SHOPPING

THE CONTRARIAN

WILLY BRANTS DIARY

My neighbour Joe was pretty cranky the other day when I dropped in to borrow his splitting maul. Joe has one of those big 20 pounders that can split anything, even the biggest jackpine knots, but takes all a little guy like me can do to swing it.  Sort of like John Henry and the steam drill, I swear I can split wood faster with it than the hydraulic models they have down at Canadian Tire.  But only for about six sticks, then I have to sit down and puff, and then the hydraulic job takes the lead.  I got this pile of ugly knots that’s just too big for my old Valley Comfort, and that I can’t split with my little maul.  I’ve got one with little ears that swing out, it looks high tech, and I got sucked in, it doesn’t do any better than an axe.  They used to advertise Joe’s as high tech too, until they figured out that nobody would mistake its triangular head for anything but brute force and ignorance.

Anyway, Joe had just come in from the supermarket. Joe usually shops at 7 – 11, he is so shy that supermarkets get him flustered.  If you could call it shopping, he just grabs the first thing he sees.  Anyway, he decided he needs to save money since the forest industry gave him an early retirement, so he went to the supermarket instead.  Seems he shopped real careful among the canned tuna, there were all kinds, pink and white, oil-packed and water-packed, expensive and cheap, from $1.59 to $2.99 a can.  Said he could tell by the price tags on the shelves, because there is no price on the cans.  Trouble is, ordinary males cannot tell which tag belongs to which can, and male shoppers don’t know what anything costs.  Maybe females don’t either, I wouldn’t know.

Anyway Joe didn’t know what kind of tuna he wanted, so he figured he might as well buy the cheapest kind and work his way up if he didn’t like it. You guessed it, he got the wrong can and ended up with the $2.99 stuff.  “The odds of me getting the most expensive stuff is only one in six”, he says, “I wonder if there really is any $1.59 stuff, maybe all the shelf tags are just decoys   and it’s all $2.99”

He could be right. One thing for sure, if any supermarket goes back to putting the price on the can, so us working guys can figure out what we are paying before we hit the computer at the door, they will get all of Joe’s business.  Mine too.

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