Sunday, February 06, 2011

Impulse Purchase a Crowning Event

There was a short information piece on the Today Show last week explaining how grocery stores are laid out in order to entice impulse buying; items that weren’t on your list that end up going in the basket prior to hitting the check out counter. Men out pace women by a considerable margin in this area, falling for spot items because of packaging or placement; maybe this is why Lucy doesn’t like me going to the grocery store.

Last night we stopped off to pick up a couple of items, soda and something else; can’t even remember now. On the way to the check out counter I spotted an end cap of candy, “10/$10”. It had all kinds of great stuff I hadn’t had in years; Good & Plenty, Milk Duds, Whoppers. My will to resist weakened with each step; two boxes of Good & Plenty landed in the shopping basket. When we reached the conveyor belt to off load our basket there was another display filled with even more boxes of neat candy, “I gotta’ have some Milk Duds”; my hand being drawn toward the familiar yellow box.

Lucy shook her head knowing her oldest child would have his way. I was paying for the “extras” so it wasn’t like it came from her weekly grocery money. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had Milk Duds; must have been in my teens or early twenties. Back then a box of candy was a quarter. If you consider forty plus years, inflation and a slightly larger box; one dollar didn’t seem too much.

Later in the evening we watched Beverly Hill’s Cop on one of the movie channels; a perfect opportunity to sample a few Milk Duds. I’d forgotten how easily they stick to your teeth. By the time the third chocolate covered sticky bomb had gone to work I noticed something was wrong. The fancy porcelain crown, the one that used to be attached to my molar, had been snatched up and encased in a gooey glob of caramel.

It’s hard to explain; but somehow your mouth knows instinctively not to come down hard on a foreign object that’s floating across your tongue. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio could have used some help on chewing when he bit down on an olive pit at the congressional cafeteria. I heard he was suing them for damages to his dental work,
$ 150,000 for having a dangerous substance in his olive sandwich, an olive.

Maybe I should become a liberal, that state of mind where you don’t have to be responsible for your own actions and go around blaming everyone else. I heard Kucinich settle out of court with the congressional cafeteria.

I know; I’ll hire a shyster lawyer ( is that a redundancy?) and sue Milk Duds for not putting a warning label on their box, “Our candy might stick to dental work”. Somebody sued McDonalds years ago for getting scalded after spilling hot coffee out of a cup filled with hot coffee; got a fortune in the justice system lottery. If you get the right jury it can really pay off. What’s the going rate on replacement crowns?

Monday morning I’ll set up an appointment with my dentist, have the crown properly anchored and empty my wallet at their check out counter. I promise, no more impulse purchases; at least until I forget how much that last box of candy cost me.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.


T. F. Stern said...

The answer to that question, What's the going rate on a replacement crown? After my discount, $ 822.00.

$ 823.00 if you factor in the cost of the Milk Duds.

David said...

And possible lost income from the unplanned time off. *sigh*

I've not "been there" exactly, but my own impulse buys have always seemed too (long term) expensive. It took a long time for me to be trained out of them, but it's been a liberating experience. :-)

T. F. Stern said...


I was surprised to be able to walk in when the dentist's office opened without an appointment and be treated on the spot. I guess they xray the wallet first. I was out by 11am and able to put in a full day's work. Still, starting off $800 in the hole is a challenge to any week.

Lucy Stern said...

He won't be buying any milk duds any time soon, if I have my say about it...

MK said...

You have a point about mn and those impulse buys, i've walked away many a time with some sort of sugary treat when i had no plan of buying it. I've learned to stop looking now.