Sunday, November 9, 2008

Amid the greatest economic downturn of the last 80 years.

I was in Bloomingdale's yesterday--they were having a "1-day only Home Sale," and everything or nearly everything, by the time you were done with the asterisk, was 40% off.

It was a rainy day in New York and the store was mobbed--maybe it was just foreigners who wanted out of the rain--or maybe the "economic meltdown that's hitting Wall Street and Main Street both" (as they say on the nightly news) is as hyped and exaggerated as Winter Storm Watch 2008 when we were supposed to get eleven feet of snow and be besieged by the second coming of the Mastodon. Maybe the economic forecasting is as measured and intelligent as the Doppler 9000 radar which assures us every time there's a low pressure area two-thousand miles from land that we had better start building an ark. Or maybe it will be Depression II, just when you thought it was safe to go back into Charles Schwab.

My wife and I needed new towels. First I saw bath-sheets (those over-sized bath towels) for $57, and I said, 'how can that be.' But then I went to the next display and saw bath-sheets for $75 each. Then to another display where they were marked $93.
At that price, buying five costs more than the average family takes home in a week.

My wife and I settled for some discontinued towels from Ralph Lauren which cost $14.99 a piece less the 40% they took off at the register. I think they will work as well as the $93 ones.

Call me cynical (you won't be the first one) but part of me feels that this great economic crisis is just another made-for-tv adventure. It's bigger, badder, louder and worser than anything that's ever gone before. We will never extricate ourselves from the interwoven, international mess--at least that's what they tell us and on we go.

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