Locations, prices, and capitalism

So last wednesday, I went to go see one of my favorite bands‘ CD release show. This particular band also happens to hold the top 3 spots for loudest shows I’ve ever seen in my life. So on my way there, I decide that it’d be a good idea to pick up some earplugs.

I start by going to corner store #1.  This place has a fairly limited selection and small staff, so their prices are a little high.  But they’re really friendly people, and sell lots of organic stuff, so all the better.  But no earplugs, so out I go.

This brings me to corner store #2.  Cool place, just a hair cheaper, and cool staff.  They have earplugs as well, so how much are they?  (Cue yelling to the back of the store:) “HOW MUCH ARE THE EARPLUGS?”  Guy comes out and says the earplugs are $4 / pair.  Not just any pair of earplugs, these are old earplugs in faded cardboard packs, in tiny plastic ziplocs… at least 5 or 10 years old, by my estimation.  You’re not seriously going to try to charge me $8 for earplugs for me and my friend are you?  Really?  REALLY?  Out I go.

Most days, I’d be one of the first people to kick all the chains out of Berkeley and only go to local stores.  But here I am at the medium-sized chain pharmacy, and they’ve got 10 pairs of earplugs for $4.  This is seriously 10% of what they cost one block down the road.  As much as I’d like to support the little guy, I can only do it within reason.  So I bought the earplugs from the chain store, and I don’t really feel bad about it.

So what?  What’s the point of this?  I don’t know… maybe just that you have to include a little bit of flexibility in your philosophies, whatever they may be.

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