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Thanksgiving 2021

Ah, Thanksgiving when thoughts turn to travel, family and food, and not necessarily in that order. At dinner this year we’ll be discussing price inflation, neighborhood housing prices and the weather in a futile attempt to avoid the all too dangerous topics of vaccines, mandates and politics.

Turning to inflation, two days ago, I paid $4.19 a gallon for premium gas. At least I had a car to put it in. Car prices are up, up, up but there are no cars for sale. Philosophical question: If car prices rise but there are no cars, can we call this inflation? Sort of like “if a tree falls in the wilderness…

Last week I bought stone crab. The nice man at the counter said he couldn’t sell me half a claw so I splurged on a whole one. $50 a pound has got me reconsidering my priorities. I had hoped when the stone crab pot line fouled my propellor last week that I’d at least get some stone crab out of the deal. Not to be. The manager at the fish store said he was considering hiring Brinks guards. The only thing that cost less than $30 a pound was shrimp from some unknown country. Mahi mahi, red snapper, salmon--$35+. Don’t ask about Ahi tuna—it made stone crab look like a bargain. I am steeling myself to buy Cape Scallops next week. My Christmas present to Robin.

Here in Sarasota, Publix is helping us get through Thanksgiving by limiting quantities of virtually everything in the store. Canned gravy (yecch), cranberry sauce, Gatorade (what’s Thanksgiving without Gatorade?), disposable plates and silverware, bacon, and cream cheese are among the items limited to two each. I guess the plan is to get the family to come to the store together to buy their two limited items so there’s enough to serve the whole crew. The $90 per person the Ritz is charging is starting to look very fair.

Bargains are still available if you consider low price, low quality items to be “bargains”. Costco had some nice twist-off cap Chardonnay for $6.99 a bottle. It wasn’t worth $6.99 but I guess there has to be a floor to wine prices somewhere. Toys were well priced but just about sold out. It’s hard to call it a bargain if there’s no stock. Luckily, toilet paper was in stock on that visit—and we’ll pay just about anything for that.

Today’s paper brought the news that the Dollar Store has raised all prices to $1.25. Dollar Store representatives said that they had “overwhelmingly positive” results from the test marketing of the new price point. I guess that meant that management was happy with the results because I’m pretty sure the customers weren’t happy to pay more.

Wishing you all a Covid-free Thanksgiving with no travel delays or bad weather.

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