Punchinello’s Chronicles

May 29, 2009

The Amazing Disappearing Lifestyle

Filed under: View from the Bottom — Punchinello @ 5:42 pm
Tags: , ,

The American economy shrank by 5.7%, we hear today on the news. That means we’re making less, producing less, creating less, selling less, and as a final consequence, getting less money. All the stuff in America, including services like babysitting and mowing lawns, goes into the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The value of all that stuff determines how much money should be printed and distributed.

I first noticed something strange going on, back around 20 years ago. Candy bars were getting smaller. And I was having to spend a little more for each candy bar. Not a lot more, just a little more. Then I started noticing other things vanishing.

This is entirely in keeping with other mysteries of life. For example, when you dig a hole and put the dirt back in the hole, how come there’s left-over dirt? When you take apart something to fix, then put it back together again…perfectly…how come there always are extra screws, bolts, springs, and whatnot?

It’s the Safety Factor (SF).

Americans like to have a little extra, just in case something goes wrong. We’re planners and thinkers that way. We don’t like to have disasters and be unprepared. It’s why we invented the Boy Scouts. Well, okay, the Brits invented the Boy Scouts, but we made it better. And Boy Scouts have the great American motto: Be Prepared.

So we build a Safety Factor into everything we produce. It’s like an added value for people who buy American stuff from our GDP.

Lately, though, we’re not getting that little bit extra. I went out to buy 5-pounds of sugar, the standard small bag you find in food stores. The price has been going up and up, and suddenly I saw sugar at a really good price! It was back to the price it used to be. So I bought it.

When I got home, I discovered 1 whole pound had vanished! Somehow, between the store and my apartment, the bag of sugar vanished an entire 16 ounces of sugar!

Curious, I started looking at other stuff I’d been buying. I took out a bar of Dial soap. I’ve been using that for years, so you can imagine my surprise when I discovered someone had scooped out an entire middle section! Like around 2 heaping tablespoons of soap!

I checked my other soap, and sure enough: Coast has lost the whole middle of the bar! Not Ivory or Tone, those are fine. Probably because they’re paying some sort of protection money to aliens or something.

Everyone keeps believing that life in America is the same as it always has been. It’s getting better, it’s been fine, we’re all fine. Life is fine. The economy is having a glitch, but that’ll get fixed soon. We go out to the stores and it looks like everything always used to look.

But it’s not…!

We’re losing bits and pieces of everything. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m pretty sure one of these days I’ll go buy a pair of jeans or a shirt and it’ll be missing a leg or sleeve. How soon before I buy a car that only has three wheels?

Have you counted all the Rice Crispies in a cereal box lately? How do you know if there’s the same number? And what about peanuts in a can of Planter’s peanuts? Are there still the same number? I’ll bet there aren’t!

Everyone knows we’re losing a lot of common sense, too. In fact, They want to get rid of the American penny. It’s just a small, 1-cent thing, so why not? Have you actually counted how many cents there are in a dollar lately? How do you know if there really are 100 of them? I’ll bet the reason England wants to pay less for American dollars is because those crafty Brits have done that counting! They know we’re losing common cents from every dollar!

If this keeps up, we’re going to end up like Canada! Ever buy potatoes or steaks in a Canadian supermarket? They’re all smaller! I haven’t seen any statistics yet, but I wonder if it’s because Canadians are smaller? Or maybe they weigh less?

The bottom line is that we’ve been having pieces of lifestyle removed without our knowing about it. I’m pretty sure it’s extraterrestrials taking it away, but I can’t prove it. I try to stay up at night to catch whoever’s the culprit, but I end up falling asleep.

It’s most definitely a mystery!

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