DAILY DIRT: It’s all about location, location, location — even at the supermarket

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Daily Dirt for Friday, March 22, 2024

On your next trip to the grocery store, here are some things to think about … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 899 of The Daily Dirt.

1. I love a good trip to the supermarket.

In fact, I make such a venture up to five times a week.

Sometimes I actually need things, other times I simply go to talk to friends. The supermarket serves as kind of a social hub — and it has food! 

But a trip to the supermarket, as enjoyable as it is, should always be treated as a science experiment. After all, that’s the way the supermarket gods approach their effort to lure you inside.

What items are offered, how they are priced and where they are located are all part of a master plan. Here’s some insight:

Stocking essentials in the back: This always irritates me. All stores — food or otherwise — stock many of their “essential” items in the rear. The stores are designed to have patrons walk through rows and areas of other products before they arrive at the items they actually came to the store to buy.

Think about it. What’s in the back of most supermarkets? The meat, milk and other necessities. What do you have to walk through before you get to those regions? The candies and other snacks, seasonal items, etc.

That labyrinth of potential impulse purchases is no accident.

Stocking expensive items at eye level: Watch for this your next trip to the grocery store. How much time do you spend bending over to get items you came for? Yeah, the ones on the bottom row.

Then take a look at how many similar items are at eye level — and priced higher. Many times the packaging of those higher-priced items is also more attractive.

There is more than a method to the madness. There is a proven science.

There is, however, an interesting exception to this unwritten rule. More expensive children’s cereals tend to be lower on the shelves. That puts them at eye level with the smaller shoppers. Some are even designed so that the cartoon characters on the boxes are looking directly at the kids.

Two for one?: “You’ve probably seen a sale tag that advertises multiple items at a certain price — like two cans of soup for $5 — but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to buy two to get the deal,” according to interestingfacts.com. 

Very true.

If you need just one can of sardines, instead of two for $5, buy one — for $2.50. I have yet to find one of those deals that won’t allow you to purchase just one at 50 percent of the posted price. (I’m not sure, however, why anyone would even want ONE can of sardines.)

Most of the time the “two for” tags are just a technique to upsell you.

2. One of the best years for pop music — in my humble opinion, of course — was 1967.

And instead of offering my usual top 10 songs for a specific year, today you get 20 from this magnificent 12-month period:

For starters, I needed to basically have a tie at the top, although I leaned “just a little” toward Micky, Davy, Peter and Mike.

  • 1a. “Daydream Believer,” by the Monkees: The best Monkees song of them all.
  • 1b. “Brown-Eyed Girl,” by Van Morrison: This song made the summer of ’67 one to remember.
  • 3. “Thank the Lord for the Night Time,” by Neil Diamond: Arguably, his most underrated song. Much of it, however, is reminiscent of “Cherry, Cherry,” which I think hurt its overall appeal.
  • 4. “Here Comes My Baby,” by the Tremeloes: These guys were one of the best parts of the British Invasions of the mid-to-late 1960s.
  • 5. “98.6,” by Keith: The second-most famous Keith at the time, trailing only Keith Richards of the Stones.
  • 6. “Mirage,” by Tommy James and the Shondells: Might be the best intro of any song of 1967.
  • 7. “Gimme Some Lovin,” by the Spencer Davis Group: Lead singer? A teenage Steve Winwood.
  • 8. “The Letter,” by the Box Tops: Speaking of teenage lead singers, the Box Tops gave us Alex Chilton.
  • 9. “Carrie Ann,” by the Hollies: I always felt it was next to impossible to tell the Hollies and Tremeloes apart. Their sounds were so similar.
  • 10. “To SIr, With Love,” by Lulu: From the movie of the same name, in which she co-starred.
  • 11. “Light My Fire,” by the Doors: This is the hit that elevated Jim Morrison to superstar status.
  • 12. “Little Bit O’ Soul,” by the Music Explosion: “Now when you’re feeling low, and the fish won’t bite … “
  • 13. “Sweet Soul Music,” by Arthur Conley: He had a tremendous stage presence.
  • 14. “Respect,” by Aretha Franklin: My favorite Aretha song.
  • 15. “Expressway to Your Heart,” Soul Survivors: After this song, the Soul Survivors were never heard from again.
  • 16. “Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie,” by Jay and the Techniques: One of the group’s two big hits, the other being “Keep the Ball Rollin'”.
  • 17. “The Happening,” by the Supremes: Another great intro, followed by one mean tambourine.
  • 18. “Reflections,” by the Supremes: It was a big year for Diana Ross.
  • 19. “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” by the Monkees: “Don’t know, just what I said wrong, but girl I apologize … ” (Story of my life … )
  • 20. “Bernadette,” by the Four Tops: I had to include this one. I named my first dog after this song.

3. It’s been awhile, but we welcome back “That’s A Fact, Jack!”:

  • Tigers actually have striped skin, too. 1. Al Kaline didn’t. 2. Who in their right mind was the first person to shave a tiger to find out?
  • Froot Loops are all the same flavor, despite their different colors. 
  • Giraffes are 30 times more likely to be hit by lightning than humans. Obviously, those long necks aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
  • The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland. I wonder if Rod Stewart is aware of this?
  • Australia is wider than the moon. I don’t figure that kind of thing out, I simply report the results.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — I have never eaten a sardine in my life, and have no intention to begin anytime soon.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Like it really kills him to walk by soda, chips and candy in a supermarket. He’d go searching for that stuff anyway.

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