Know What I Hate: Cripes, $2.50 for a crappy thimble of hot chocolate?

Everything costs too much these days.

Where do they get off charging $6 for a box of cereal or five bucks for a brick of cheese? For the love of Pete, I’ve got to take out a line of credit just to buy a box of no-name laundry detergent these days.

I remember when I could go to the grocery store with a crisp $20 bill and come out with a couple nice cuts of meat, a jug of milk, a quart of butter pecan ice cream and Bernie’s woman supplies, and I’d still have enough left over to wash, wax and gas up my car on the way home.

Today, if I’m lucky, 20 bucks gets me two bananas, a loaf of bread, frozen fish sticks and a roll of paper towels. On top of that, it costs me 10 cents to buy two plastic bags to carry it home in. It’s highway robbery.

Charging for plastic bags? I guess there are no free lunches anymore. My tree-hugging son Robbie says it’s all about the environment and being ‘green.’ I think it’s about the grocery store getting more ‘green’, if you know what I mean.

I’ve been ‘recycling’ plastic bags around my house for years. That’s what I always used to pick up after my dog Patches so my yuppie neighbor Benjamin doesn’t ruin his fancy Italian penny loafers by stepping in a steaming pile of junk that Patches left on his lawn.

I’ve been doing that to be nice all these years, and to smooth over neighbour-relations after the unfortunate doggie-do slip ‘n slide incident of ‘98, but I won’t be doing it at five cents a pop. The yuppie is just going to have to watch his step from now on.

But what really chaps me is getting ripped off at the track, and I don’t just mean the 62 per cent takeout or whatever it’s up to now. The slots players get everything comped, but I’m playing $2.50 for a thimble of hot chocolate. Cripes, it’s just water and powder and it’s not even hot half the time. For that price, I may as well just go to Starbuckers with Benjamin and blow my whole pension because they at least put it in a full-size cup.

Unless this magical racetrack hot chocolate is handmade cocoa flown in first-class from a chocolaterie in Belgium, I don’t want to be paying more than 75 cents for it. Better yet, make it free because I’ll be spending a few bucks tonight at your ticket windows.

Hot chocolate for $2.50, are you kidding me? It’s a king’s ransom. I could be buying 50 plastic bags for that amount.

But I won’t.