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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The price is ... wrong

Quite a few of us are familiar with “The Price is Right”, a TV show where contestants guess the price of various items, ranging from a car to a bottle of shampoo.

Everyone who watches the show invariably guesses along with the contestants. Some are quite good at it while others don’t seem to have a clue about retail. I’m one of those people.

With little things, such as groceries I’m pretty good with guessing prices, but where it comes to bigger items such as lawn mowers, cars, and real estate, I’m way, way off.

My latest miscalculation involves a window. Not an ordinary window, but a fake one. Let me explain …

I recently found myself in the basement of a building. Even though I was several feet underground, I saw windows everywhere, displaying lifelike images of a sun-drenched forest, a babbling brook, and a beautiful coastline. Since I was in the heart of Toronto, all of those scenes were quite impossible. But it was a nice idea to make the basement less claustrophobic.
Not only did the windows display clear images, they were accompanied by birdsong. Throughout the basement, I heard what I thought were finches, chickadees, canaries, nightingales and a few birds I couldn’t identify.

I was so smitten with the idea that I asked for the name of the manufacturer of these windows, and once home I looked up the website. Since no prices were listed, I contacted the seller by email.

“This won’t come cheap,” Dieter warned me. Yeah well, maybe not, but a window like this would look great in my bedroom and kitchen. Not only would the window make for a great look but the birdsong would help me fall asleep. If such a window cost $200 or $300 it would be worth it.

When the seller emailed me back the next day my dreams were crushed and I was once again reminded just how bad I am with guessing the cost of items. The window did not cost a few hundred dollars but … (are you sitting down?) $13,000. Needless to say that my idea of this beautiful window went out the window.

I’m not the only one bad at guessing prices. Where it comes to my son, the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

He recently had his heart set on turtles, miniature aquarium turtles. He guessed these little critters to be $10 or $20 each.

Before rushing out to buy these aquarium turtles he went online to research their ideal habitat. He would need an aquarium filled with a little water, some dry land, rocks, moss, and a special light to keep the turtles warm. All of this was doable, the miniature turtles, however, were not.

Dieter has grossly underestimated their cost. When he visited a pet store, he found out that these turtles cost $240 each. So that idea went out the window too.

Needless to say, neither of us are likely to apply to be a contestant on “The Price is Right”.

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