The Price is Right – Or Is It?

We buy a lot of stuff at the mega supermarket just a mile up the road from us. Asparagus, ground chuck, noodles, cottage cheese, prescriptions. They even sell clothes, but we don’t buy clothes there. It just seems odd to me, to buy a shirt in a supermarket. This store also has a big on-premise gas station at the front of its parking lot. In theory, you could buy acorn squash, dental floss, a dress shirt, and regular or premium gas, all at the same location. My goal when I visited the mega store the other day was to buy some basic items such as paper towels, frozen pizza, dog treats – the essential stuff needed for survival. I went through the express lane with nineteen things in my cart. The sign says “limit fifteen items,” but I know they don’t count and don’t care anyway. My stuff totaled up to just over $44.00. Close to the average of what I normally spend.

After loading the bags into my car, and getting behind the wheel I noticed that I was low on gas. I pulled up next to one of the sixteen self-serve pumps, careful not to park where my car door would bang into that malevolent steel post that sticks up out of the asphalt, and filled my tank, for a little over $22.00. gas_pump_Wait a second. . . I just went through the store’s express lane. . .and spent twice as much as it cost to fill my near empty gas tank. Something must be wrong here. I compared my receipts, and discovered that the price of a gallon of gas was considerably less than what I paid for a little five ounce bag of beef-flavored dog treats. “Hmm,” I thought, “Nice savings at the pump, but this begs investigation.” I slept through economics in high school, but I understand supply and demand, price fluctuations, and so on. From watching the news, I’ve heard how the price of crude oil keeps getting lower and, while that is good for drivers, it is bad for the overall economy. Regardless of these incongruous  economic conditions, there is one question I feel must be answered. Perhaps the attorney general’s office or someone should form a blue ribbon committee to conduct an investigation, before our imperiled economy is affected even more, perhaps beyond repair. It is imperative that we identify the real reason why dog treats are so overpriced.

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