Pop Culture

In the United Kingdom, where I was whelped, they have their faults to be sure. UK residents give themselves over to the tender mercies of a National Health System that would rather fund voodoo medicine than preventive care. They cannot seem to get BritRail trains to run on time for love or money. And they are unable to grasp that baked beans are not appropriate breakfast fare. But there is one area in which my native countrymen remain far superior to the people of my adopted United States: they have never been idiotic enough to spend eight dollars for a large popcorn at the cinema.

Can someone please enlighten me as to why it makes sense to drop that much cash for a shipping container of popcorn the size of a small litter bin, covered in so much hydrogenated “butter” that the AMC theatre chain just changed its corporate logo to a coronary thrombosis? (I’m making that up, but just barely.) And I have not yet begun to rant about the $8 cold hot dog, or the $10 beer and $5 bottle of water at any baseball, football, hockey or basketball game. From start to finish in this country, if you’re in attendance at an entertainment event from NASCAR to the circus, the organizers are doing everything just short of holding you upside down by your ankles and shaking you to get the last of your coins.

For a family of four, a regular movie these days costs at least $60. Take the kids to an average NFL game and make it $400. Why on earth do Americans put up with this? Are we that stupid? It would appear that we are. Apparently, we’re so desperate to be in the stands for yet another home run or slam dunk that we are willing to fork out six dollars for a 24-ounce Coke…a beverage that consists of about 40 cents’ worth of carbonated water and syrup. Yes, the most costly thing about that soda, ladies and gentlemen, is the cup.

A fool and his money, yada, yada. Why don’t we all just say, “Sod it! I am not paying what they want to charge for garbage food and cheap beer!” Let’s see how long it takes before team owners, concert promoters and cinema operators are forced to reverse course on this daylight robbery that is now ruining our simple entertainment pleasures.

I think it’s time for an Entertainment Patrons Union. The people must band together to oppose $7 Junior Mints and $12 large beers. If we refused to pay their usurious prices, maybe these massive corporations would think twice about killing the golden goose.

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