Somebody Loves Wheat Thins

At what point does “reduced fat” just become normal amount of fat? Do you know what I mean? It has to balance out at some point. For example, could the person in line in front of me be better off just getting one or two boxes of regular fat Wheat Thins. Would two boxes of the regular be the same as eating five of the reduced fat? Anyway, I don’t normally take photos of other peoples groceries, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. The ONLY thing they were buying was Wheat Thins. Ten boxes of Wheat Thins. My first thought was “eccentric millionaire”, which would also explain the sweatpants. I didn’t have it in me to photograph the Wheat Thins hoarder. I might be creepy, but even I draw the line somewhere. Just trust me when I say eccentric millionaire is the only thing that would make sense of their grocery store garb.

Naturally, the only other thing that would make sense of the outfit and Wheat Thin obsession is “crazy person.” Now, I’ve got to be honest with you. My knee jerk reaction was crazy person. As I was walking back to my car after my own purchase of one single solitary watermelon (Jeff Claassen, eccentric millionaire at your service) I had a realization. The Wheat Thin addict was not an eccentric millionaire, despite her sweatpants and the odd way she had to lay out all of her bills in order of denomination. As for being crazy, I realized she was probably just a normal lady and only suffered from being temporarily crazy. And this is why. Her normal state of being a rational person got manipulated by the power of grocery store marketing. I am almost certain the store was running one of their insane deals where you have to by five (or ten) of a product to save “big”. Sometimes “big” ends up being something like 25 cents off per box, but you have to buy ten boxes. Your caveman brain thinks $2 off is a bargain and it overpowers the rational thinking part of your brain that knows you do not need ten boxes of Wheat Thins. But here’s the thing. By the time your rational thinking kicks in you’ve already lost because you’ve already decided to buy the ten boxes. Now you rationalize the ten box purchase because you know that eventually, in time, you will go through ten boxes of Wheat Thins. Even if it takes you a year (or more) to do so it’s worth the bulk purchase to save $2.

At the end of the day the store wins and you got duped into spending more money. And you don’t even care because you got a “deal”. You might even think that you really stuck it to the man by taking advantage of the sale. To add insult to injury, if you think about, you actually double lose because now you’re going to eat more just because you have more. I can’t tell you the number of times I would have been totally satisfied with one Kit-Kat, but I got the two for 99 cents deal (or whatever it is). Then I eat one on the car ride home and eat the second one later that night. If I did not have that second one tempting me with its chocolaty crunchiness I would never go back to the store to buy a second one. It wouldn’t even cross my mind that I want another Kit-Kat because that would be crazy and I’m not a crazy person.

The sad truth is, like the Wheat Thin lady, I’m just a sucker from time to time.

Well, that’s sort of a sad and boring way to end this. You know what? I love Kit-Kats. And my new crazy friend loves Wheat Thins. So, fuck you, grocery store! We’re the winners!

Happy grocery shopping!
– Jeff

P.S. – On the real, this is a fascinating topic and I’d love to dig deeper into it, but I’m not Malcolm Gladwell. I have no time to interview people or do any research. I’m just winging it here. Writing one post a day has been fun and it’s a great reminder that things don’t have to be perfect. If you haven’t watched that Jack Conte video yet, please do yourself a favor and check it out.

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Was this enough or would you like more random musings? If so, check out these posts from back in the day:
Dear, Hollywood. Remake The Goonies
Kim Carnes Is Rod Stewart With A Vagina

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