Archive for September 26th, 2008

A cup of Love

I was in Lexington, SC watching a trial all day Tuesday, Wednesday afternoon, and Thursday morning.  I stayed with Jennifer and Matt on Wednesday night.  They just moved into a precious house with a great backyard.  I have my own room and everything.  Wednesday morning Jennifer and I went to Starbucks before she took Clemmie to dog school and I went back to the courthouse to be tortured by the closing arguments of the personal injury attorneys. 

Wednesday morning was mild, with a sharp wind.  It was one of the first real days of fall, and in celebration of Fall, Jennifer and I thought we deserved a Pumpkin Spice latte.  We laughed in line about the days immediately following college where we thought nothing of spending $5 a day on a coffee (because we couldn’t be expected to make our own now, could we?), and how now Starbucks is a special treat.  My new office is dangerously close to a starbucks but I do enjoy making my own coffee most of the time.  But we were both excited about our coffee treat.  When we got up to the register, the poor child behind the counter had a difficult time with my name and my complicated order (if I’m going to pay $4.53 for a cup of coffee it damn well better be custom made how I like it be something I can’t make at home), and by the time we got it all sorted out, he unhappily informed us that the espresso machine had just gone down.  Dang it.  So we ordered regular coffees, and he didn’t charge us, and he was nice and apologetic and everything he should have been.  Then as we walked away the machine started working again.  Of course. 

Regardless, every since then I’ve been feining for a pumpkin spice latte.  Seriously, I woke up this morning and knew there was no way I was going to get anything done until I had one.  And since it is Friday (a day for treats), and I woke up in time, I went to starbucks.  It was awesome.  I asked for half the number of syrup pumps, because I can’t believe how strong those things are, and it was still extremely sweet. 

When the starbucks girl handed me my much anticipated pumpkin spice latte, she said – “Here’s your cup of love.”

And I thought that was perfect. 

On my way to starbucks this morning I passed two gas stations that have gas.  And since they have gas, there was nothing short of a traffic jam to get near these two gas stations.  I really couldn’t believe it.  It was nuts.  But then again, I haven’t seen a gas station with gas in a while, so I guess everyone has to have gas for their weekend plans.  It’s really pretty frightening.  I heard on the radio that people were getting into physical altercations last night at gas stations. 

So a lot of tv show seasons started back this week, and I’ve been watching a lot of tv, as usual.  And there is one commercial that absolutely drive me crazy.  It makes me angry.  It is a ford commercial with Mark Richt, who is basically a god around here, with a football in his hand, standing next to a big new F-150. 

And the announcer starts talking about how you can get $7500 cash back when you buy a new F-150. 

Okay.  This is ridiculous.  Especially right now.  In the days of a lending crisis, where the disasterous effects of predatory lending are crashing down upon us, it is absolutely unbelievable to me that Ford is still trying to get people to borrow such an absurd sum of money.  $7500 is enough to put the average american worker who lives pay check to pay check into debt for the rest of their lives.  Especially at the ridiculous interest rates associated with car buying.  I am offended when the cashback offer is $2000, but $7500 is just unconscionable. 

So when this person defaults on their car payment, not only will they lose their truck, they will still owe Ford Credit Company at least $10,000.  Or, when three years from now this person wants to trade their truck in for the new version, they will owe money on their trade in.  Oh, and just as a side note, Ford Credit Company makes more money than Ford Motor Company.  How does that make you feel?  Ford is just a big giant credit card company disguised as a car company (although I’m sure that Ford is not the only car company guilty of this). 

And I’m really not trying to imply that the average american is stupid, I’m just trying to highlight that advertising is powerful, especially when you put someone as revered as Mark Richt in the advertisement.  Also, finance is difficult and confusing and the lenders don’t want you to understand it.  They want to lend you money so they can charge you interest.  Which is why every single store in america, from Walmart to Saks Fifth Avenue, asks you if you’d like to save ten percent and open a credit account with them.  Honestly, I have been confused for years about what the commercials meant when they said – $$$ Cash Back.  I could never understand why they would want to give you money to buy something from them.  But now I understand. And it makes me kind of ill. 

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