Monday, August 23, 2010

Is bigger always better?

Gee, all I need to get a $500 Apple gift card is $150,000! (or more) How can I possibly resist this incredible offer? It was all I could do to keep from clicking on the "Get Started" button, until I realized ...
In a related story, I read that McMansion's are on the outs, as home buyers no longer consider them ... practical, and they aren't selling. Duh. In a recent poll, only 9% of Americans said they want to live in a home of more than 3,200 square feet. That's a 50' x 64' house. The real tragedy comes when they squeeze a 64' home onto a 100' wide lot. So much for privacy.
I'd guess that what they really don't want are the high property taxes and air conditioning bills. Most of them probably have a big enough E-Trade account to get a $500 Apple gift card, so they can use the extra money for their monthly iPhone bill. It all goes somewhere.
Speaking of big, I pulled into the local McDonald's (not nearly as big as a McMansion) because I had a hankering for some french fries. There is something special about McDonald's french fries. What I failed to realize is that there is no "small" size when you order a combo meal. When I was a kid, a small order of fries came in a paper sack that could fit in your shirt pocket - if your shirt had a pocket.
Now, the small fries are medium, and they come in a cardboard container that you could put your entire fist in, and it holds about 100 fries, which was way more than I wanted. I suppose I could have ordered the $1 value mean fries, but I'm not sure if it even exists. Can you order a small bag of fries, or do you automatically get the medium/box of fries? The other reason I didn't just order the fries was because I didn't want to put up with the 100 questions from the guy behind the speaker.
"Just fries?" he would ask. "Would you like to try a value meal?" "Would you like a drink?" (Big markup on the soft drinks) "So, just the small fries?" "Is that all?"
I don't have the patience anymore. For my trouble, I got a mushy fish sandwich and a "medium" lemonade that, if it were water, I could have had enough to wash my car. What a value.
I think that's why we're so fat. Well, that's why you're so fat - or they're so fat, depending. It's tough to get a small anything, especially at the movie theater. A small popcorn is like a shoebox full of stuff, and a small soda doesn't fit in the cup holder. I guess they think that they're giving us something for our money, but maybe what we would really like is just a little of something that we could enjoy instead of a lot of something that we have to struggle to finish.
As I was writing this, an ad for The Olive Garden came on with some kind of unlimited pasta dinner offer. All the pasta you can eat for $8.99. They showed a guy shoveling-in a full plate of Ziti and looking up at his waiter, asking for another plate. Skinny guy - for now. Then, they said you can add-in breadsticks and a salad. Why on earth would you have to? Isn't unlimited pasta enough food? Why are they trying to kill us?
The next time you go out to eat, check out the portion size and try to remember (if you're old enough) what meals looked like when you were a kid.
Then, try to order a small.
Sorry. A little wordy today. I suppose I could have made this essay a "small."

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