Friday, July 09, 2010

Signs that the economy is bad, July 9th edition

Welcome once more to another edition of "Signs that the economy is bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. This is the semi-regular feature (as in when I have time and can find a few stories to amuse myself) where I look for those ever so subtle signs that the economy is bad. Sure, we have massive unemployment, a very slow recovery, people losing their homes left and right, deficits, so on. But anyone can tell you those. It takes a little bit more work to go out there and look for the small details, the somewhat odd stories, so on that tell you that the economy is really bad. And I am happy to do it for my two readers.

Here are the stories for this week:

  • Do you want to go out to eat? Because the economy is bad, people have been cutting back on eating out. Cooking at home is suddenly becoming popular again. However, once in a while, you just feel like you want to get out of the house and have someone else do the cooking for you. That is perfectly understandable, but the money is tight. Well, if you want a chicken sandwich, Chick-Fil-A has a solution for you. In celebration of their Cow Appreciation Day, you can dress like a cow today (July 9). The promotion is "providing free combo meals to customers who arrive in full cow costume from head to toe." Now, you say things are tight, and you do not have a full costume. No problem. You can still "get a free entrée with a partial costume."
  • Things are bad all around. Not only do the middle and lower classes suffer. Even the high class folk suffer. And the Queen of England and her royal household are no exception. The horror. According to this article out of The Christian Science Monitor, "royal accounts published on Monday by Buckingham Palace suggest that the Queen, like many of her subjects, is going to have to embrace austerity by cutting spending and putting off repairs to palaces." Yes, like the rest of us she is getting a salary freeze. Maybe she should count herself lucky. At least no one is talking furloughs or lay offs for the royals just yet.
  • Romanians are trying to sell a sort-of Dracula castle for $100 million. I say sort of because apparently the only connection to Vlad the Impaler is that he was "once imprisoned in the 13th century castle for two weeks. That’s the strongest connection with the Dracula myth." Things are so tight their insurance does not cover midnight tours (I think that is a joke, or so I hope). In reality, the castle belongs now the former Romanian royal family, and like everyone else, they need to make a buck.
  • But at least the Romanians former nobles have a castle. If you are a single Chinese male hoping for some love, you can kiss that notion good-bye if you do not have a place of your own to live, preferably a house you own. According The Los Angeles Times, young men now get dumped by their girlfriends if they lack a house. The author of the article writes, "put succinctly, homeownership has become the ultimate symbol of virility in today's China." And I thought gold digging women whining about their now broke banker boyfriends was bad. Chinese women have nothing on those gold diggers. Just read about their personal ads for what they look for in a man. A sample from the article: "'I'm 25 years old, looking for a boyfriend.... I want you to have an apartment and a car.... The apartment has to be built after 2000 and the car has to be better than a minivan,' read one post on the popular Chinese Web portal Baidu."
  • Now here is a creative way to raise money. The actual event happened a few years ago, but the idea is being revisited again recently. What's the idea? Renting out a hospital (or part of it) to make adult films. Hey, if they have the space, and the filmmakers are willing to pay well for prime space, why not? (A hat tip to Jezebel).

Well, that wraps it up for this edition. Keep checking in as the Itinerant Librarian scours the Web and searches the world for the oh so subtle signs that the economy is bad.

Best, and keep on blogging.

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