"The world is not a lodging-house at Brighton, which we are to leave because it is miserable. It is the fortress of our family, with the flag flying on the turret, and the more miserable it is the less we should leave it."
-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.
Take me away, Big Brother This afternoon, I went to do some grocery shopping at Albertsons, and realized that they have succumbed to "Annoy The Customers By Making Them Sign Up For A Membership Card To Get Any Coupon Discounts Madness," better known as ATCBMTSUFAMCTGACDM. Like Mad Cow disease, ATCBMTSUFAMCTGACDM can wipe out virtually all beef consumption in a given area by keeping customers out of the meat departments of grocery stores. This is because their 87-pound purses, stuffed with a separate club discount card for every retail establishment in town, strangled them when they leaned over to pick up a tomato in produce.
The ATCBMTSUFAMCTGACDM phenomenon began with the Safeway "Club Card," and has since spread to most major supermarket chains, in a sincere effort by grocers to suck even more money directly out of American pocketbooks. It has caused all items in the store to possess two prices, the "Club" price, and a marked-up price nobody wants to pay that is designed to make you get their stupid card so they can track your every purchase and eventually band together into a giant supermarket cartel that will deny food to anybody who refuses to sign up for their "preferred buyer" program and so late one night as you drive to a secret location to buy black-market bananas you will be apprehended by a burly deli manager named "Vinnie" who will do free dental work on you and you will be forced to flee with your family to China, where you will get SARS and die.
I am not a big fan of these cards.
Call me old-fashioned, but I figure that if a store wants to sell something, they should do so for a single, clearly-marked price, and rely on good old inventory tracking to determine what products sell best in a given area. Why does Albertsons need my date of birth? Are they going to send me a card? Balloons? A hot loaf of french bread? Albertsons doesn't need my date of birth any more than it needs my favorite color (blue) or preferred model of car (one that runs). Nor, dear reader, does it need yours.
I would ask you to boycott these places, but then you would starve to death. Safeway, Albertsons, if you're listening, please, please, don't make us carry your cards. It's insulting. Just charge one price for hamburger. It won't hurt you, and it will make us much, much happier. I don't want you watching me. Tom Ridge does that just fine already, thank you.