The back and forth of modern capitalism

The Examiner

I really hate to harp, but harp I must.

Gearing up for winter, you already know I was agonizing over an electric mattress cover to heat my frozen toes and reached out to you faithful for advice.

Annie Dear

I received lots of suggestions – for which I’m eternally grateful, but who should come to my ultimate rescue but my revered editor. Having lived in northern Wisconsin (or was it Minnesota?) – no matter – it was an area the winters were brutal. His solution was cost effective and foolproof. Flannel sheets.

Fabbo, thought I! No faffing around with power outlets or where the controls would snake out. So naturally, I flew to Amazon. Yes, well. The reviews for flannel sheets were less than flattering, they being likened to the thickness of a sheet of Kleenex, so I went elsewhere on the internet.

I now have flannel on the bottom, duvet on the top, and I’m as snug as a bug in a rug.  Thanks boss!

I also realized my room is somewhat sub-Arctic in winter, so a little heater would be just the ticket to take the chill off the room. I purchased a little titch of a heater. Excitedly unpacking it, I set it up only to find the buttons on the top – you know, helpful ones, like the on/off, high/low buttons – did in fact two cents-worth of bugger all. Only the main switch way down the bottom worked. Back to Amazon it went.

I also needed some earbuds with a microphone I could use for virtual meetings. Purchasing one set "compatible with I-Phone" it proudly proclaimed, I discovered yes indeed it was. It had the right chingadera to plug into the phone. Music and video audio came through loud and clear – but would the mic work? Nup, nup, nup. Back it went to Amazon.

I found another “compatible” set. Long story short – same deal. Back it, too, went to Amazon.

I then found one actually produced by Apple, and praise the Lord and pass the gin, it works. A small word to Apple though – a little like Pepsi and Coke – can we not have Apple and Samsung in the same building without imploding?

So all in all, being a Prime member for a mere $13.95 a month, I get all sorts of perks – free delivery being one of them. Amazon – a small word in your shell-like lug hole. I’ve cost you all these UPS returns, and all because you are promoting sub-standard merchandise, dare I say from China.

Naturally I would prefer to buy made-in-the-USA, but it’s not always possible.

Cheap is great. I love cheap. Remember the days when you’d left the parental nest and furnished your new digs with bean bag chairs and shelves made from planks of wood and concrete blocks? Cheap as chips, and did the trick until you’d amassed enough of a bank account not to be embarrassing

But cheap isn’t necessarily economical. In fact, it’s often false economy, so lift your game, Mr. Bezos.

Quality matters.

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at