The wrong-sized sandwich

Wednesday December 1, 2004

In my hunting and searching around Boston I found a bargain basement type of store called Wilkinson’s. I was enthusiastic about it because they sell padded envelopes very much cheaper than I’ve seen them elsewhere, and padded envelopes are important to me just now. How sad is that?

Since discovering it I’ve bought other stuff there, as need arose, and been very pleased with the lower prices. So, having noticed they sell several items of skin care stuff that Graham uses, I made the mistake of enthusing about the store, and, today, I dragged him in to check it out. I should know better.

“Well, you know why the prices on this stuff are lower, don’t you?” he remarked, putting a bottle of shower gel back on the shelf.

“I suppose it’s because they buy in bulk?”

“No, you silly old fool, it’s because all the bottles are half normal size.”

“Oh. And that means?”

“It’s actually more expensive.”

“Ah. Shall we have a coffee, then?”

“Yes. That’s a good idea.”

So we walked three shops up and into Costa Coffee. Graham had a giant size capuchino with an extra shot, in a cup big enough to act as a bath for a very small dog, and I had my usual double espresso. I also had a rather disappointing toasted sandwich. Even more disappointing because Graham didn’t want to share it, mumbling something about not wanting to spoil his lunch.

“I’m sorry about Wilkinson’s,” I said.

“Don’t be daft,” he said, all comfortable and superior. “You just need to look at quantity as well as price, that’s all.”

“Yeah. You’re right. This sandwich is more than I wanted.”

“There you are then. My point is made.”

“Clever clogs.”

It’s true, though. Comparison shopping isn’t as simple as it used to be, and it’s all too easy to end up with the wrong-sized sandwich.

 

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