Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wine and Books in a Down Economy

As the major leaguers I'm assigned to cover were taking practice swings earlier this afternoon, I had an interesting discussion with one of the coaches as we stood behind the batting cage. I mean, I can't remember the last time I discussed wine with anyone at the same time singles and homers were being struck a few feet away. But there we were, talking about a particular cabernet that the manager had recommended the day before. He told me that the bottle was moderately priced, under $20. But when I found it at the store for $26, I took a pass. I drew the line. It was too expensive for my taste

"That," said the assistant coach, overhearing our conversation, "is exactly what's wrong with the economy. People like you, worrying over six bucks, is why we're in the mess we're in."

I had a notion at that instant to mention that I did my degree work in economics, and knew a little something about the subject, but decided to bite my tongue and go on. Six bucks does matter. It matters an awful lot to those making the mininum wage of $7.25/hour. And it matters to anyone who is trying to act prudently in the current economy.

Never mind the bottle of wine. That's easy enough for me to do without. I've decided for now to cut back in an area dear to my heart, my quest to collect first edition copies of the National Book Award winners and finalists. From now on, at least until the economy improves, I'll go back to reading cheaper paperbacks and wait for the economic climate to improve before returning to expensive hardbacks.

It only makes sense.


  1. Maybe it's just me, but I'd say what is wrong with the economy is that people expect us to 1. pay more for something than it's worth, and/or 2. buy things we can't afford.

    Getting the Snarky Comment of the Day out of the way early!)

  2. What a rude and ignorant thing to say. I really hope the coach was kidding and didn't mean that seriously.

    Of course $6 matters. Every little bit matters when money is tight. (I personally don't typically buy wine costing more than $6!)

    And, duh, our world-wide economic problems are far more complex than overpriced wine.

    I whole-heartedly agree with both of you, C.S & J.G. Thanks for the snarky moment! ;-)


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