About once a week, I get email from Sam’s Club listing “this week’s top sellers.” I am constantly flabbergasted to see this item appear right up at the top of the list at least three out of every four weeks:
Check out the price tag. This is not what you would call an “impulse buy.” Neither is it something on you put on your shopping list because “honey, we’re running out of our year’s supply of emergency rations.” This is a considered purchase, being executed by Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class America… and being executed often enough to keep it in the top ten items sold every week at Sam’s Club.
Wow. Even Joe and Jane Sixpack are now seeing where the Bush and Obama administrations have aimed America.
Just about ten years ago, the boys from Steely Dan gifted us with this lyric:
We’ve got a sweetheart Sunset Special
On all of the standard stuff
‘Cause in the morning — that gospel morning
You’ll have to do for yourself when the going gets tough
You’ll need the tools for survival
And the medicine for the blues
Sweet treats and surprises
For the little buckaroos
It’s last call
To do your shopping
At the Last Mall
It’s a toe-tappin’ tune, but I never expected to be living it.
Afterword: Sam’s Club responds that their “Top Ten” is chosen purely by item revenue rather than by unit sales, and the high ticket price of the emergency food kit tends to propel it into the top ten. Even so, there’s a whole lotta preppin’ goin’ on.