Facing changes everywhere

What is happening in this world?

It seems like some things reach perfection no sooner than there is a big change forcing us to get used to the change. Every time I think I get to know where something is located at the grocery store, they manage to change things around.

Yes, the produce section seems to remain close to the main entry and the cold foods and freezer stuff is close to the end, but even in those sections they seem to keep switching the smaller items around or inventing new categories. Where there was just something simple like carrots, I now have to decide on whether I want organically grown carrots. They also make it tough to compare prices. The package of baby carrots was for one pound, but the package of organic baby carrots was just 10 ounces.

Oh, wait, I do know which is more expensive as the organic 10 ounce package is quite a bit more than the one pound package.

Where I used to pick up romaine lettuce in the tall stacks where some of the sprinklers are, I one day had to ask if they had any and yes they did, but now they were in the low coolers.

I looked in the salsa section to find my favorite brand of salsa only to find that my brand was in an entirely different aisle albeit close to the chips or close to most of the chips as my brand of chips were on sale and were at the end of the aisle that day.

Oh, Fiddlesticks!

The problem is not always the fault of the stores, the problem is that manufacturers keep inventing new stuff in what looks like the old stuff I used to get. How many flavors of ranch dressing can there be besides “regular or lite” on which I have to decide?

But it got worse in the last couple of weeks when Oreo had reached perfection some years back and dared to introduce a new Oreo. Now I grew up with that first Oreo and learned to carefully twist the cake parts to separate the pieces so that I could more easily enjoy the filling on its own, scraping the good white stuff with my teeth.

Then Oreo finally got to perfection by making the double stuff – at least twice as much filling But now … horror of horrors … they are making Oreo Thins! What a travesty to use up their shelf space of one of the best packaged cookies around – THE DOUBLE STUFFED.


Thinking of food makes me also think about restaurants. At most fast food restaurants I have no idea why anyone orders any thing but the smallest soft drink. Call me cheap, I suppose, but I do believe that virtually all fast food places allow (nay, expect) patrons to refill if they so desire.

Do the patrons order the larger size drinks so that they don’t have to walk the few steps back to the pop dispenser? For those ordering takeout or using the drive-thru I do understand having the larger sizes.

Also noticed: Very few places have the old standard of small, medium or large. A common euphemism seems to be regular instead of small, then going to large and super-size or something along that line.

As for the sit-down-ordering type restaurants with waiters or servers, there is often the bottomless cup of coffee/tea or all you can drink pop. Of course the price if you really only want one cup of coffee/tea or one glass of pop is outrageous.

I wonder what such restaurants would do if I said I wanted just one cup of tea and not the bottomless cup. The cost saving choice of water does have some appeal and again to be cheap you can always have lemon in your water, usually at no cost.

Now let me assure you that I am not the great penny pincher – I usually use the 15 percent to 20 percent rule based on the bill before any coupons are deducted.


Change of subject. As all of you probably know, I love to read all sorts of books and pulled “The Accidental President” by A.J. Baime from the library bookshelf a few weeks ago. The subtitle is: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World.

The “accidental” referred not to how he came to even be a Senator, or even how he came to be the Vice President under FDR, but rather how he became the President whose first presidential term was just shy of four years from having succeeded FDR. It was not a biography as such, but covered the surrender of Germany, the deployment of the atomic bomb, and the surrender of Japan.

It is a very interesting read, but after this brief introduction to the book, all I want to do is relate a brief sketch from the book that says a bit about Truman’s upbringing and with that why that relates to this newspaper column.

A month after Truman was sworn in as president, his 91-year-old mother arrived in the Presidential plane, Sacred Cow – built originally for FDR and so nicknamed by the press. She was accompanied by Truman’s wife Bess, both women despising publicity and the press.

Momma Truman, with cane in one hand and the President on the other side, was greeted by a crowd of photographers and newsmen as she came off the plane. “Oh, Fiddlesticks!” said Mamma Truman. “If I’d known that (the press would be here), I wouldn’t have come.”

Later at the White House, the President took his mother to the Lincoln Bedroom, saying that she could use that room.

Momma Truman said, “What? Sleep in the bed THAT MAN used?” Momma Truman was clearly from the southern faction of the Missourians. She took a bedroom farther down the hall.

Until next time: Oh, Fiddlesticks!