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So: running an errand last week, I found myself needing a drink. There was a Burger King that was easy to get into and out of, so I stopped there for a small diet Coke.
...which cost me $1.93.
Look: if I go to McDonald's, I can get a large drink for $1 and change. Why does BK have to charge twice that?
But okay--it was convenient, I didn't really need a large, and this was what I had time for, so it would do, I decided.
Got my drink, got back on the road, took a sip--it wasn't diet Coke; it wasn't even flavored. The ratio of syrup to carbonated water was so pathetically low that it was brown fizzy water rather than diet Coke. So I rescued the sales slip from the trash, intending to take the survey and complain about it. Heck--that way I'd at least get a free burger out of the deal, right?
Heh. Sure. Just have to buy a small drink and fry, and you get a free Whopper. What's wrong with that?
...took the survey, wrote down the validation code, and set the receipt aside. A few days later I was out on the bike and decided on having a couple of Whoppers, so while I was there I checked out what a small drink and fry would run me.
Well, the small drink is $1.93 with tax, and it looks as if the small fry would also be $1.93 with tax, for a total of $3.86.
A Whopper is $3.79 before tax. The fry and drink together are $3.58 before tax. So for the trouble of filling out their survey, I get to save a whole $0.21 on a Whopper.
"You get a free drink and fry, so you actually save...!" Sure. The Whopper combo is about $5.60, so I end up saving two dollars over what I would pay for a Whopper combo without the coupon. But the whole thing is sold to the consumer on the basis of a free sandwich, not a sandwich that you get for spending almost as much money on fries and a drink as you'd spend for the sandwich alone.
The real wagger-griping thing about all this is that the soda fountain in a restaurant is almost pure profit. McDonald's makes money selling a large drink for $1 because the cost per serving is extraordinarily low. Lots of places offer free refills for people who dine in because most people will refill their drinks once, or perhaps twice, and the cost is quite literally pennies per serving.
If that small diet Coke I bought for $1.93 cost BK more than a quarter to sell me, there is something seriously wrong with their business model.
I'm not really angry about the soda being egregiously overpriced so much as I'm pissed that it didn't even have any flavor, and I was in a situation where I didn't have any time to seek satisfaction from the restaurant. The other issue is, of course, that their "free Whopper for filling out our survey" thing turns out to be "we'll save you a couple dollars on your next purchase if it happens to be a small Whopper combo".
Definitely not "value for your money".
* * *
Wonderduck has identified the keyboard I wish to buy for me. Thanks, dude!
* * *
The law is an ass. A living, breathing man is unable to convince a sitting judge that he's not legally dead.
I don't know what the guy can do, given that the judge refuses to accept the evidence that the guy is alive. What do you do when you can't prove that you're legally alive? You can't collect welfare and I'm guessing that you can't work, so what do you do? Go to the guy in the barrio who makes fake IDs for illegals and get yourself a new identity?
* * *
So, Wednesday night Mrs. Fungus and I watched Oz the Great and Powerful. It was a pretty neat story, nicely integrated with the existing movie canon. It's been so long since I read the Oz books--and my reading began with the second book, not The Wizard of Oz--that I can't really speak to how the movie fit with the rest of the story.
What I do know is, though, that I would love to see the rest of the books done the way that movie was done.
I last read the books when I was in my senior year of high school, and these were very old copies. Mom mistakenly shipped them to my sister in Maine, and everyone agreed that she would hang onto them until I wished to reclaim them...but no one thought to write that down, of course. Then my sister passed away, and the books were sold, because they were valuable antiques and the estate needed money--yeah. *sigh*
I'm unhappy with losing them because of the sentimental value; the dollar value doesn't matter so much to me since I wouldn't have sold them (unless I was on the street, or something). On the plus side I can still get copies of the books if I ever want to read them. They just won't be the books my grandfather had bought, and passed down to his daughter, who passed them down to me.
Still: it was a good movie, and we really enjoyed it, and it was free. That was after we watched The Croods on Tuesday, which we had to pay for, and which was...less good, but still watchable.
I would have liked it better if the animals in the story had been, y'know, actual animals that were around during the "cave man" era. But I gathered that this was more in line with The Flintstones than actual anthropology. (Probably, Eep Crood and her family were Neanderthals, and Guy was a Cro-magnon. Were they the last humans on Earth?)
The most interesting thing about that movie was how they animated hair. Hair is a bitch to animate in a computer, but their hair looked and behaved like the real thing--or very, very close to it. And there were clouds (volcanic eruptions, pyroclastic flows) in the thing that looked real. So I guess computer animation is still progressing nicely.
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Me, I have more errands to run today, and they're not going to get done if I keep sitting here. Off I go.