False Advertising

By Leon Scott Baxter

We’re not nearly as bright as we’d like to think we are. The proof is in the prices we’ll pay—the cost of South Coast homes is outrageous, and you need to hock a major kitchen appliance to fill up your tank with a few gallons of unleaded. We complain about the absurd prices, but end up forking over the money anyway. And as long as we continue to pay, businesses will keep on charging us.

I’m as guilty as the next fellow. A month ago, I was watching Judge Judy on TV when a Kmart commercial cut in announcing, “Dollar Days—Four days only at Kmart.” All I remembered of the ad was a can of Folgers coffee and some Martha Stewart pillows. I don’t drink coffee, and I still use the same pillow I had when I lived with my parents, but a dollar? Couldn’t pass it up. After the honorable judge screamed at the defendant, “I’m talking!” and “What, do you think I was born yesterday?!” I rushed to my local Kmart. I found a can of Folgers for $4 and a Martha Stewart pillow for $6, but where were the advertised dollar specials?

Luckily for me an assistant manager was passing by. “Excuse me, isn’t it Dollar Days?” I asked. “Where are all of the dollar deals?” She replied: “Have you seen the coffee and pillows?” I told her I had and the prices were four and six dollars, respectively. She nodded her head, “Right. Four dollars. Six dollars. Hence, ‘Dollar Days.’”

I was under the impression that I’d be getting incredible savings, but Dollar Days was merely an attempt at alleviating the strenuous task of making change (“Hey, Charlie! We’re out of dimes. Break out the Dollar Days banner!”). I could have bought the Folgers elsewhere for $3.69, but the thought of coming home with no loose change was too inviting. So, now I’ve got a can of Joe, an extra pillow, and an empty penny jar. I can blame only myself.

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