Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Every year, Trader Joe’s releases a special little candy, their Belgian dark chocolate sea salt caramels. They’re seasonal and only available around the end of the year. My wife and I discovered them several years ago, and each year as we did our holiday shopping we looked forward to picking up two boxes. One would be enjoyed over the following week, meted out one-a-day, and the other would sit in the freezer for a later date.

We missed out on them last year because we were going to school in Indonesia for all of November and touring Thailand for December. Even in the midst of all that wonderful food and stunning scenery, we recalled what we were missing back in the States. We promised each other we would pick up a box at the appropriate time.

This is impossible, of course, because we weren’t the only people who loved them. They gained such a reputation that other people, fucking white trash scumbags, realized that there was a demand for these candies. In year-long intervals momentum built up and these soulless fucking opportunist assholes realized they could make money off of someone else’s labors. That’s the capitalist way, isn’t it, the American way? Profit by exploitation? All of our corporations are built upon the business model of getting other people to do your work for you. There is no corporation where the people who do all the work make as much money as the President/CEO.

My wife and I went to Trader Joe’s today to buy our two boxes—I think two boxes for two people isn’t greedy—and the clerk informed us they were out. Greedy, loveless scalper fucks had already scooped up the entire stock before Thanksgiving, everywhere. No longer can regular, loyal Trader Joe’s customers show up and pick up a box at their leisure: they have to haunt the store in hope of outracing the conscienceless, ravening fucking pillagers who seek to deplete the entire supply and set regular customers to bid against each other for their own illegitimate profit.

Illegitimate: they didn’t produce these candies. They didn’t contribute to their production. They didn’t labor, they didn’t harvest, they didn’t even package them. They don’t work in the store, they don’t work in shipping. They just showed up, bought much more than they wanted, and are selling someone else’s product off for their own profit.

Yes, it’s such a small thing. Yes, you think it’s comical to get so upset over something so small. It’s just candy, isn’t it. To me, it was one nice little thing I could count on each year. The weather will do what it will, Westerners will destroy the climate and resolutely deny doing so, politics will come and economics will go, but I could always count on driving out to Trader Joe’s and picking up a nice little box of these chocolates.

Now, I don’t even have that. I lost my youth, I lost two jobs, I lost all faith in my corporate-controlled government, and now I can’t even buy a favorite box of candy.

2 comments:

genegenie68 said...

Well, dang. Your FB post referred to "caramels" not "chocolate caramels" so I got it wrong. Oh well... ;-)

Christian Fredrickson said...

I just got your caramels like three minutes ago! They're awesome! I'm really touched by your thoughtfulness!