I Bought a 99¢ Pair of Earrings

I bought a 99¢ pair of earrings.  They were in Chinatown.  To get to them I had to take the train.  That’s a buck fifty, one-way, and I needed to get home too.  So that cost three bucks.  I walked around a bunch, and then I got hungry and ate at LA Chicken in Little Tokyo.  The sign on the door said, “LA Chicken….. where the chicken tastes like Lexus!?”  I ordered the two-piece lunch special for six dollars.  The pieces of chicken were intriguing and unlike any I’d ever seen.  They take that little drumstick part of the wing and encase it in this cocoon of additional chicken meat, then that whole wing-mass is breaded, fried and constitutes a piece: a piece of chicken the size of a breast with one stubby bone tucked away in the middle.  My meal was a combo.  Combos come with drinks, and I usually just get water, but when it’s a strange place where I’ve never been before it’s easier for me to order by getting whatever’s most prominent on the menu board.  This had the affect of costing me more for lunch than I’d otherwise normally pay.  When I got back to my neighborhood I needed a coffee.  That cost one seventy-five for the double shot.  And then my friend called from my house and asked if I could pick him up a soft drink.  I went into the dollar store and bought a Mountain Dew.  I browsed through the DVDs and found a copy of Punch Drunk Love for another dollar.  And then, of course, there was the tipping.  I tipped a dollar at the chicken place and gave a quarter at the coffee house.  Hm… I bought a fourteen dollar and ninety-nine cent pair of earrings.  Actually, thinking back, the earring saleslady never gave me my penny in change.  They were fifteen even.  I still think they were a pretty good deal.

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One Response to “I Bought a 99¢ Pair of Earrings”

  1. Emanuela Giangregorio Says:

    I thought you’d go more in the direction of how much cheap Chinese merchandise actually costs in terms of fuel, shipping, the end of the American factory and all that. Would you expand this piece? It’d make a great short story if you took this part and added some research about the rest of the collateral cost of those earrings. All good lefties are so goddam terrified of China these days, I say you’d have no trouble stoking the fires of our collective panic. And, with the possible exception of sex, nothing sells better than fear. We are a strange beast. Sometimes I think part of every writer’s job is to fuck with us if he can and just because he can. I’m so glad I started following you, these posts have been making my days…

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