Is $4 Dumb? Well, If you have to ask…

December 18, 2008

Some of my loyal readers may have already seen or heard about McDonald’s new advertising campaign, which is a swipe at luxury coffee shops: ‘four bucks is dumb.’ Let’s find some inner peace so we can meditate on that with some positive energy. Ommmmm. Tasty Godiva. Hip atmosphere @ Starbucks. Let’s summon some perspective here: $4 can’t buy a regular glass of wine and barely covers the price of a domestic beer. Of course you can get specialty tastes in wine/beer for cheap at heavenly shops like Trader Joe’s and World Market. But that’s the whole point of the markup the baristas charge; you didn’t BYO and you’re paying for convenience and flavor. 

Coffee is relatively healthy for four bucks. It has water in it, plus caffeine! It’s cheaper than going to the gym and still gets you to stay hydrated – until you pee. Also, you’ve heard the hypotheses about that natural chemical C reducing blood pressure and Alzheimer’s. It’s better for you than soda, which is made from melted candy canes and injected with acidic bubbles. Coffee doesn’t have scary-sounding additives, just fancy names for what is really just pressed java beans with “flavor shots.” Mmmmm. Java. Peppermint Gingerbread S’more java.

Off my proverbial yoga mat, I find myself on an airplane. I refuse to pay $2 for a canned drink so I’ve pre-purchased apple juice in a bottle from a kitchy terminal store (Sorry, I didn’t buy presents for anyone in Tucson.). Turns out that 4 more ounces was 22 more cents AND I got taxed. Hmm. That really didn’t work out economically. I’m playing Play Station Portable in my floatable seat and trying to mentally project the safety of my crash-resistant space racer to the plane that’s hurtling me blindly through clouds. I can’t help wonder why we don’t just fly under or over so the plane can stop getting bitch-slapped by the water cycle. But the anti-anxiety dust doesn’t let me get fixed on any one thought so I’m back to thinking about making my apple juice last through the next flight, too. That would be economical. I can eat it with a lemon-flavored Luna bar that I brought. I’m not paying no eight bucks for another soggy airport sandwich.

 The pilot touches down in Denver with slightly less deft than my PSP fingers drive the speed racer over intergalactic moguls. I wonder if I can get an Air Force medal for that. I could just make one in PPT and no one would know the difference. Whatever. The stewardesses are saying something about “diplayneen” in a Mexican accent so we’ll just say I busted tail through the isle and portal thing, past women, children, and the decrepit a la George Kastanza . I need coffee. The hotel’s in-room maker had just enough “pods” to fill up the Palantir schwag portamug with the good stuff. But I need more caffeine now to stay awake and read self-improvement tomes and would like to sip something tasty at the same time. A PB Cliff bar will help me round out a great little meal. Yes, I brought variety solient foods.

 I follow the herd to a Caribu stand @ Gate A and order a medium latte. (Bee tee dub: thanks guys, for not confusing me by writing in other languages on the menu to describe different sized cups with fucking synonyms.) It’s $four damn 22. I’m ommming again, thanks to the constant stream of happy chemicals in my head. And an image appears: Four Bucss IS Dumb.






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