21 July 2008

$4 dollar pretzel, my ass

What is it about a four-dollar soft pretzel that makes me nauseous?

This weekend was Artscape in Baltimore. Billed as the 'Largest Public Arts Festival in America', the festival draws something like a half-million visitors to the city over four days. Beings that Baltimore only has a population of around 750,000 city dwellers, this extra half-million makes quite a mark both on parking and the local economy.

But fear not, those of you concerned about the children of Baltimore's pretzel-sellers. Because this year they were lining up in the 98 degree heat to buy $4 pretzels.

Don't get me wrong. I love pretzels. I buy a big bag of Utz on a weekly basis. But I've got issues when it comes to vendors totally taking advantage of the public and the public being too short-sighted to come to the festival prepared (with snacks in pocket, as it were).

Isn't it illegal for individual service stations to raise the price of gas to absurd levels during a gas crunch or a catastrophe? Isn't that called 'price-gouging'? So what's the difference between that and charging heat-exhausted customers five dollars for a lemonade?

Art-Festival-Goers-of-the-World (TM) Unite!

Refuse to pay more than a reasonable price for your food. If you refuse to pay $4 for a pretzel, sooner or later the vendor is gonna realize that they are gonna have to charge less or wind up with a whole lot of excess dough on their hands.

I suggest a slogan for our movement: '$4 pretzel, my ass'.

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