Thursday, May 7, 2009

Snacks on a Plane

Boy howdy, has this been a lousy week! After the initial shock of hearing that Dad was likely terminally ill, I suggested to my mother that it might be a good idea for me to call Dad's doctor, if only because Mom couldn't seem to process all the details. I had planned to wait a couple of days, but yesterday afternoon, the doctor called me, and, well, you know how they tell you that when you learn for sure just how bad the situation is, there's a sense of relief that comes with the certainty? Not so much. Anyway, YFU and I will be heading down to Florida tomorrow morning. And I should probably not say much more about it now. There was a slight sense of relief that came with venting here in my last entry, but I'm reminded of one of my favorite spirituals, "Soon I Will Be Done." It includes a particularly satisfying bass part for the line "No more wailin'." So, no more wailing. I'm not guaranteeing the "no more weepin'" part, but I'll keep it to myself.

So we'll be flying down tomorrow, and I'll be taking Southwest for the first time (I got my boarding pass the very minute they began taking online check-in for the flight), and I understand that means I'll be getting peanuts and a soda for my in-flight meal. And that's fine: I got a pretty good fare, especially for a last-minute purchase. But it reminds me of all the times, over the last three or so years, when I've flown on other airlines, and I've been offered a snack box. For the low, low price of six bucks, you have the opportunity to acquire 1.5 bites of four to six different items. Given the cost of, say, a draught beer in a airline bar, six bucks is really not all that much, but you get such a tiny amount for your money. I'm not sure that I've ever actually bought a snack box, but I know I haven't bought more than one. And I always, always, think, "I could do so much better with six bucks," but I never seem to have the chance to try.

This evening, however, I had a bit of time before choir practice, and I wanted to go to the supermarket to acquire my weekly ration of Diet Coke, so I figured I might as well. There are two of us flying, so I allowed myself twelve dollars to get a snack for two. Here's the relevant portion of the receipt:

As you can see, I came in under budget, at $11.06 ($10.94 + $0.12 tax on the Andes mints). But I'm only using half of the cranberry walnut stuff, so it's really $2.50 less than that. And it's a lot of food (maybe three times as much, per person, as you get in one of the United snack boxes) for a snack. Even with using only half of the snack mix, if I'd added another apple, I'd have plenty of snack for three. And that would have lowered my per-snacker cost to just over three dollars. Which, in turn, would have allowed me the opportunity to add another item. Say an eighth of a pound of kalamatas from the olive bar, and perhaps some pita bread.

I could likely have done even better at Trader Joe's, but I had to run another errand that took me out of my way, so I didn't drive by there. Also, I could have done better if I'd been a little bit less distracted, but that's life, I reckon. Anyway, I'll have another chance for the return flight. There's always something to look forward to. Like the day that they lift the restrictions on liquids, and we start having BYOB flights.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry about your father. I hope you have a good time bonding. My snack box is always the same: baguette, gruyere and prosciutto. (I don't mention the prosciutto though when I traverse borders.)