Monday, March 30, 2009

S.C.3- I'm Still Overcharged In America!

Social Commentary Week 3 -- "Economic Crisis Yet I'm Still Overcharged In America!"

I just returned from an island paradise vacation. It was everything I expected and then some. I was able to relax, indulge my senses, and see some of the most beautiful places on earth. I expected to spend a little money and was very happy to find a deal on airline tickets and the actual cruise itself. With the economy in the state it was, I knew that the prices would be lower to encourage people to spend their money and help stimulate something about as dead as some of Mike Vick's dogs (too soon?).

Having gotten my tax return, a paycheck, and some money saved over the past few weeks I was ready to head to the islands mon! Boarding the ship I was immediately impressed with the level of organization and the way the whole ship was set up to separate my money from my wallet. Let me tell you what, they are damn good at what they do. I was able to unwind, grab some beverages of choice (I'll let your imagination do the work as to what they were), and gamble a bit on the ships casino. We landed in Nassau and were able to get off the boat, mix it up with the locals, and move from one local watering hole to another, ultimately ending up at a place called Van Bruggles. I have no reason to mention this place other than the fact that we actually met Van Bruggle himself, and the ultimate story of how we ended up there is worth its own social commentary (ask Austin or Grant for the details to that one). After VB we headed back to the boat and I proceeded to lose more of my moeny. It was all well and good. The prices were a bit high but in the end they were reasonable so there was no reason to complain.

No, now I know some of you may be wondering, what on earth does the title of this weeks SC have anything to do with what you've mentioned. This just sounds like a simple boast of how you were able to have an awesome week in the Bahamas while the rest were elsewhere. Well partly thats true, but it is important to note that I spent waaay too much money on the boat and the island. I have officially entered the realm of the poor college kid, and it's not fun. I did however have a few bucks upon entering the states and had committed myself to not spending any money until I got back to Raleigh and could go grocery shopping.

Well, let me just say my best friend sucks, he not only convinced me to go get some Bojangles with him at the Charlotte Airport, but also played quite possibly the worst game of UNO ever [more on that next week...this is called a tease boys and girls]. Upon entering the line at the airport Bojangles, I was greeted with the familiar smells and horrible Virginia Tech color scheme. I was excited! The time had come, others placed their order, and the time came for me. I already made up my mind before coming up to the line, I was going to get a cajun filet biscuit and water to keep things as low cost as possible. I told the waitress my order she rang me up and told me my total.

The words are still as clear as day and still give me nightmares from time to time, "That'll be $6.69." Let me repeat that if you didn't catch it the first time, I got ONE Biscuit and WATER, and they charged me SIX DOLLARS AND SIXTY NINE CENTS!. Do you not see the error in this? I did which I why I immediately did a double take, and said "I only got one biscuit and water, there must be a mistake?" She repeated the total and added this little doozey, "Our water isn't free." Excuse me! This is AMERICA, not some third world country, we get tap water in bathrooms that's fit to drink, and you can't fill up a cup with some H2O and hand it over to me? No! Instead you must charge me an OUTRAGEOUS 3.00 for a some damn water! This is ridiculous. Again, all of this began with my intial desicion to listen to my best friend. An error that will not be soon made again.

However, the beauty of this world is that everyone always gets whats coming to them. I want to preface this paragraph by stating that I in now way, shape, or form condone the practices of this Bojangles. In such economic times the things they are doing are criminal. Extortion at its finest. My best friend we'll call him Houston (It's to protect his identity) ordered his meal and then went all high roller and ordered a sweet tea. Normally, Bojangles sweet tea refils are free. F. R. E. E. Not this place, not this time, when he finished his drink that probably gave him 3 cavities, he went up for another refil, at this point they charged him again. Not full price, just the refil price: fifty-three cents. He complied and was left with what could be the most useless denomoniation of change known to man, FORTY-SEVEN CENTS! WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO WITH FORTY SEVEN CENTS!!!!! I don't get it? You can't even make a phone call at a pay phone, those are 50 cents, you can't get anything from a vending machine, most of that stuff is at least 65 cents, and lastly, you can't even get another refil of sweet tea!!

I spent over $400 dollars on the Norweigan Sky and in Nassau and never once felt as though I was being ripped off or taken advantage of. Everyone was great, I re-enter the States, and get back to North Carolina, and even end up at a Bojangles and am finally hosed! I am finally made the fool, and I am finally left found wanting. God Bless America, where this can all go on with out a care in the world. I wanted to treat the Bojangles lady like Shaq treated Stan Van Gundy. I wanted to ask Alex Rodriguez where he got his 'roids, juice up, come back, and punch her in the face. Instead all I could do was sigh, hand her my Visa Check Card and begrudgingly scarf down my biscuit.

-Jai Kumar

[editors note: Sorry for the last e-mail, something happened in g-mail and I don't know why it sent out an empty e-mail. enjoy the read, comment if you want, don't hit reply all, and most importantly avoid the bojangles in Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.]

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Crumbling Society: Social Commentary -- II

A Crumbling Society: Social Commentary -- II

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is officially that time of year again, the point where every little girl in the world turns from being made of sugar and spice and everything nice into the 8 year old equivalent of a telemarketer whose name is Roger from India. (Let's not kid ourselves Roger, your name is Raj, and you know just enough English to annoy me during dinner!) Yup, it's Girl Scout Cookie season folks. For a brief few weeks in February gone are the derelicts preaching the gospel on campuses across America. Instead we are left to suffer psychotic soccer moms hawking treats, all in the hopes of getting their child an extra badge for their sash- and you thought Pageant mom's were bad!

Never has there been a time that makes me prouder and sadder to be an American. On the one hand you have the youth of the nation embracing capitalism and selling products, trying to compete against each other to see who can sell more cookies.

It's a beautiful thing! Let's cherish that while we still can, we all know the new government will soon be giving us all girl scout cookies as part of our tax returns so everyone can enjoy these delicatessens (which have taken a turn for the worse, but I'll get to that later). In the same respect, we complain that the rest of the world is passing us by, that the youth of our nation are stupid. That other nations younger generations are brighter, more gifted, and provide better academic challenges than America. Well how can you argue those points when you have crazy moms taking their kids out of schools so they can sell cookies on a college campus. News flash parents, just cause your kids visit a college in their youth doesn't mean that they will one day get into college. No, on the contrary, in fact your child has to go to school and learn something in order to get to college- and we wonder why our kids are morons. Don't blame X-Box or PlayStation, blame the parents. They are the culprits. Do they leave me alone during my trips to class? No! I just want to learn, maybe your kids should try it? Is a badge on your daughters sash really worth her waiting tables at a Denny's for a living? But hey, 15 years from now, she can bring her daughter to a college near by and show her the awesome badge her mom helped her earn.

Alas, I can at least throw some headphones in my ears and pretend like I don't see them soliciting the rest of my campus. It's the ones that get trapped at work that I feel for. How can one say, "No, that's okay I'm not going to get cookies from your child," with out sounding like a total jerk? Since when did we become a society that had to support our co-workers? I mean really, we only work together? Granted I have great co-workers, but not everyone else does. I mean, have you seen the workforce in this nation? It's embarrassing. Still, when the insane mother of five comes into your cubicle with her order form for cookies, 87 pictures of her girls, another 48 of entire family, and 4 more cute pictures of her dog you suddenly feel obligated to drop 40 bucks on some crappy cookies. Way to go capitalism!

Which brings me to my next point, each year it seems that the price of these cookies are increasing, the size of the cookies are decreasing, and the number of cookies in your box is less. It's outrageous. How can you expect me to buy something that sucks? I mean I understand people by UNC apparel but that's different, they are just mentally unstable. I on the other hand have complete grasp of my senses, yet somehow still feel compelled to purchase these crappy cookies. Maybe this year will be the year that something changes. Maybe this year I'll stop caving in to the blood sucking leeches that sell these sugary sweets. Maybe this year they wont bother me on campus. It wont, I will, and they do. I guess somethings never change.

-Jai Kumar

[Editors Note: This is obviously meant to be funny, let's try not to get too worked about any politics mentioned regardless of how true it maybe. Secondly, I ask you to not reply all, just hit reply to me or create a new e-mail. We again had some issues with this last week. Thanks and Enjoy.]

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Crumbling Society: Social Commentary

A Crumbling Society: Social Commentary
Social Commentary by Jai Kumar

[I will be posting my son's social commentaries here..... if you like it!!
I will also be posting on some intersting topics periodically. Enjoy and don't forget to post your comments! Thank you!]

Dear Friends!

With Valentines this week I felt it appropriate to tackle a question I had been asked regarding love.
What is love? What isn’t love? Where does it come from? How does it start?

I don’t claim to know the answers, but I will begin with this:

Abusive relationships are addicting. Once you are in one there is simply no way out.
I was recently requested to discuss the horribly painful and crushing love life that is Jai Kumar’s. This relationship in my life can be summed up best by the term: “Love/Hate.”
I know what you must be thinking at this point, Jai I thought you were single?
Clearly, I am not.
I know what else you must be thinking!

Love/Hate !!
Don’t we all have those moments in our life?
Not like I do. I’ll extrapolate.

From the moment I met my love I couldn’t resist. I was teased and tempted, wooed and cared for. I felt home when around my love. I was finally home, or so I thought. Since our initial meeting my life has been a roller coaster of torment, deceit, lies, and broken promises. I can’t
get out! Each and every time I feel that my heart can’t take it anymore my love does something to win me back again. It’s remarkable. It’s as if she knows that I am on the verge of turning my back on her.

Just as the moment approaches when I’ve lost all faith, I’ve sunk lower than I can sink, I am
lifted up by the light of love only to be subsequently squashed, abused, crushed, and left for dead on the side of the road (That’s what she said!). Yet no matter what I do, no matter how much I know this is a lost cause, a losing battle, I keep coming back for more abuse.

That’s the strange thing about love you don’t control it, it controls you!!

My heart is a piƱata and this Valentine’s Day it will probably be tormented the
same way it was last year.
Who is this maiden of distress, this temptress of the noble hearted?

Why it is none other than, you guessed it: NC State University!

She has put cupids choke hold on me, and I am blinded like Ray Charles singing with Kanye West during “Gold Digger.” (Or was that Jamie Foxx? He can see so that would mean my simile wouldn’t work, but you get the point.) I will wake up, put on my finest outfit and proceed to the couch where I will most likely watch my heart get stomped out at 1:00pm.

It’s become a Valentine’s Day tradition.
Last year Boston College laid the beat down and I sat sadly watching my love deprive me of a joyous day in which we were to celebrate our renewed passion for each other.

So as this year’s day for love approaches, grab the one you’re with, hold them tight, and take them out to dinner. Thank them for not ripping your heart out like my love keeps doing to me. Thank them for comforting you when you are downtrodden, more often than not my love is the source of my misery. Thank them for caring about your health; my love will be the
death of me. But most importantly thank them for the amazing moments you
two share together!

I know I will: 83-79, 41-10, camping out in 0 degree weather for tickets, the 2007 ACC tournament, and so much more. I know my heart will probably get stomped on sooner, rather than later, I know that a relationship where I do all the loving and State does all the
hating isn’t going to get me far in life. But whatelse I know is that even though your arch rival may be dating a supermodel 18 miles away, nothing is better than when your slightly overweight, smart, mildly amusing soccer mom of a love kicks her ass!

As Whitney Houston sang to Kevin Costner in the epic classic Waterworld,
“I will always love you. ” GO STATE!!!!!!!!!.
My heart is eternally yours, tread softly, even though I know you’ll probably run over it with a bull dozer the second this e-mail is read.

Jai Kumar

[editors note: as the norm, responses and feed back are always encouraged.
Witty responses and humorous anecdotes are welcome. To avoid clogging
e-mail inboxes just send your responses to me, avoid hitting the "reply
all" button, a lot of people have requested "Social Commentary" now and I
don't want anyone to get annoyed with too many e-mails. Thanks! -Jai]