Random raves

Posted on November 28, 2007
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Retailers defy law of gravity

            I’ve been very irritated by the cost of greeting cards for several years. Their price in Canada has been far higher than in the US and far higher than the currency difference for years. With the Canadian dollar at and above par, premiums in the range of 60% were outrageous.

            This weekend, in need of a birthday card, I was pleased to see that Sobeys is charging Canadians the US price.

            I was irritated and a little puzzled to see that Chapters is charging the Canadian price on its calendars. I guess they are gambling that Canadians will be overcome by the Christmas spirit and pay the premium. If enough of us don’t, we’ll be able to pick up calendars in January for half price or less.

            Some of the retail chains have been saying that they can’t do anything about the large premiums on items they acquire from US suppliers.

            That seems odd to me. For years we heard about how everything from cards and magazines to NHL hockey players had to be purchased in US dollars so we had to pay the high premiums.

            If so, shouldn’t the reverse of that also be true? If Canadian suppliers always had to pay for cards and magazines in US dollars shouldn’t it take far fewer Canadian dollars to pay those bills now?

            I seem to remember someone saying that what goes up must come down. Isn’t it interesting that that doesn’t apply to prices?

            It is similar with airline prices. When gasoline was up around and above the $1.25 per litre range, the airlines applied fuel surcharges to their ticket prices. I don’t remember them removing them when fuel prices subsided back near the $1.00 level. Oddly enough, as prices have risen again, they are applying fuel surcharges again.

            I suppose some of this has to do with the decline in the value of the US dollar. It isn’t that fuel is up so much as it is that the US dollar that buys it is down so much. However, shouldn’t the fact that you and I buy our tickets with big, fat, juicy Canadian  dollars mean that our costs should not rise?

            It is a good thing the people who calculate these prices don’t design teeter totters. One end would go up and down and the other end would just continue to ratchet up and up and up.

            Would we lose a lot of kids that way? I don’t think so. Kids are too smart to get on a ride like that.

            So, can we conclude that these large corporations are convinced we are more ignorant and naïve than nursery school children?

Great lines

            I love good lines. The art people create with words is as beautiful to me as the art people create with paint and music.

            In a restaurant on the weekend, our son’s girlfriend had arranged to be able to bring in a cake for Tyson’s birthday dinner. It was a work of art in cheesecake. The waitress admired it and Becca gave her a piece.

            Describing it, she said, “That is so light for cheesecake! You just keep eating it until it is too late!”

            I can relate to that.

            When we returned to their apartment, a group of their friends in the dark yelled “Surprise.”

            Tyson had never had a surprise party before and was quite overwhelmed.

            “I’ll bet you were glad to hear us yell ‘Surprise’ Tyson.” laughed his friend Kevin. “Did you think it was an intervention?”

            I can relate to that.

            It was quite a party. There was a gang of beautiful young people and guitars from the Miramichi, PEI, and Victoria County.

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