Despite my curmudgeon-y carcass and thrifty vinyl billfold sealed in cellophane, I rarely enjoy deceiving folks or putting on airs to feign that I’m normal and reasonably sane. Typically I take no pleasure by showing off or seeking out the best that life has to offer by shopping for fancy top-name national brands. On occasion however, when I am alone and free from outsider’s eyes and their equally jaundiced judgment, sadly even I have been lured to a battle bound for the better bottles full of the real stuff.
Since I am a bit of a cheapskate, it takes a lot of willpower to conform to societal prejudices to live large and stretch to buy off the top shelf (it’s ok since I’m tall). I personally am just as happy with a good facsimile as I am with the real thing because as long as the product does the job, what do I care if it’s a fancy brand? Yes any dumb bunny can overspend and buy the best to get beaming results but it takes real skill to buy at the bottom of the barrel yet never let anyone suspect there’s a difference.
The key to my perfectly balanced fancy dance between boffo branding vs. product quality is to know how the ‘good stuff’ performs since in today’s over-advertised life, almost everything looks right. Often I just prefer the container itself of the name brands rather than the pricey goo inside so the second step is to sample similar products and settle on the least-costly copy, that not only stands up to my toe-low standards but beat’s my wife’s moderate thigh-high ones as well. Then it’s time for the final exam as my drum-tight grip on ‘good enough’ is put to the test and hopefully earns an exclamation point for effort and at least a check mark for smarts.
Yes once I have the fancy schmancy high-brow branded container then I am in real business as my true nature calls and is free to re-assert itself to defile the costly contents with cheaper concoctions of my own choosing. The tall off-brand pancake maple-flavored elixir is first to make the transfusion to the squatty microwave sized bottle, which tastes the same but is a half-priced cheaper squeezer pleaser. Then the dark roasted coffee grind leaves its store brand home and finds solace in a snooty brew bag by a big name – who will know? Ahh modern society’s Nirvana at last; where life’s little lies are just the same as the truth - as long as nobody ‘let’s go of your Eggo’ early and their syrupy recriminations lead you to turn to the REAL STUFF in the bottle.