quite literally freezing outside, the so-called “show” was more like the in-training production of a recently promoted, over-worked fry cook, the chop sticks were only handed out begrudgingly after asking for them twice, and the upgraded rice now costs three-fifty.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that they don’t even make it from scratch anymore.
Granted, this is just how things have started in 2022.
Good thing we have such a booming US economy…