Your RDA of Irony

Morning Errands

Today I had the car and therefore all the responsibilities. Here is the recitation of my errands.

I. Pick Up the Drycleaning….

As you enter, you see the sign “A Smile Costs You Nothing”. The next line should be “But Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter, You Grinning Moron”. Before you is a clerk who evidently lost her job with the TSA for excessive brutality. “Open your suitcase before I break your hand.”

In my terror, I try to avoid eye contact. I see that the owner of the establishment wants you to know his heritage. The walls are a photo gallery of Greek ruins; the clerk may be one of them. Mr. Basilios is telling his customers, “My folks invented Western Civilization; what have you done? So don’t complain about the service.”

Trying to justify my existence, I could tell the clerk that my folks invented monotheism, psychiatry and the atomic bomb. (There certainly must be corelation between the three.) And we did improve the Greek inventions of medicine and comedy. We definitely were the first to see the humor in Oedipus.

No, just pay the bill, don’t count the buttons and flee.

II. The Supermarket

Being a glutton, I always enjoy the proximity of food. But an early morning trip to the supermarket is the best time of all. The store is uncrowded. In fact, it is safer. There are no shopping cart kamikazes to ram into you, and then blame you for your clumsiness. In the check lane, you can take your time, paying the bill. Without a line of growling customers behind me, I can count out the dimes, nickels and pennies to give the cashier exact change.

A trip to the supermarket is an education in sociology and economics. Cruise down the cereal aisle and you will learn both the latest in dietary fads and cartoon characters; sometimes simultaneously. Shrek likes carotene! Of course, I always make a pilgrimage to the soda pop and ice cream. And there I am confronted with the evidence of civilization’s collapse. Six months ago, the sale prize for soda was $.89 for a two liter bottle; now, I am expected to believe that $1.25 is a bargain.

The greater outrage, however, is the repackaging of ice cream. The half-gallon carton used to be a half-gallon. But a few years ago, in an act of marketing treachery, the size of the carton was reduced by a half-pint. Of course, as those evil MBAs knew, we would still call the carton a half-gallon because it is rather cumbersome to say “1.75 quarts”. Today, to my horror, I see that the perfidious plot continues. The carton is now “1.5 quarts.” So the perceived “half-gallon” is now three pints of ice cream and one pint of gullibility.

Is there any hope for civilization? I found a little in a pile of discontinued products. No one, thank Heaven, apparently wanted pineapple-flavored licorice. Is this a triumph of the Free Market? I suppose so, but the public would also demand the execution of whoever thought of pineapple- flavored licorice. Perhaps the licorice could be braided into a lynch rope.

And now back home, to my office and my sympathetic reader.

  1. Bob Kincaid says:

    The ice cream fraud is one of the most evil hoaxes perpetrated on a gullible public. After all: it still COSTS the same.

    “Can you imagine that, Mandrake? Shorting us on ice cream? Little childrens’ ice cream?”

    Nice to see I’m not the only one who’s disturbed by this obvious, if frozen, evidence of the Apocalypse.

  2. karen finerman says:

    Basilios does excellent work and is worth the terror.

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