I’m Callin’ Your Bluff

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?

8 thoughts on “I’m Callin’ Your Bluff”

  1. Brian,

    Good stuff.

    Water: The natural resource that’s now filling our landfills with plastic.

    Here’s another bluff to call: “Your call is important to us.” I saw a great book on this topic a while back in Borders. The title was *Your Call is Important To Us.* It’s the subtitle that makes the book great but is, perhaps, unfit to print on the blog of someone I don’t acutally know. Check it out on amazon. I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

  2. Barry,

    Beautiful! Thanks for the heads up…I checked it out on Amazon and that is hilarious!

    Thanks for your comments over at Those Awake. We gotta meet when you move back down here.

  3. Yes… my wife and I will be looking for backyard garden mentors. We really want to give it a try (though I don’t know what we’ll be able to do this year since we won’t get there until July).

    Glad you got a kick out of the book. It actually looked like it had both substance and wit.

  4. I think sometimes, for me anyway, I buy the bottled water for the convenience of it and because it is better than buying a soft drink; altho I hate that they cost the same in someplaces. As for irritating advertisement bluffs; too many to think of right now… the list would reach into infinety and beyond!!!

  5. great stuff.

    Brian, I forgot to tell you. I’ve received the first copy of Geez magazine and it’s stunning. Incredible. This issue’s theme is “The Lighter Side of Less“, full of stories of very simple living.

    I thought of it here cause Geez subtlely points out that 0.7% of their mag is devoted to advertisements.
    And it is quite noticeable as I read.

    we’ll share it soon.

  6. Hey B, I agree with the water thing, I normally just buy a bottle of water when I lose the other bottle I was using to refill :)

    The parking thing though is not always a bluff. They sometimes have the tow company watching for people to park in their places and walk off and the second you are out of site they tow your car…So I would be careful about that one….could be a bluff could not be….

    Advertising doesnt really bother me…everyone is going to say they are the best because they want you to buy their product so they can stay in business.

  7. Daniel Frame Studio
    Museum Quality Custom Picture Framing at a price you can Afford.

    We’re THE BEST!

    Will hopefully be located at 111 Lamar Ave. Paris, TX. in the not too distant future.

    You and your art are important to us.

    If you park in front of our building and exceed the maximum of two hour parking, your car WILL be Towed.

    😉 I feel ya B, I hate advertisments, parking thingys and bottled water.. I kinda like the Coca Cola bottling company though. They employ thousands of people, if not more and their products are deliish…it’s a shame they don’t use the coca plant in their coke anymore though. Durn rules and regulations. Who cares if it’s a drug. The tribe that uses it for sustenance when they are working in the forest don’t seem to complain.

  8. i totally agree with that. my students often say “man…that was the hardest test of all time” and the first thing that pops into my head is “you have no real way of knowing that”.

    bluffs. they’re everywhere.

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