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Three score and ten or more

Monday, January 25, 2010

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When we were graduate students with three children existing on a teaching stipend just over 100 dollars a month, we ate very cheaply.  A primary source of protein was chicken backs and necks which often sold for 10 to 15 cents a pound.  Another source was chicken wings which sold for 15 to 19 cents a pound.  A real splurge would involve ground beef which was often on special three pounds for a dollar. 

Our exciting evening came on Saturday if I wasn’t in production.  We would buy a twelve ounce bottle of Vernor’s Ginger Ale (flavor aged in barrels) for 25 cents, cool the bottle in the coldest spot in the refrigerator, dip two glasses in water and put them in the freezer, then, after the children were asleep, we would pour half a bottle each, in the frozen icy glasses then sit together on the couch, sipping and snuggling.    Occasionally we would save our pennies and buy chicken  breasts which Janet would prepare with fantastic spices and rice.

Last week, I was walking through a discount store that we patronize and noticed a sign “Chicken Wings, $1.99 per pound.”   Just below it on the freezer was “Chicken Breast, $1.39 per pound.”

The world has turned upside down.  Whatever genius came up with Buffalo Wings has taken a product which, for most of my life was one of the parts most likely to be thrown away or boiled for soup into a preferred item.    Chicken Wings selling for more that chicken breasts is almost a violation of nature, but it works.  Almost anything, packaged correctly (and who knows what is correct?) and advertised to the saturation level, can become a fad, and make millionaires along the line.

Just sit back and think of the products that have gone through a reversal during your life time. 

3 Comments:

At 6:00 AM, Blogger Ed said...

Back in college, I used to make BBQ chicken wings all the time because it was like you said, cheap. Now I find myself using the same recipe but cutting breast meat into strips because I'm still cheap. Occasionally I do buy the thighs because they still can be cheap. I'm just waiting for when they become fashionable!

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Norma said...

I didn't eat them when the were cheap, or expensive or relabelled Buffalo Wings.

 
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