Posted by: A. Voter | April 19, 2008

Shameless and shameful exorbitance

Please note: this post was originally published in slightly different form on my other blog, here.  I am posting it here as a warning of what to expect from this blog…

Who was it again who said “There’s a sucker born every minute?”

I’m beginning to wonder if all of the suckers emigrated to Toronto while I wasn’t looking.

The evidence?

First off, I saw a number of pretty wild food spending choices in the latest issue of Toronto Life.

Here, for example, is a photo of a $170.00 steak:

That’s what you pay for six ounces, mind you.

(Gotta like that line “… only a client dinner can justify the expense”. I guess that’s because you’d be billing the clients for it at the end of the day, eh – that is, if you had the type of client that expected wined and dined. I work for Legal Aid, myself.)

If that’s a bit too rich for your blood, or should you not have a bunch of sucker clients at your disposal, you can pick up this 12 ounce steak for $94.00 – a bargain!

(And, apparently the cows are happy while they’re living. I’ve never quite understood this new concept, mind you. Why is the meat eater’s conscience salved because the cows, chickens etc have a good time before you kill them and eat them? Could someone please explain this to me?)

This is more along the usual price range of the beef entering this house:

The kind that comes in the last day sale at Loblaws, that is.

So, then I saw an article about $15 cups of coffee being all the rage on College Street. Now, I’m very interested in coffee, don’t get me wrong, but this is a bit much. People line up for it, apparently.

Oh – and it’s the only coffee in the joint in question that you can’t take with you to go. Probably a good thing – they’d likely want to tack on a toonie for a paper cup and one of those annoying little sleeve thingies so you don’t burn yourself.

(Last year, I saw another wildly overpriced coffee for sale in a grocery store: it’s called Kopi Lewak. It has a unique flavour which comes from – get this – the fact that the beans are eaten and then excreted by a small cat-like creature called a civet. Seriously. I shit kid you not!

This is what it looks like in the wild, apparently (the coffee, that is, not the cat):

Mmm-mmm good. And what do they charge for this? $120.00 for four ounces/113 grams – and you can bet for that price they have some pretty exact scales… you’re not going to get 115 grams!. That’s $480 per pound, folks. More expensive than my TV set!)

And I thought Starbucks was expensive! I think I’ll stick with my extra large Tim’s – $1.75 a pint.

Then yesterday I saw something which really took the cake. At the place near my office where they sell $15.00 hot chocolate mix, which I thought was bad enough…

… I saw this stuff.

Now, I should mention that I was in this shop first thing in the morning. This is just the sort of thing that is  guaranteed to put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. I hate the word “bl**g” – so much that I can’t even bring myself to type it. I don’t know if it’s an official word yet but I would start a petition to keep it out of the Oxford English Dictionary if not.

Then I saw the price: $75.00!!!! For 750 ml of WATER!!!! From TENNESSEE!!! This, by the way, in a city in CANADA which ran out of its snow removal budget in… wait for it… January.

(Yes, I’m shouting. I’ve just about had it.)

I immediately came to the office and googled it, of course. According to a review I read, this is water that makes a “truly defining statement”. And it tastes good. It’s WATER, people! Has everyone forgotten what fish do in water, I ask you!!

Oh – but some good news… the bottles are recyclable! Why anyone stupid enough to actually but a $75 bottle of water would then turn around and recycle this bottle is beyond my tiny little brain… The B word is made out of Swarovski crystals, after all.

Well, I don’t know about you, but for $75 I’d rather have 47 feet of this fancy Swarovski crystal studded yarn:

I might actually be able to make something useful with it. And it would be sure to last longer than that steak or that bottle of water, eh?



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