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Excerpts from Shopping for Wisdom By October 10, 2001
[This Fribble Classic originally ran on October 12, 2000]

"...inspired by a visit to our local Dollar Tree store...I am always intrigued by the products the powers that be make, then attempt (and fail) to sell, then end up selling at distressed prices to the customers at Dollar Tree.
Perusing the shelves of the dollar stores, I have learned to be leery of hype and our consumerism...Learn, O' Fellow Fribble readers, to discern the chaff from the wheat..."

I use a variation of CSantamari's barometer. My barometer uses the chaff that merchandisers have actually been successful in selling, though, not what they have been forced to unload at Dollar Tree.

When I was younger and poorer, I used to lament every latest *whatever* (insert latest consumer fad) I couldn't afford. As I grew older, I was happy to see that if my desire stood the test of time, the *whatevers* started showing up at the thrift shops and garage sales. After all, everyone and his dog had bought one, so there were plenty to be had! Besides learning patience and self control, I also learned that most of those *whatevers* were junk (chaff) that did NOT stand the test of time for usefulness or durability and I was extremely grateful that when *whatever* was the big thing, I HADN'T had the means to buy one. It would have been a waste of those means had I had them.

So when I see a *whatever* advertised on TV or displayed in the stores, I know: "Today's Must-Have, Tomorrow's Rummage Sale". I love being older and wiser.
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