Unnecessary Upgrades

There are few things in this life greater than an unexpected bonus. You know what I’m talking about.

Buy one get one FREE!

Now with 20% more!

Same great formula, new low price!

And so on and so forth. It is our natural instinct as human beings to seek out more for our money. Value is king, and we seek the throne.

But recently I have noticed some products and advertisements of, shall we say, questionable value. I refer to those brands that use cunning creativity and clever messaging to make us think we are getting more than we paid for.

Example A.

Due to the dental trauma I have had in my past, I have become a prolific flosser.

Thus I floss. I keep floss in my backpack, the pockets of my coats, at my desk at work, everywhere. I am paranoid. I even throw some in my pocket if I’m heading out to something like a Corn on the Cob party… if such a thing exists.

I use some brands that have a flavor, and some that don’t. But I’m not generally picky. Though it wasn’t until I visited my sister’s apartment on Easter that I really began to question floss.

The picture is blurry but trust me, you are reading it right.

High Tech Dental Floss.

High Tech? Really?

What makes this dental floss high tech? Was it made by NASA? Is this the preferred floss of astronauts in the Apollo program? Do they regularly get together for Tang cocktails at the end of the day and make fun of the proletariat who subject themselves to regular floss?

Neil: So Buzz I was using some floss the other day.
Buzz: Woah woah woah Neil, regular floss? Hey Other Astronaut that nobody remembers the name of, Neil was using REGULAR floss. What an amateur move! I can’t believe he didn’t crash our ship into The Sea of Tranquility.

High tech dental floss? Really? I turned the package over to see if I could scope out the deets of what made this dental floss so fantastically high tech but I found nothing. If only I had seen the packaging I could find out why it had been called high tech in the first place. Because I have to admit, to me it looks a lot like A PIECE OF WAXY STRING. And if it were “regular tech” or “low tech” dental floss it would just be A PIECE OF STRING.

Unless of course you are referring to the fact that it has a mint flavor that makes it high tech? In which case my toothpaste is high tech, so is my favorite ice cream, and those odiferous markers we were all so keen on huffing in elementary school, which is why I’ve got so much goddamn brain damage.

High tech, psha. Yea. Whatever.

Example B.

I was out in my neighborhood recently, walking to the store when I passed a food cart which is regularly parked, on the sidewalk on the corner of my block. It is Halal food. It is usually made by one guy in a big metal wagon that can hitch to the back of a truck and be pulled away. They prepare things like chicken and lamb shwarma. Shaved meats served in a pita with lettuce and tomatoes and one of either “white” sauce or “Spicy” sauce.

Side note: I have been to many of these vendors around the city and I have never heard these called anything except “white” sauce and “spicy” sauce. Which leads me to believe, nobody has a clue what the hell is in these sauces. But I digress.

So anyway I was walking past it recently when I noticed this sign.

Hrm. Interesting.

Now for those of you who have never eaten from a truck such as this let me give you a little knowledge. I have never ordered anything from these guys that has taken longer than 90 seconds to prepare.

Whose life is so busy that they can't afford the 90 seconds to eat some shwarma, or as it is otherwise known; Street Meat?

Listen, this isn’t The French Laundry, this is not El Bulli, this is chicken on a stick, scraped off with a glorified Mach 3 by a guy in a truck and thrown into a pita with some extremely ambiguous sauce. What kind of lifestyle are you leading that you can’t spare the 90-second wait for that indigestion you are most certainly going to get?

I have thought long and hard about it and the only person I could think of is somebody mid marathon who is jonesing for some lamb. And that is fine. But if you are running a marathon and think eating street meat in the middle is a good idea might I suggest you save yourself some time and just start throwing up now.

The other feature, “we deliver”, made me wonder how he would deliver. Would he just book it from his truck and hope nobody stole it while he was out? Or would he just push his whole “restaurant” to the person’s house? Just move his wagon to their front door.

Hey honey there is a Halal restaurant in our yard. Do you know anything about this?
Why yes I do sweetheart! It’s our lunch!

I figure this guy has either made 0 or 1 delivery in his lifetime. Maybe it was just put up to scare the competition, not that this guy has any competition in my neighborhood. Unless of course you consider restaurants without wheels to be competition. In which case, yes, there is plenty of competition.

Example C.

I mean, really I just have to show the picture.

And really I don’t know what else to say here so let’s just go through the logic progression shall we? OK.

1.     I have some jewelry I no longer want and would like to sell. OK cool.
2.     I would like to find a place that will give me money for my gold and diamonds.
3.     Hey you know who might give me good money for my gold and diamonds? The guy who uses a scissor to cut my hair off for 10 dollars whose shop is in the entrance to the subway. Now THAT is a guy I want appraising my jewelry.

Oh and by the way. He also shines shoes and replaces watch batteries.


Can you imagine if there was a Halal truck that bought diamonds, cut hair, and sold high tech dental floss? Now that is a value add I can believe in!