And economics, too

This is from an email I wrote to Banana some four years ago, and I've always liked it, and hence I'm blogging it to inaugurate the new Business section.

I have decided that if I go on to grad school for Economics, I'm going to write my dissertation on the supermarkets in Brooklyn. They are an animal all to themselves. We went out to stock up on some staples before the inevitable blizzard, and met half of Brooklyn in the Key Food trying to do the same. This was the old Jewish female half of Brooklyn (I admit that old Jewish ladies account for more than half of Brooklyn's population, but pardon my percentages) and what went on there was truly unique. Food stores in Brooklyn are probably the only open market in the known world where the prices are determined not by supply and demand, but based solely on rumor. Exotic produce such as avocados are held up by ignorant cashiers, and random people on line will shout out what they believe the price to be. If you are able to make a fairly convincing argument that you heard about a coupon in last week's circular for $1.29 tuna, there's a chance that's what you'll pay. Claiming that a bottle of ketchup has been recalled can usually net a savings of a quarter or so. I may actually have to do some post-graduate work to fully explore the intricities of this unorthodox (but kosher; always kosher) system.

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