Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?

February 01, 2002 - 7:59 p.m.

Big Lots

Well this is kinda about Big Lots, and kinda about Marketing.

If you donít have a Big Lots in your area, then thatís too bad. Big Lots is a great place for Cheap-Ass folks like myself to find a good bargain.

You have to be careful because a lot of the stuff there is just plain crap. I donít know where it comes from. But the stuff that has name brands on it is always a good deal.

Iím not really positive on this but the Big Lots concept started in the early 80ís in Columbus Ohio. And if my scuttlebutt is correct, the founder of Big Lots was an entrepreneur that bought out the assets of failing businesses for a fraction of the cost, and re-sold it. For instance, the DeLorean Motor Company. He took all that was left. Hell, they canít be all bad, they got Jerry Van Dyke as a spokesbitch. Heís a bit of an end lot himself.

I was there today, stocking up on Real Bargains. I got a Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix with Arabic graphics on it for a buck. I got the frosting too. Theyíre always good for breakfast cereal too, and sometimes you can get a boatload of Pop-Tarts for a buck a box.

But, todayís find was inevitable.

Remember the excitement generated last year when they announced the advent of Green Ketchup? (Catsup, whatever, who cares? Your mileage may vary.) This was supposed to be the beginning of a Big Thing. All the kiddies would revel at the sight of a New Thing, stuff that tastes like ketchup but is colored green. How cool is that?!?

Not very cool apparently, it ended up at Big Lots. But I could not resist the zippy spiral green/green graphics and the handy squirt top. How convenient! Plus it was a dollar and a half. This is garage sale bargain level, people.

I squirted some out for my French fries tonight. Itís very definitely green, an unnatural green, like racing green. The color British Leyland used on the ill-fated MG. Itís kind of disturbing actually, it elicits a ďI shouldnít eat thisĒ response. Itís like Tempra paint for some school project. Imagine youíre back in grade school and you have to make a big St. Patrickís Day poster. This is the color youíd load your brush with. Sure it tastes like ketchup. But eating involves all five senses, and if one of them is voting ďnoĒ the motion ainít gonna carry. Itís like blue Jello. What flavor is blue?

I like my ketchup red, thank you.

I wonder if the marketing genius on this project kept his job?

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