This marks the 100th Wild Bill Sports column and with a brief break between football and basketball, it’s only appropriate we reminisce a bit. Additionally, I want to thank all the great readers who have commented, shook their heads, been fascinated by the football predictions, and gotten a laugh or two at the shenanigans we’ve brought forth.
I’ve given you an insight on everything from Lady Gaga to Liberace, football to the Franklin County Speedway, and the ever-popular late night product reviews that spanned everything from The Olde Brooklyn Lantern (mine has already pooped out) to the curiously named ‘Redem’, a sanitary necessity used to pull toilet paper rollers out of the comode.
You can’t say this column isn’t on the cutting edge of technology.
Last year at this time I gave you the annual Wild Bill economic update, which predicted a negative bias due to rising gas prices.
Wanting to stay in tune with noted economists, I also explored the so-called ‘big ticket items’ which unfortunately sent me to a piano store. Things got more than a little testy when I informed the salesman, after he priced the black-lacquered monstrosity, that I wouldn’t cough up those kinds of bucks if he threw in sheet music, a candelabra, sequined jacket AND Librace.
Of course, 2012 has brought the overused phrase of everyone going over ‘the fiscal cliff’. The phrase is nothing new to me. I first ran into this about 15 years ago when my wife wanted to go to the Grand Canyon. We stopped at an Indian pottery stand situated snugly between the road and the South rim, separated only by an Indian mural hanging at the rim’s edge.
I must admit I was intrigued by browsing the Hopi workmanship, until my wife, aware of my new insurance with Alex Trebek’s outfit, told me to see what they had in the back room.
Therefore, this year, I decided to go to the opposite end of the economic spectrum, in what we’ll call “Wild Bill goes to the dollar store.”
Readers, let me give you a Wild Bill warning. All dollar stores are not alike.
Without getting too specific, in many of these places things are ‘generally’ not a dollar. In others, everyone in the ‘family’ has to pitch in a dollar to nab some items.
That being said, Wild Bill gives his five-star endorsement to Dollar Tree. You can go into this chain of stores with a paper bag over your head (not recommended for non-professionals); grab at anything and you can rest assured it’ll be a dollar.
And, the Dollar Tree is a quick cure to the high cost of medical care. From bandages to pain relief to milk of magnesia, you know your co-pay.
I visited a local store to interview a random employee on fighting rising medical costs, front and center inside these doors. “Carol” (like Dragnet, names have been changed to protect the innocent) discussed a couple of the behind the counter medical kits sold here for a buck. They included a pregnancy test, urinary tract infection self-test, and marijuana self-test home kit.
Needless to say, you’d be charged hundreds of times more at a fancy clinic. And, those places only have old magazines in the waiting room. Here, you can check out the candles, cookies, mops and seasonal items while you wait.
You won’t have to worry about the prescription doughnut hole; but you can get a bag of doughnuts, of course, for a dollar.
The night I was there the store was crowded and the economy had the look of strength. I went in for a box of dryer sheets and came out with 27 different items. No, guys, I didn’t pick up a marijuana kit. But, Carol did say one guy bought five. Guess he wanted to be sure.
As a result, I give the economy a neutral bias, with the possibility of a fiscal cliff on the horizon and Alex Trebek warning us of the pitfalls of the $255 social security benefit.
Until next week, look for me on Wall Street and send your questions to: [email protected]