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Twisted Turns

Twisted Turns

Like me, I’m sure most of you are sick about hearing about the downturn in the economy. Unlike most people that flash us sound bytes on television, we northern AZ folks are more worried about figuring out when we can afford our next bike tire, instead of bellyaching that we had to sell our third car.

Were I work, I’ve lost two supervisors in the last year. Right now, I’m not even sure who my boss is and I’ve been given so many job responsibilities that when someone asks me what I do for a living, I’m not even sure what to say.

In general, I think Americans complaining about finances is pretty lame. “Oh man, things are so bad; I only earn eighty times as much as someone from Belize.” Still, whether you are from Central America or Flagstaff, when you are low on money, things tend to er… suck.

So this is why I’m going to have to bust out a say something. When times are tough and going out is getting harder for the average person, why are all the prices going up in downtown Flagstaff?

A few weeks ago, I ordered a beer. After it was poured, I was told it was seven bucks. I would have spit the mouthful out in shock if it wasn’t for the fact it was probably worth a buck twenty-five. Other places that serve food have either cut their portions or jacked up their prices between 20-100% or in some cases both!

I’m not sure what the deal is here, but when that happens, I try to find out. I’ve talked to a few bartenders and owners and have gotten mostly the same response. “Times are tough. Not are many people are coming out. So we have to raise our prices to make ends meet.”

I can understand some of this, but I’m not sure the logic is that sound. Let’s see… 1. People are too broke to go out. 2. So out answer is to punish the people that still do so by jacking up the prices and lowering the serving sizes. Is it just me or is there a problem here?

I’m feeling a little broke, but I might like to head out anyway. Things are tight but no problem, I’ll pay the same price for one beer as I do for a whole six-pack. I’ll also pay enough to feed me for three days on a meal that won’t even fill me up. Or, yeah, maybe I won’t.

I think some establishments need to step up and figure out how things are changing these days. Let’s see, people have more high tech in their homes than ever. Folks can watch hundreds of channels, play more video games than in the history of mankind, and have thousands of songs ready to listen to at a finger tip. So far the bar scene has done little to keep up with this. New generations are used to instant gratifications and are becoming less ‘face to face’ social. When young Americans are spending hundreds of dollars on new gadgets and are working crappy jobs, they have less money to toss away of items that are jacked up five or six times what they are in the store.

The younger generations have been brought up in a different paradigm, where drugs and drinking aren’t considered as cool. Fake IDs are rarer than they used to be. People are more addicted to social sites and other tech. When I’ve been surfing ten different web sites at once on Firefox, while my IPod is blasting away my favorite tunes, and me and my friend just got a sleek new video game, why should we each waste fifty bucks to head into some place where things are so loud we can’t even talk?

Shoot, some bars in this town don’t even have wi-fi yet. It might not be hitting them too hard so far, but in a few years not having wi-fi is going to be a death sentence for any pub. Bars are going to have to re-think their styles or they are just not going to be as appealing to the youth of today.

Really it comes down to some basic things. Besides seeing live bands, the only appeal of bars is meeting your friends and the hope that you can find someone of whatever gender does it for you. But still, if all the youth are too broke to go, the only people you’ll see out are people that have a good job and most of those aren’t single.

Okay, so I know I’m being a griper, but I think something is serious wrong with the paradigm of, there are not enough people here so let’s screw over the few that show up. It is like saying, not enough people are donating their time to help the needy, so let’s torture the few that are so they never come back.

Return customers help businesses. Rooking a guy once so that he is mumbling under his breath, about how he is never coming back, isn’t going to do much for you. But hey what do I know? I just live here. I guess all the bars can just be for the tourists that only have to pay for things once. I’ll be at home next to the wood stove, reading a great book, and drinking my beers that cost me less than a buck a bottle.

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