A Crisis of Purpose Down at the Dollar Store

Michael Penn, Mr. Hollywood Jr. 1947

Acquired today for $1.00 from a Super Dollar Tree in Indianapolis. Sigh.

When I was younger and closer to starving, dollar stores were a good place to pick up certain items such as cleaning supplies and Christmas stocking stuffers. I was quite enamored of the concept of a variety store in which every single piece of merchandise is priced at exactly $1.00. Granted, the undiscerning shopper might err and purchase items that are actually less than a dollar at other stores. Some discretion is advised on that front. Otherwise, as long as quality control isn’t an issue, they’re a convenient option for cutting costs when you’re on a meager budget.

I visited such a store today with my wife when we took her grandmother errand-running. The Super Dollar Tree down the street from her house is where she stocks up on her birthday and holiday cards a few times per year, plus whatever other impulse items she can hoard on her way to the register. As she did her thing, I wandered off to check out their selection of books, to see what works had been downgraded from original retail price to rock bottom. I’m in no danger of running low on reading matter anytime soon, but the thrill of the scavenger hunt is tough to resist. One never knows when a diamond in the rough might turn up/ My last such acquisition was a dirt-cheap copy of Stephen Colbert’s I Am America (And So Can You!).

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