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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Help Yourself

It's a beautiful day in NYC...and I'm inside blogging. Such is my commitment to you people. Well, also I'm not going to lie; I have a date tonight and I need, desperately, to invest some time in cleaning up my hovel. Otherwise, this boy is going to walk into my place, thinking: "Did the Tenement Museum re-locate to Queens?" Ha, I kid! (On the other hand, knowing men, let's face it: the apartment could be on fire, and he'd probably shrug and say something like, "Baby, shouldn't you take off your top, bra and panties?" Me: "Good idea! I'll use them to stamp out the flames!" Him: "Um, sure, that too...I guess.")

Anyways. I was out running this morning in my area, and I passed by a local liquor store (Shut up.). I noticed that on the chalk board outside the store, they had a verse from the Bible about tough times being an opportunity to build character. Meanwhile,on the front of the store was a sign reading, "Like us on Facebook for 5% off." Whoa baby, 5 whole percent, hold me back!

I'm not one for reading the Bible much--I did however read that one issue of Playboy, back in the late 1980s which featured an interview/pictorial with Jessica Hahn. That should count for something.--but even I think that the Good Book features at least one verse/caption/Instagram about God helping those who help themselves. Though perhaps what should have been added to that sentence is"...those who help themselves intelligently." (I blame his copy-editor; revenge editing and all that.)

Here you've got a decent liquor store, doing okay, not fantastically, and instead of working to improve their prospects by researching their clients and offering a legitimate discount, or free mixology courses, or tips on which wine to serve with food (short answer: yes.), instead of doing anything intelligently, they're offering a one-time bullsh*t discount of 5% when you like their page. I assume the Facebook page in question is strewn with biblical verse about how suffering is good for the soul. Sigh. Listen: your inability to run a competent business is not Jesus' fault; give a brother a break. He's got enough on his hands with Kim K being pregnant and Congress and mediocre rappers giving him shout-outs.

And I'm not adverse to the character-building properties of suffering. But I am strongly adverse to watching people pretend to solve their problems with the same kind of half-assed "thinking" which got them into the situation in the first place. How exactly is that supposed to work? Why offer a 5% discount, when you could offer a one-time 50% discount, and on-going classes, workshops, resources and a general commitment to the neighborhood? Why offer such a nothing discount, demonstrating your indifference to your customers, when you could make your store into a mecca for all things alcoholic? All I can assume is that, on a certain level, you don't really want your business to succeed, because you're more committed to your suffering than acquiring any type of business acumen. Hence the melodramatic verses regarding the "power" of suffering. Okey-dokey.

You suffer, I'm going to continue to buy my booze at the neighborhood store which gives great discounts, and has a hilarious guy on staff who is always creating new drinks, and offers free classes. They've even started delivering. To paraphrase St. Augustine, "God make me good, but maybe not right now. Let's get through the weekend first."

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