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Explosive Journalism - Opinion Columns by Michael Giardina

             Hilarious articles, funny columns, blatant journo-scolding.

Money all up in my Kool-Aid
by Michael Giardina

Welcome back to Davis, you freaky cow-tippers. As expected, my summer exploits brought insurmountable riches. My first epic poem, "Ode to a Peruvian Badger," pushed me into the billionaire tax bracket. Booyakasha!

So, as a responsible American, I quickly got to consuming. That is all we do, right? I purchased a $71 million Chateau d'Yquem fine wine encased within a $20 thousand suitcase, and a beautiful $36 million badminton cabinet. I don't even know what a badminton cabinet is, but it's expensive. It'll work.

Fine, I'm daydreaming. I'll never know the visceral pleasure of undressing a multimillion dollar badminton cabinet with my eyes. The scary thing is, according to the Forbes Connoisseur's Guide, people purchased these pricey pseudo-treasures at, as previously mentioned, exorbitant prices.

Someone paid more for a suitcase than I made last year. Five times what I made last year.

Consider this: As noted by the Bill Gates Wealth Index, the CEO of Microsoft makes 800,000 times more than the average upper-middle class family. By proportion, if something costs me $100,000, it costs Bill the equivalent of about 12 cents. I bet some of you wouldn't bend over to pick up 12 cents. I'm sure he doesn't.

At least Mr. Gates is a nice guy. His operating system, Windows, provides pornography to any interested patrons! A rich oil tycoon can hardly brag of such benevolent "gifts," unless he's kinky for naked, oil-drenched penguins.

And what's with everyone being so unnecessarily extravagant? Who needs to buy a $20,000 suitcase when they are $40 at Wal-Mart? In reality, you can buy almost any commodity for any price. Does a suitcase have to be made out of Peruvian badger before it's worth your bones?

I've heard rumors that Microsoft is confident that its future gaming console will sell because of the steep price tag they plan to slap onto it. Apparently Americans believe added price necessitates added quality.

Price isn?t directly proportional to quality. I once bought 10 onions at the Davis Farmers Market for the price of one onion at Safeway. I wonder what they do to make them cost that much!

Brand-name products have the exact same active ingredients as generics. Don't pay extra for fancy cellulose. It's identical to the store brand! Fancy acetaminophen is the same thing as Rite-Aid acetaminophen, no matter how you package it.

Cute stuffed puppies go for $4. Don't pay hundreds for ugly ceramic dolls.

Some eBay sellers have reported an 800 percent profit when consumers don't bother to check street values. In one auction, a seller blatantly advertised the lowest price the item could be purchased for at other online retailers. He sold his item for $30 more than the lowest competitive price. Are we too busy to read the auctions we're bidding on?

Your money can go a long, long way. Don't waste it. Reclaim the roughly $1,460 per year on those cigarettes by purchasing some cheap Rite-Aid brand nicotine patches. Learn to cook and grab some veggies at the local market.

Now go make me dinner.