business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday, in a commentary about Walgreens targeting AARP members with catalogs and special discounts, I was a bit of a wisenheimer:

Being someone who keeps throwing out the AARP solicitations and plans to do so until they put me in a rowboat, light it on fire and send it out to sea…I’d suggest to Walgreens that they avoid spending money on sending me a catalog.

My feeling is that you join AARP, and before you know it you are wearing black shoes and black socks with your khaki shorts. (I have a friend my age who has started doing this, and I worry for him.) Then you start going to Denny’s for the four o’clock special, twenty year old women start calling you “sir,” and before you know it your kids are discussing assisted living facilities and whether or not they should take away the car keys.

It’s a slippery slope, and I’m not going anywhere near it.

Clearly, I have some issues about aging.

Which is exactly what MNB user Jackie Lembke pointed out:

I, on the other hand, plan on taking advantage of as many discounts as I get starting whenever allowed so my money can go to fun things like trips. I don't plan on retiring for many years (not even eligible for at least 20 years according to my last SS statement). But that won't stop me from taking all the "senior" discounts I can get. I stopped worrying about the slippery slope and bought shoes with cleats. I figure downhill will only happen as fast as I let it and a few discounts because of my age won't speed or slow that down. Now I also don't plan on eating dinner at 4 unless I skipped lunch and probably not at Denny's. It is all a matter of perspective and my perspective is live life to the fullest no matter your age and take every discount available along the way.

Jackie has a much healthier attitude about this than I do.

I also, apparently, have math issues.

Yesterday, I reported that the Topps Meat Co. had been forced to recall 11 tons of meat because of E. coli concerns.

MNB user Gordon Kay, among others, wrote:

Your article … states that the recall was 11 tons. More like 11,000 tons, right?

Right. The actual number was 10,850 tons. Which is 21.7 million pounds of meat divided by 2,000.

Just to put the blame exactly where it is due, my father was a math teacher and he often says that he was able to teach math to anyone. Anyone but me.

I apologize for the error. Mea culpa, ma culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Another MNB user thinks I have even more issues:

I know you live on the East Coast so it's easier for you to talk about chains in that area of the country, but of sick of you talking about it so much! I'm so used to hearing you say "Delhaize is great and A&P sucks". How come you hardly give us any love here in the western US? Doesn't Save Mart, HEB, Bashas', Stater Bros, and Winco all deserve more than the occasional mention?

I feel bad about the Midwest too. People who shop at Schnucks, Marsh and Hy-Vee must be tired of waiting...

P.S. - I say give retailers like A&P, Winn-Dixie, and Bi-Lo second chances, At least they are trying to fix their problems.

First of all, I don't think I’ve ever used the pejorative “sucks” in this space. I don't even use it a lot in conversation.

You do, however, make an excellent point, and one that I will try to be conscious of in the future.

However, I do think that I have been effusive about chains like HEB, Hy-Vee, Lunds/Byerly’s, and Bristol Farms (none of them on the east coast) in the past. And I have certainly been encouraging about Marsh under the new management, and have said good things about companies like Schnucks in the past.

I wasn’t being negative about Bi-Lo, just trying to point out its challenges.

As for Winn-Dixie and A&P…aren’t I supposed to call them the way I see them? The great advantage of this forum is that if members of the MNB community think I’m wrong – and you often do – the podium is yours as well as mine.

Now, I also apparently have fairy take issues.

Yesterday, in a commentary about Bi-Lo not being sold anytime soon and with ownership investing in the company (which, come to think of it, doesn’t sound all that negative), I wrote:

To paraphrase the Wicked Witch of the West, “Better to drive up the price of the company, my dear.”

To which one MNB user pointed out:

I think that it was the wolf who told Little Red Riding Hood that his eyes were so large "the better to see you with, my dear." And ended with a mouth that was so large "the better to eat you with, my dear. And he gobbled her up!"

Of course it was. Not sue what I was thinking. (Maybe I am ready for that AARP membership after all…)
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