At Mr. Italo’s for Passover Seder last night which was magnificent; the food out of this world as usual. Topped off by spirited conversation and debate. I like the fact that regardless of age, everyone pitches in vociferously with their opinions; no shrinking violets here.

I was once again teased about my recent Poilâne bread purchase. People seem unable to get their arms around the idea of having bread overnighted by FedEx from Paris, with a landed cost of $30 per 4lb. loaf. As one person put it, “It’s just bread!” as he looked at me with stunned incomprehension.

“What’s so special about this bread to justify such a high cost?”, asked another person. I reiterated as I have many times before that the bread itself sells in Paris for €8.20, or about $12. This is just slightly less than a similar-sized artisanal loaf sells here from bakeries such as Premiere Moisson, le Frommentier, etc. IT’S THE FREIGHT THAT MAKES IT $30!

This fact did little to placate them. It’s amazing how people who are prepared to spend thousands at the Casino, on golf club memberships, or on hockey games, seem incapable of accepting that someone else may be willing to pay $80 for FedEx to ship something that he wants the pleasure of trying.

I brought up a recent experience where a buddy called to offer me the hockey tickets he had bought for a Montreal Canadians game that he now couldn’t attend. He said to me: “I paid them three-fifty, but I’ll let them go for one-fifty”. A dollar and half seemed like a great deal to me, until I realized he meant a “great deal” of $150!!!! “You paid $350 for hockey tickets?”, I almost screamed at him. “Are you completely fu*^ing insane, $350 bucks to go watch a bunch of illiterate gorillas chase a piece of rubber down the ice, while paying $15 for a beer and $10 for a hot-dog????!!!!!

It turns out that most of what we pay for has two values:

1. The intrinsic value of “the thing itself”, and

2. The pleasure factor.

The latter usually accounts for a disproportionate amount of what we’re willing to pay for something beyond its intrinsic value. And some things, like pissing money down the toilet at the casino, have no intrinsic value. Yet, while people can understand and relate to their own interests and obsessions, they are contemptuous of others’.

I may think that golf, hockey, and the casino, are some of the most stupid and worthless activities on the planet, yet I can understand that you may well enjoy these and have every right to indulge them so long as you can afford it. I can only hope for the same consideration. Jeez Louise!

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