The Stupidity of the American Consumer: An All Time Low

Yesterday I found myself in desperate need of chocolate while on my lunch hour so I stopped in Walgreens to peruse the aisles looking for that certain something that would curb my craving. After careful consideration and deliberation I chose a pack of Rolos and headed for the check out.

There’s always been something I have found infinitely fascinating about the items lining the check out area. They are those last-minute impulse buy items… you know, batteries, lighters, matches, decks of cards, emery boards and toenail clippers… candy, gum, mints, Rolaids, miniature tools, scotch tape, pens and lint removers… chapstick, hand lotion, miniature bottles of Jack Daniels (depending on your state’s laws) and tiny packets of aspirin.

I’ll bet stores make a killing off of these items. If you don’t actually need them right then, you certainly will think that you do immediately upon seeing them. They are practical, every day items that will probably never go to waste. So what’s the harm?

Though it was during this time while casing the cache of goods otherwise known as the Gullible Buyer’s Trap, patiently waiting my turn in line (because only ONE of the THREE cashier lines are actually OPEN — which I’ve decided, by the way, is totally a ploy by upper management to move more of this nickel and dime crap) my eyes fell upon something new!

In the center of all of those must-have trinkets was a little display simply called: “help.” It was colorful and unique with kind of a cool design which is probably why it grabbed my attention in the first place. However, upon closer inspection, I discovered how completely ridiculous this thing actually was. In fact, I found it to be so completely stupid that I laughed out loud as I whipped out my camera to document this odd and asinine find.

Oh yeah… and I knew without a doubt that it would also be the subject of my very next post. Which, as you see, it has become.

The rack held six different color-coded boxes each containing a different product for a different “need” spelled out in very simple letters on a plain white cover. They were (yes, in all lower case lettering—probably because some focus group of imbeciles told them it looked cool): help I have a headache, ” “help I have a stuffy nose,” “help I can’t sleep,” “help I have allergies,” “help I have a blister” andhelp I have an aching body.”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Are we really THAT stupid that we either A. Don’t know what the hell to buy for what ails us? Or B. Don’t know how the hell to ASK the pharmacist for a suggestion on what to buy for what ails us?

Listen people, if you don’t know what to buy then you should be talking to a doctor not searching for boxes at the check out counter as though it were some sort of pharmaceutical Magic 8 Ball!

So, I thought that perhaps I could help by offering a bit of advice of my own to assist anyone who feels that THIS is indeed the place to go for medical “help”…

  1. Problem: You have a headache. Solution: You have a hammer in the shed?
  2. Problem: You have a stuffy nose. Solution: Suck it up. It will pass.
  3. Problem: You can’t sleep. Solution: Try a bottle of wine and some Leno. His jokes put me to sleep every time.
  4. Problem: You have allergies. Solution: That hammer still lying around? Seasons will change soon enough.
  5. Problem: You have a blister. Solution: Ever heard of gloves?
  6. Problem: You have an aching body. Solution: Stop doing the thing that makes your body ache.

See how simple that was? And it didn’t even cost you a trip to the store or God forbid — interaction with another human being.