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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