It is really difficult playing Texas Hold ‘Em with Gene (far right) because he is a great bluffer. He’ll make you fold your pair of kings when he’s holding an eight high and when you think you’ve called him on a bluff he lays down a three-of-a-kind. He’s good. Or, maybe I’m awful. Either way, I may not be able to call Gene’s bluffs, but there are some going on out there that it’s high time we quit falling for.
____ Parking Only. All others will be towed at owner’s expense. Fill in the blank with your own example there. Cinemark, Marriott, Radio Shack, whatever. My point is that I don’t think anybody is watching and the number of times someone has actually been towed is probably equivalent to the number of Championships the Rangers have claimed. Zero. The Chili’s near the Ballpark in Arlington that I worked at for a whopping four weeks had these signs out front: “Chili’s Parking Only. No Ranger Parking. All others will be towed.” Well, it never came up in orientation and I never heard my manager say, “Who’s on tow patrol tonight?” Know why? ‘Cause it’s a bluff.
Commercials That Say, “We’re The Best”. According to who? Your PR department?! I’m serious about this one. Some of the baseless claims that advertisers make about their clients’ products should not be allowed. Maybe this doesn’t bug many other people, but it drives me nuts and in the interest of full-disclosure, I’m biased against marketing to begin with because I’m tired of advertisements saturating every crevice of our environment. So, if you aren’t, you can ignore this bluff, but at least keep your eyes (and ears) out.
The Price of Dasani Bottled Water. Dasani is a Coca-Cola company and the water in those bottles is nothing more than local tap water that’s been run through a filter. Thanks for the effort. Thanks for reverse osmosisizing my water. But seventy-nine cents? Are ya kiddin’ me? It cost you two. Maybe. Evian and Perrier are the only ones who can really back up their price tags because their water actually does come from naturally-occuring springs in France. The rest of the guys are just cashing in. But you know what? I should be more upset with myself than I am at them, because while I may not buy Dasani, I pay fifty cents for a can of Dr. Pepper that’s packed with nothing but sugar and a host of other ingredients that my body was not created to use. So, I take this one back. I should stop bluffing myself. In one of his essays, Wendell Berry talks about the cost of things he doesn’t want or need and he asks and answers the question, “What would it cost me? More money, for one thing, than I can afford, and more than I wish to pay to people whom I do not admire.” If I made a list of every company that has some of our money but none of our admiration, how long would that list be? Dr. Pepper, Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil. How long would your list be?