[dropcap]I [/dropcap]tried to buy beer yesterday and nearly had a nervous breakdown when I saw the overwhelming selection. Remember when we only had three beers to choose from? Budweiser, Miller, and Busch? Today, there are one hundred fifty-six different brands at Piggly Wiggly.
I asked the supermarket attendant where the regular Busch was. He took me out back and said, “Most of us boys go behind that bush, right there.”
So I went.
What about the soup aisle? As a boy, we had five kinds of Campbell’s to choose from. Chicken Noodle, Cream of Mushroom, Clam Chowder, and a can of tomato-flavored battery acid – customarily served with grilled cheese. Not today. Modern soups have become exotic.
Just last week, my wife came home from the store with soup flavors I’d never heard of. Rice Noodle Mung, Stewed Kale, and Cream of Goat’s Foot.
I can’t eat my grilled cheese with stewed kale. It’s an affront to the way I was raised.
The truth is, all these choices have ruined customer satisfaction. With too many options, I’m afflicted by buyer’s remorse the moment I choose one laundry soap over another. What happened to the limitations of yesteryear?
Like blue jeans.
Long ago, jeans were horrid things. Not at all like today’s pants. They didn’t fit you like a glove, not until you’d worn them for two years. No, when you first bought them, they were dark, stiff, and cut off the circulation to your unmentionables. And we enjoyed our ugly Levis. Because, we’re Americans, dammit. We have a long history of being stuck with things we don’t want, and complaining until we learn to adjust.
And it’s why our forefathers drank beer.