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Archive for the ‘Just Annoying’ Category

A New York State of Mindlessness

Posted by Bob Kohm on July 9, 2009

Unless you’re a New Yorker or a hopeless political geek, you probably have no idea what’s going on in America’s most dysfunctional capital, Albany. Suffice it to say that New York is making governance in Minnesota, Florida and California look rational.

After decades of GOP control of the State Senate and Democratic control of the State Assembly, the dynamic went out the window with a slight Democratic majority taking the Senate after the last election. While many Dems were thrilled, I cringed a bit; you see, the State Senate is where New York’s Democratic Party puts its red headed stepchildren. If you can raise money but can’t put ten words together to make a sentence, Congratulations! You’re going to run for State Senate! If you’re from an important political family but flunked out of a public high school… we have a Senate District for you! Basically, and with a very few exceptions, the Democrats have used the Senate as a dumping ground for idiots as they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there’s nothing less newsworthy, nothing more obscure than a Democratic State Senator. They’ve always been buried in the minority in a legislative body where majority members with years of seniority have absolutely no influence on what the Majority Leader is going to do; it makes the Gingrich-led GOP Congress of old look positively democratic.

Here’s where the problem comes in– when you take the majority after such a long drought, the radioactive waste that you surreptitiously dumped in the Chamber is still around and now– the horror– has become relevant and has access to the press. All of a sudden you have guys like Hiram Monserrate, a former corrupt cop and current corrupt Senator under indictment for felony assault on his girlfriend suddenly becoming the most important politician in New York State government.

To make a painfully long story short, the Democratic Majority Leader, Malcom Smith, maneuvered his way into the post by holding the Senate hostage in what, at the time, was one of the more bizarre scenes in Albany’s sordidly comic political history. Two of those held hostage, the aforementioned corrupt cop (known in the New York tabloid press as “The Thug”) and Pedro Espada (similarly known as “The Thief”) engineered a coup by which they put a Long Island Republican in as Majority Leader, deposing the hated Malcom Smith, possibly illegally. This set off an amazing spectacle– Senators locking themselves in the Chamber and in their offices, important laws being allowed to expire because the Senators couldn’t all get together and achieve a quorum to vote on them because it would’ve led to enormous political procedural problems, name calling, sit-ins, sessions held on the lawn in front of the Senate, just a god awful mess that even seasoned New York political observers, used to the most bat shit crazy behavior in the world, couldn’t believe.

Now, New York State’s simpering dolt of a Governor, David Paterson, has wandered into the fray. You may remember Governor Paterson’s emergence as Governor when former Governor Elliot Spitzer got himself nailed for nailing a $3,000 per hour hooker in DC and resigned, making Lieutenant Governor Paterson the new Governor. The “Lieutenant Governor” post is beyond insignificant, by the way– generally Lt. Gov’s only make the papers when they take a swing at someone on stage (yes, that happened) or when their persona of a politically schizophrenic academician causes them to get dumped from a ticket. The post is so insignificant that there is no provision in the New York State Constitution for replacing a Lieutenant Governor, leading to the current chapter in New York’s political tragi-comedy– David Paterson, with no legal authority according to his own Attorney General (and, to be sure, Gubernatorial Primary Opponent) Andrew Cuomo, has appointed a crusty old-school New York politico by the name of Richie Ravitch to be his Lieutenant Governor with the intention of him somehow breaking the Senate deadlock even thought the NYS Constitution seems to make clear that being unelected Ravitch could have no vote… even if he was legally occupying the Office of the Lieutenant Governor… which apparently he is not.

You can’t make this stuff up– a wildly unpopular governor illegally appoints a Lieutenant who can’t do what needs to be done from the office to a legislative body that would have been dismissed by the principal if they tried to pull this crap when they were the fourth grade Student Council. Oh, did I mention that when a Republican walked through one of the Democratic rump sessions in the Chamber  on his way to the Coke machine the Dems marked him “Present”, declared that they had a quorum and started pasing legislation willy-nilly that the Governor then vetoed because said Republican Senator, a most unpleasant alleged human being by the name of Frank Padavan, managed to put together his longest conversation in years and informed the Governor in two sentences (and, knowing Frank, 117 grunts) that he just wanted a Coke, not to upend (reupend? re-re-upend?) the New York State Government.

I have never been prouder to not be associated any longer with the New York State Legislature, and that’s saying something if you knew the guy I worked for when I was there.


Posted in American Politics, Just Annoying | 3 Comments »

The Blue Jeans Problem

Posted by Bob Kohm on February 9, 2009

OK, there are a lot of blue jeans problems, ranging from the hot 19 year old who is now the slightly frumpy 37 year old with the muffin tops to the concept of $600 jeans to the fact that some people still think it’s ok to wear a denim shirt with blue jeans.

But those aren’t important right now.

No, what I’m thinking about is much more insidious… mysterious… well, just weird. Why, on every pair of jeans I’ve owned that are over a year or two old, has the right knee worn out? How come whenever I see someone with a hole in their jeans it’s always in the right knee? Always the right, never the left.

There has to be a reasonable explanation– maybe we stress our right pants leg more when we drive with all the ankle movements on the peddles, or maybe, as my friend Rob suggested, when we kneel down we tend to kneel our right knee. I’m not sure.
Hey, I warned you that my mind runs local.

Posted in Cultural Phenomena, Just Annoying | 4 Comments »

PETA Goes Viral, STD-Style

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 29, 2009

Oh for the love of…

It never fails to amaze me when some hoary old media plan “gets it” and uses our collective stupidity against us to make their add all the buzz on the tubes. Every year at just about this time the world comes down with a nasty case of air-transmissable advertising plague featuring symptoms such as scantily clad women, FCC toe curling suggestivity, and the worst symptom of all– a desire to be run during the Superbowl.

This year’s “ban me” candidate is PETA’s “Screw Me With A Broccoli” campaign. In the flagship ad, recently rejected by NBC for Superbowl airing, a cavalcade of lingerie clad women cavort with asparagus and go down on pumpkins before one very brief shot of a totally nude woman apparently enjoying the nubbly end of a broccoli on bits of her anatomy where nubbly bits of broccoli apparently feel rather good.

So just as has used fake ads designed to be rejected by the Superbowl network to generate publicity, so too does PETA. And people still fall for this.

And here I am writing about it. I think Socrates said it best when he said, “Gack”.

Now, just for my friend ITC, here is your much asked for link to scantily clad women…

Posted in Jerks, Just Annoying | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Virginia is For…Wimps

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 28, 2009

I knew that the Fairfax County schools would be closed today– there’s two inches of snow on the ground and we had a couple of hours of sleet overnight so, obviously, the world is coming to an end. Worse, the Fairfax schools haven’t used a single snow day this year and they’re just burning a hole in the pocket of the school admins.

I’m a fierce proponent of safety for the students and staffs of our school system; I’ve battled it out in public with a friend (and Running Local reader) over the exact opposite problem, the fact that the NYC Schools never shut their doors no matter how dangerous it is to keep them open. Somewhere there has to be a happy medium, right? Two inches of snow should not shutter the schools, but they shouldn’t be open when there’s two inches of ice on the roads and zero visibility. Common sense, right?

If we’re going to turn around our nation and fight our way out of these hard times, perhaps we all need to toughen up just a bit, eh? Let’s start by not acting like the asteroid is about to hit the planet everytime it snows more than a dusting. Once we can handle that, maybe then we can get spending under control.

Posted in Just Annoying, Rants | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

He Said, He Said

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 25, 2009

p1joetorreIt’s difficult to sell yourself as anything other than an intellectual fraud when you go to press with a story about how some people are primadonnas when in the act of doing so you reveal yourself to be one, as well.

This is the situation which may be confronting ex-New York icon Joe Torre, now manager of the Left Coast Dodgers. In a book set to be released on February 3rd, written by Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci with cooperation from Torre, the former Yankee manager allegedly has more than a few unkind things to say about the team that took him from the scrap heap and made him a Hall of Fame shoo-in.

He apparently relates that Alex Rodriguez is obsessed with Derek Jeter. Not exactly a revelation, but still an unneeded unkindness. He also is said to repeat that ARod is less than popular with his teammates, who at times have referred to him as A-Fraud. No news there, but again…why? He calls some of his former players “primadonnas”. Wow, ballplayers who are full of themselves, who feel unduly privileged and expect to be deferred to? Ground breaking stuff, that.

All of these things may speak to a petty vendetta on the part of Torre, they may speak to a publicist trying to generate hype for a book by taking things out of context, they may speak to Tom Verducci needing a hit as a guy with a bit of a rep for being a jerk and a  few turkeys on his rap sheet. The jury is out at least until the book is too, on February 3rd. These stories, all kind of “uh-huh, yeah, we know” things, may be told in exactly that  vein– they could well be integral to the telling of the story because they are simply part of the background against which it plays out. It makes sense that way, and it is in keeping with Torre’s personality, reputation and temperament. If that’s it, there’s no problem.

What is disturbing is that he is attacking Brian Cashman, who had his back for so long and kept Steinbrenner off of him so many times. The allegation that Cashman somehow stabbed him in the back by not backing his play for a multiyear deal at the conclusion of the 2007 season flies in the face of everything that Torre said in public, that Cashman wanted him to be with the team, that Cashman had defended him and promoted his interests, that Cashman was trying to build the team that Torre wanted despite the pressures exerted by the Steinbrenners.

That is the segment that I hope has been taken out of context, that has been exploited by a publicist or a schmuck of a co-author. If it isn’t that will be a direct character statement on a guy who has become an icon to so many of us, a man who represented the proverbial “steady hand at the tiller amidst the storm”. If this is who Torre is– a guy who is willing to lie either in his book or to his public’s face, then it is he who is the unexpected prima donna.

And that would sadden me.

Posted in Baseball, Jerks, Just Annoying | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Silver Nomads in the Purple Tunnel of Doom

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 22, 2009

I understand security needs. I understand logistics. I even understand that when an event is as large as the Inauguration of Barack Obama, there are going to be problems.

What I don’t understand is how Terry Gainer, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate, is being allowed to blatantly lie about the way yesterday’s Inaugural was carried out in the streets surrounding the Capitol.

Terry Gainer is the bad penny of security here in the Capital; he was the number two at the Washington Metropolitan Police, roundly acknowledged as one of the worst major metropolitan police forces in the nation. Later, he became the Cheif of the Capitol Police, the force that polices the Capitol campus and its environs. The reviews for him there were, and I’m being nice, less than stellar. Now, at the Senate in what should be a fairly ceremonial post as the Sergeant at Arms, he’s still flapping his gums authoritatively about things he knows little about and has no control over.

The golden tickets in Washington this week actually came in many colors; amongst them Orange or Blue got you a seat on the Capitol pediment, Purple got you into the standing area closest to the Capitol, Silver got you into standing areas clustered right in front of the Capitol. The purple tickets were handed out to senior staff of the various Obama state organizations and to the guests of Congressmen; silver were the tickets of the folks who had good connections and those who were insanely lucky enough to get a ticket from their local Representative.

For some those tickets of purple and silver were as good as gold; for perhaps as many as 20,000, however, the alchemy of the Secret Service turned them not just to lead but nearly to arsenic. According to Sergeant-at-Arms Gainer, however, there were a few thousand people “inconvenienced”, for reasons that he’s given at various times as “overcrowding”, “counterfeit tickets”, “everybody unexpectedly showing up”, and a few other whoppers.

My party of six all had silver tickets and, in theory, did everything right. We set a 4am alarm here in Alexandria, about 25 minutes from the Capitol by rail. We were on the street in DC by 6.20, better than five hours in advance of the ceremony. We grabbed a cup of coffee at Union Station and set out for what we anticipated to be a semi-chaotic but ultimately rewarding process.

For a while things made sense– there were immense banners and signs color coded to the tickets, clearly illustrating where to go from Union Station. For some reason they petered out at the Purple Gate, leaving the Silver group, by far the largest of the officially ticketed hordes, to wander in search of bafflingly sparse officials to guide them.

The Purples had problems, too. At the corner of First Street and Louisiana Avenue the mob was forming. Unpublicized amongst the official calls to arrive at the Capitol insanely early, the Secret Service had decided to not open any gates until nine o’clock. What needs to be understood is that in addition to preventing access, they also prevented outflow. Streets all over the area were closed by the Secret Service to prevent people from moving freely in the secure zone– they had basically created a very small, steel mesh bag and kept pouring more and more people into it without regard for safety.

That bag’s largest node on the north side of the National Mall was First Street NW between Louisiana Avenue & D Street, a span of roughly a block and a half. By 7am, that area was literally a wall of humanity. As the Purple ticket holders arrived to find the gates still locked, they quickly overmassed the designated holding area and someone– whether it was the Secret Service, the Army, the Metropolitan Police, the DEA, or one of the many other police authorities and agencies out there– decided to have line up on First Street. They filled it in no time flat. The problem was that according not only to the instructions on the back of the tickets and some of the officials on the street, the Silver people were supposed to head up First to D and make a left to reach their access point to the Mall at Third & D.

As we attempted to do as we were instructed with several thousand of our closest friends in tow, we ran into the wall. It appeared to be an impossibility– First Street was literally packed from curb-to-curb and from Louisiana to D with people who couldn’t lift their arms due to overcrowding. We found a uniformed Secret Service agent and asked him what to do– his advice was to head up First as it was our only option. We trusted the positive mood of the day and the good humor of the people and, with a chanted mantra of “Excuse me”, waded into the fray. After nearly 20 minutes that saw us progress about a half block into the one and a half block corridor a river of people were pushing their way back towards Louisiana with the incredible news that D Street was closed by the Secret Service and that people were being told to go back to Louisiana Avenue. After a few moments of disbelief and then finding a low wall to climb and confirm that D was indeed closed, we retreated.

After a twenty minute slog back through the still condensing crowd, we made it back to Louisiana. We could see another line hard against the walls of the Department of Labor at Second Street and, having nowhere else to go we tried again to wade through an increasingly hostile crowd of Purple People to get to it. This time, to cross a span of about 100 feet took fifteeen minutes. Things were getting much worse, and we were becoming the Silver Nomads upon the Purple Sea.

Finally reaching the other side of the Purple line, we headed for the Department of Labor only to find that line was also composed of Purples and that there was no access to Silver portals there, either. A police officer walking 20 feet overhead on the walls of the Department of Labor advised us to head for the tunnel that runs under Labor and out to D Street. We got to its mouth and saw what looked an awful lot like hell. The tunnel stretched off in a straight line far into the distance, with an intersecting tunnel to the left, through which the line stretched in a solid, unmoving wall of people at least a half mile long and ten abreast. Seeing that there was no way we could ever negotiate it, we again retreated. That tunnel, in which thousands of, again, Purple ticket holders were trapped until after the ceremony, has come to be known as the Purple Tunnel of Doom across the blogosphere.

We came back to the area aroudn the labor department and were told by a Secret Service agent to, incredibly, head back up First Street but to stay by the left-hand walls. We debated if he was insane or not and found a police officer who opined that he was… but told us to go back to the tunnel. A Military Police sergeant dressed head to toe in camos told us to do something completely different and impossible– it had become clear that none of the authorities were talking to each other. We headed back into the First Street blender, sticking to the left wall.

Suffice it to say that over the next hour and a half, as we inched forward towards D Street literally through the bushes, shrubs, railings and grates that abutted the walls of the buildings to the left side, our arms pinned to our sides and with no ability to turn our bodies at most times to the left or right no real progress was made. The sheer weight of those behind us caused forward motion not because D Street was open, but because the mass of people was being further and further, almost impossibly, compressed.

At 9.40, the Secret Service succumbed to that inexorable pressure and opened D Street to a single file line of people coming up our left wall. We had seen people injured, we had seen brave medics and doctors– not in an official capacity, mind you, but just members of the mob– fight their way backwards to help them. Finally, after nearly two hours in the blender, we emerged onto D Street and a wide open street. The Army told us to move to Third and D, the marked Silver portal, and head in. It wasn’t to be.

Reaching Third Street, we were confronted with a security cordon manned by the DC Metropolitan Police. An officer helpfully told us to ball up our silver tickets and throw them away– the Secret Service had set up Silver gates in places that they weren’t supposed to causing more chaos, with two of those gates– according to the cop– “exploding”. All Silver portals were closed and we were told to head down Third to reach the general public viewing areas back on the Mall. That advice lasted for all of 100 feet– the Army had put up steel fences across Third Street and declared that only Parade ticket holders could cross there, despite the fact that the parade wasn’t going to happen for five hours and the huge mass who had broken free of First Street was filling the space. We headed back the way we had come only to find the Secret Service telling us to go back again tot he steel fences. The Army told us to go back to the Secret Service and tell them to stop sending them people. Chaos, again, reigned.

We fell back on the DC police strongpoint and they gave us the one decent bit of information we had all day– they were opening the Third Street Tunnel, which runs under the mall, to pedestrians to get to the other side of the city. Heading underground into the massive freeway tunnel that runs beneath the Capitol precincts, we walked about a mile and came out to reassuring signs once again directing us to the Silver portals on that side of town. It was 10.15am, the ceremony started at 11.30, and we were finally going to get in. The energy and laughter of the early morning had returned.

We then turned the corner and saw the Silver line. We walked on, trying to find its end. It changed direction every block, stretching around buildings, up streets, across open spaces. As a longtime DC area resident who has been through his portion of Presidential event security screenings, this line was at least– at least– three hours long. We were finally, inexorably defeated. We grabbed a vantage point at 6th & Maryland along a Jersey wall with a blocked view of the Capitol six blocks away and no chance of hearing anything and sent out a scouting party to figure out how to get onto the Mall in the general area. That was impossible as well– at seventh street the police told us that 14th was the next access, but it was closing as we spoke– 23rd street, on the other side of the Washington monument and with no view of the Capitol over a mile away, was the new access and it would likely last only a few minutes.

Our party splintered shortly thereafter. My wife and I headed for the plaza in front of the Native American museum, which had no speakers but had some view of the Capitol. We waited to see Obama walk out onto the Capitol Platform, took some great pictures of people in trees trying to see, and headed for the subway knowing that if we stayed we’d hear nothing and face equal chaos on the way out of town.

We were frustrated, yes, but we were also exhilarated– we had shared the moments of history in a crowd that was, for the most part, buoyed by the day and that had maintained decorum in what easily could have been a stampede and trampling situation. The people we felt bad for were those who had paid more than the $1.85 we had paid to reach the ceremony– we felt bad for our random Irishman who was denied entry by the poor planning and lack of communication amongst the authorities, whom we were told by a Metropolitan police sergeant were not in radio contact– the Secret Service had denied access to their radio net to the other agencies, even though Secret Service had overall control of the streets. We felt bad for the little old ladies who had waited a lifetime for this, who had made the trek from the Deep South at great cost to see history– and were denied. We felt bad for the disabled people who we were told, again by Metro PD, were literally upended and thrown from their wheelchairs at the Disabled entrance when the crowd broke free and charged the gate. We felt bad for the women hit by a train when she was forced from the platform at Gallery Place by the crowds.

So, Terry Gainer, Sergeant-at-Arms to the Senate, today I call you a liar in addition to being incompetent. To the Secret Service, a group I’ve always admired, I hand the shame and despair of those who wandered through the crowds, who got stuck in the tunnels, who came to experience history, not your ludicrous lack of planning and cooperation.

History was made on Tuesday. Only the good humor of the mob kept tragedy, rather than annoyance, from sharing that stage.

Posted in American History, American Politics, Autobiographical, Events, Jerks, Just Annoying | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Jesse James… Polka Dancers?

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 12, 2009

The things you learn watching kid’s TV. While enjoying surviving an episode of the Backyardigans tonight with the kids while Beth was at her Inauguration training session, I was amazed to see two of my least favorite things– animated, amorphously shaped talking animals and polka music– combined into one story. As luck would have it, our heroes were cast in a story about frontier days in Wyoming– they had to escort their worm friend, Sherman, to the Cheyenne Polka Palace for a surprise party. Gack… but wait a minute… was the polka really a relic of the Old West? Demanding accuracy in all things, I had to find out.

Let’s just say that when Jesse James pointed his six-shooter at the feet of a rival and drawled “Dance, pahdner”… he was firing off rounds to the mental soundtrack of the Beer Barrel Polka.

Have I said “Gack” lately? Wyatt Earp dancing with some saloon girl to the strains of oompah music? Billy the Kid getting the Jenny Lind Polka stuck in his head? For the love of god.

Yes, in the end our Western soundtrack wasn’t some proto-Merle Haggard tune or a lonely guitar playing into the night but rather that cherished touchstone of all things Cleveland, the polka. Amazing that Sergio Leone missed that, eh? The Good, the Bad, the Ugly… the Polka.

Posted in American History, Just Annoying, Movies, Music | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

On the Nobility of Crustaceans

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 11, 2009

georgedalobsta1Most would say that I’m a pretty liberal person, at least on social issues (on foreign policy those same might say I’m slightly to the right of Atilla). I believe fervently in civil rights for all, that undocumented immigrants are far more scapegoat than problem, that people are inherently good unless they hail from New England and illogically choose to wear their socks on their hat. I believe that many liberal groups are in the right but that the ACLU isn’t of the left but rather a force for neutrality. Hell, I even think that PETA occasionally has a clue and I’m as carnivorous as they come.

This is not one of those occasions.

Apparently someone dropped a dime to the good folks at PETA to let them know of a travesty occurring at City Crab in Manhattan. Now I’ve eaten at City Crab and can personally attest to the fact that several humanitarian tragedies happen there every day, but this isn’t an entry about the quality of the cooking there. No, this is about a very different situation– the plight of George, the 120 Year Old Lobster.

I think that many people harbor some deep seated guilt about lobsters sitting idly in restaurant tanks, rubber bands on their claws and a date with a vessel of water somewhat less commodious than their display aquarium on the horizon. I always chuckle when my kids insist on paying a visit to the lobster tank at our local supermarket to say “Hi” to the lobsters in the same way they want to stop and say “Hi” to the rescue cats up for adoption at the pet store. Many would like to harbor that illusion; we’re societaly uncomfortable with the concept of meeting the meat.

Enter George, all 20 succulent pounds of him sitting on display at City Crab waiting for that special moment in which he can be truly appreciated by some expense account salesman trying to prove to a client that his company isn’t impacted by the economic downturn. George, as I said, is estimated to be 120 years old– he looked up at some point and saw the last of the wooden-hulled schooners pass overhead into New England’s harbors, he saw the WW II convoys form and the days of the passenger liner come to an end. He has struggled mightily to overcome the pollution of his waters, the rapacious overfishing, global warming– but was ultimately betrayed by hunger and was captured by humans, only to be eaten. It’s a tragedy… or would be if George wasn’t an ocean-going cockroach with the awareness of a brick and the brainpower of kelp.

You see, lobsters are alive by all biological tests– they respire, convert energy, reproduce– but so do dandelions, which seem to be a much cannier species as they have developed defenses to chemical warfare that would be the envy of DARPA. Yes, George is a 120 year old lobster… which I guess some think is worthy of respect? We’re not sticking Great Grandma in a tank and then steaming her up, folks– we’re talking about something more closely related to a scorpion than a cow. George can make a bluefish look like Einstein.

PETA, of course, sees things differently– they’d have us revere George and never eat anything that has a face. Upon being informed of the plight of poor old George (informing George of his plight of course being useless), PETA swung into action and talked the owners of City Crab into “liberating” George and then burned fossil fuels enough to drive him back to Maine, ship him offshore, and dump him back into the Atlantic. 10 out of 10 for style, I suppose, but minus several hundred for logically defending the planet’s resources, eh?

So George, venerable George, can now live out his days at the bottom of his Atlantic home chomping on whatever it is that lobsters chomp upon.

At least, in the end, one boon to humanity has resulted from this whole imbroglio– City Crab will screw up one fewer expensive entree. For that, PETA, I thank you.

Posted in Food, Jerks, Just Annoying, Restaurants | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Chips Annoy!

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 7, 2009

I actually don’t mind when food producers downsize their products; it is easier to change the weight of a package of a given volume than it is to sell the idea of a new package. Sure, it’s a bit dishonest, but it’s within bounds. Be honest– most of the time we don’t even notice the change. How long did it take you to figure out that Breyer’s wasn’t selling you a half gallon of ice cream anymore? Did I just ruin the game for you?

What really annoys me, though, is when the producer gets cuter by half. If you want to reduce the number of potato chips in the bag and charge me the same amount, fine, I’m going to notice that there are fewer chips and make my decisions accordingly. When the producer leaves the same number of pieces of product in the package but slightly reduces their size, however, that’s taking this a step beyond the fair. Kraft’s Chips Ahoy cookies recently made this move– they reduced their 16oz package of cookies by 5%, to 15.25oz, but not only didn’t change the package size but also left the same number of cookies in it. What they did was slightly, almost imperceptibly, change the diameter of the cookies.

Why does this annoy me more than the reduction in number of pieces? I think it’s the subtlety, the intentional dodginess. It would absolutely color my purchases of cookies in the future– I’d be more inclined to buy a competitor’s brand. That’s the way the… nah, I won’t say it.

Posted in Consumer Advocacy, Corporate Shenanigans, Just Annoying | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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