Pro (Too Many)
by Mad Dog
The problem is, we have too many choices. Where at one time
cars, telephones, and Oreos all came in one color selection, now we
have, well, 45,000 choices.
||If youíre shopping for a
Rolls Royce Phantom be warned, it wonít be easy. Itís not the car
payments that are the problem. After all, they wonít even allow you to
step foot in the showroom without pulling your credit report. Even then,
if you want to walk around without a security guard breathing down your
neck you need to be on the Forbes 400 list. Near the top. Of course you
could try casually flashing your wallet to show them the $328,750 in
cash the car will set you back. That can work too. But the problem
isnít money, itís deciding on a paint color. After all, they only
offer 45,000 to choose from. Henry Ford must be laughing hysterically in
Ford was, after all, reputed to have
said about the Model T, ďThe customer can have any color he wants so
long as it's black.Ē He was a smart guy, he knew his customers
didnít want to sit in a showroom flipping through a book of paint
swatches that makes the Oxford English Dictionary look like CliffsNotes. Of course no one who would buy a Rolls Royce would do that. After
all, thatís what hired help is for.
I suspect the actual procedure is to
bring in something to match ó a shirt, a couch, a Matisse, a Pekinese
ó and theyíll duplicate the color for you. Or if youíre impulsive
and need the car for a date that night, you take what they have on the
showroom floor and have it repainted next week to suit your mood. Or to
match your Pekinese after sheís been to the grooming parlor for a
color, cut, and set.
There are now at least 17 types of Oreos, including peanut
butter, mint, yellow cookie, fudge covered, double creme and the
affirmative action role reversed version that has a white cookie and
chocolate creme, the favorite of liberals everywhere. Good luck finding
a regular old Oreo.
I donít have to worry about making this decision anytime soon
ó unfortunately ó Iím just mentioning it in case youíre one of
those people who have trouble making up their mind and youíre thinking
about buying a car. If thatís the case you might want to stick with
something like a Prius since it comes in just eight colors. At least
then if youíre having trouble deciding you can tape the color samples
to a wall and throw a dart, with a Rolls Royce youíd need to post them
on the Great Wall of China.
The problem is, we have too many
choices. Where at one time cars, telephones, and Oreos all came in one
color selection, now we have, well, 45,000 choices. For example, once
upon a time there was mayonnaise. You had to choose which brand you
liked, but that was it. Now thereís regular, light, fat-free, canola,
with lime juice, and with mustard. Three kinds of mustard no less. It
wonít be long before you can take home a jar of soy decaf shade grown
fair trade dolphin-free mayonnaise. Then all youíll need to do is
decide whether you want a small jar, medium jar, large jar, or popcorn
tub size. It makes ketchup sound better all the time.
Then there are Oreos. There are now
at least 17 types of Oreos, including peanut butter, mint, yellow
cookie, fudge covered, double creme and the affirmative action role
reversed version that has a white cookie and chocolate creme, the
favorite of liberals everywhere. Good luck finding a regular old Oreo.
Iíd recommend buying some Oreo Cookie ice cream and piecing them
menu shouldnít be as long as a Stephen King book. Of course neither
should a Stephen King book, but since I donít need to read The
Stand before I can eat, Iím not worried about it.
All these choices make it difficult not only to decide what you
want, but to actually make it home with the right thing. For reasons
best known to the marketing department, manufacturers keep the labels
the same and print the variant in small, unobtrusive letters using
invisible ink. Right, like grocery shopping wasnít enough fun before.
At least half the time I get home and discover that I accidentally
bought fat-free low-sodium tuna-flavored free range cream cheese by
mistake. Itís not worth my time to take it back, and it sure isnít
worth my mental health to eat it. So I throw it out. (Hereís a handy
shopping tip: look for the word ďoriginalĒ on the package. It
wonít be prominent, and youíll pick up four other kinds before you
find it, but thatís the real stuff you want.)
Restaurants are another place where
weíre getting too many choices. A menu shouldnít be as long as a
Stephen King book. Of course neither should a Stephen King book, but
since I donít need to read The Stand before I can eat Iím not
worried about it. Simply put, I donít want to spend more time reading
a menu than it will take me to eat my dinner. Itís a personal rule. I
have enough trouble deciding what food ethnicity or style I want to eat,
donít make me go catatonic when the waitperson comes to the table for
the fifth time to take my order.
There is one place where we could use
more choices ó elections. We get two choices, three if weíre lucky
and donít care about the quality of the third candidate. And even with
that it feels like thereís no choice at all. Itís like buying a
rancid hot dog and being offered anchovies or peanut butter as a
topping. It needs something desperately, but why are those my only
choices? So I say stick with a simple black Rolls Royce. Go back to
eating plain old Oreos and mayonnaise. But please, give us more choices
where we need it ó like the next presidential election.
©2006 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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