Friday, October 21, 2005


I realized shortly after paying four dollars for a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks this morning that I had just paid four dollars for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Was I so comfortable with my finances that I was okay with paying 4 fucking dollars for a cup of milk? It just didn’t seem right.

So I did some fuzzy math and estimated I was paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 a gallon for coffee! That sure put the price of gas in perspective. How was it that I came to value coffee more than gasoline? I suppose it’s because of the pleasure I derive from a tall cup of coffee - the way it winds me up like a category 5. Gasoline, on the other hand, doesn’t really make me FEEL anything – it’s just something I have to buy to get to work every day. There’s no immediate pleasure in gasoline consumption. Even when I consider the luxury of personal transportation, the levels of gratification are virtually incomparable. One is an experience I enjoy incrementally over time, the other is an immediate fix I enjoy almost all at once.

Still, this deeper understanding of the relative cost of things didn’t make me feel any better about paying $4 for a cup of leaded milk. Was I insane to pay that much? I decided to do a little research into what people pay for other liquids. You might be surprised at what a gallon of some other popular consumer items goes for these days…

Chanel No. 5 Perfume: $45,056 per gallon
Visine Advanced Eye Drops: $741.12 per gallon
Vicks 44D Cough Syrup: $96.67 per gallon
Coppertone SPF 45 sun-block lotion: $90.11 per gallon
Pepto-Bismol: $58.52 per gallon
Evian bottled water: $21.19 per gallon
Corona beer: $12.89 per gallon
Snapple: $10.32 per gallon
Tide liquid detergent: $8.39 per gallon
Coca-Cola: $2.64 per gallon
Tap water: .00186 cent for 11,000 gallons

So, depending on where you live, gasoline is roughly the same price per gallon as Coke. And heaven forbid you should ever develop an affinty for Pepto-Bismol shooters - that'd be an expensive habit to break!

Just a little liquid for thought...

1 comment:

Sideshow said...

I don't bother to bitch about the price of gas for two reasons:

1) there isn't anything I can do about it
2) I spend $4-12 a week for premium coffee. This is the same as a $.30 to $.92 increase in the price of gasoline per gallon.

If the price of gas is bad enough to bitch about, I should just stop drinking premium coffee.