The lump crabmeat with cocktail sauce was listed as “market price.”
I’d never seen that before. I was at my favorite eatery, sitting in a spot I’d sat in a thousand times looking at the menu and while I was waiting for the dinner I had ordered to take out, Marvin had handed me the menu.
He also offered up a complimentary adult beverage while I waited. So being the type that wanted to repay his kindness I thought, “why not grab an appetizer?”
The shrimp cocktail on the menu was still the normal $16. The lump crab meat was normally about that price as well. So it was truly strange to see “MP” listed in the price column.
Figuring it was either a misprint or something that couldn’t be that much different “than the norm,” I asked Marv to bring me the crab. After all, I loved the cocktail sauce at this place and the sweet crab slathered with the peppery and horseradish combo was making me hungry at the mere thought.
I finished and shortly thereafter had my take-out order bagged and ready. A medium burger, white cheddar, pickles, tomato, lettuce, and a side salad for me. And a radicchio salad with goat cheese and a side of grilled chicken for the lovely bride.
“Bad news,” Marvin said as he set the bag down next to my empty plate. “We had to take the radicchio off the menu because to get it we’re going to have to pay six or seven times what we were before and no one is going to pay six or seven times the price of a $17 salad. It’s the supply chain.”
“Oh wow,” I replied.
“We substituted an arugula mixed greens for you,” Marvin said. “Hope that’s ok…”
It was. Until he handed me the bill.
On the check, the lump crab cocktail was $48.
“Marvin,” I said, calling him over. “My crab was more expensive than my dinner,” I continued. “Is this right?”
Marvin disappeared to the kitchen to investigate. The general manager came over to see what was wrong.
This is my place. I bring my family here to brunch most Sundays. Surely someone hit the wrong button in the computer.
Marvin huddled with the general manager who had now also been joined by the owner who had just stopped in.
The general manager came back.
“Mr. McCullough,” she said. “Randy, the owner, would like to apologize. The reason we had to shift to ‘market price’ on the price for the crab is because we can’t afford to offer it at the price we had, and we’re probably going to have to take it off the menu.”
“Why,” I asked.
“It’s the supply chain,” came the answer.
Thankfully I was able to pay the bill. My favorite eatery comp’d me some eggs at our family’s brunch the following Sunday. And I was grateful that I was able to absorb that slight bit of pain to the pocketbook.
Needless to say, I’ve had my last bit of crab cocktail until the supply chain straightens out.
But imagine being a mom, at the store, with your allocated budget, buying essentials and suddenly your prices are six to seven times their norms, or the store simply has empty shelves where needed groceries normally are stocked.
My point is Americans have been discovering just how complicated and painful the supply chain crisis has been.
Which is why when *President Biden said this yesterday:
"If we were all going out and having lunch together and I said, 'Let’s ask whoever's in the next table, no matter what restaurant we’re in, have them explain the supply chain to us.' Do you think they’d understand what we’re talking about?" Biden asked.
"They're smart people," the president said, but he concluded the current crisis was a part of a "complicated world."
Biden then said he was going to try and "explain to the American people" what supply chain issues America faces, telling the reporters in the room who "write for a living" that he has not seen any reporter "explain supply chain very well."
He made these statements the same week a member of the administration broke out in guffaws when asked about how the American people are supposed to deal with the ever-increasing prices in oil.
Like the president, the response (when the chortling had subsided was,) “it’s very complicated.”
What the administration means is, “we’re saying it’s complicated because we don’t believe we have to answer to you.”
They don’t believe we’re “smart enough” to understand supply and demand. They don’t believe we understand the disaster that printing and giving “free money” to people to not work has been.
And they arrogantly believe that they can manipulate the system going forward so that we eventually aren’t allowed to question them. Much less be rid of them in 2022 and 2024.
They have nothing but contempt for your freedom because it limits their power.
And they don’t believe you’ll do anything about it.