The best damn cherry cola I ever had was not that much better than the worst damn cherry cola I ever had, and both weren’t that different from the cherry cola that was fair to middlin’, an expression that I have to admit I’ve never understood because I always thought fair was middlin’, but I guess it was invented by someone who thought it was important to make a distinction between average and just below average, but that’s another story. And blindfolded I don’t think I could make a distinction between the factory brand cherry cola and the artisanal cherry cola that was made with hand-picked Namibian kola nuts, springwater-washed Rainer cherries, and sugar hyphenated with something, but somebody had to make both. It’s the only way to keep the economy viable. We live in a consumption-driven world and the only way to maintain market growth is to keep offering something new. Variety is the name of the game, not monopoly. Monopoly’s object is to so thoroughly destroy the competition that no one can buy anything, wiping out the economy and causing even money itself to lose all value. Even then though it’s still better to carry cash because in the post-economic apocalypse you can burn those little slips of paper to keep the zombie hordes away from your hotel on Boardwalk.
I’ve often said, and more often thought, that we need to be aware of the world around us, that we need to be open to experience and try new things, and it’s a good philosophy but it’s also one that can be easily exploited by those who are just trying to sell us a bunch of hooey. Admittedly expensive hooey is preferable to free hooey and on most days I find that inexpensive hooey can get me by, but it can be overwhelming. Sometimes I want to shut off all the noise, to escape, to not worry about what I’m being sold, to stop being a consumer and just be, and to that end I’m looking into how much it costs to rent a sensory deprivation tank.
The lesson here is that some of the best things in life are free and some of the best things in life are expensive and some of the best things in life are just fair to middlin’.