Vending Machine Blues: The Rising Cost Of A Healthy Break
"Dottoré, do you have 1.50 euro by any chance?"
Until recently, if you entered a Mental Health Center, you might be approached by a patient who asks you for a cigarette or a euro to buy a coffee.
But since they installed vending machines, things have changed, and the requests have become more specific.
The other day, a patient approached me and asked, "Dottoré, do you have 1.50 euro by any chance?"
"Pasquale, don't you think that's a bit much? What's the money for?"
"You always say that too much coffee makes me jittery! That’s why I thought I could have a decaffeinated coffee. But it tastes awful, so I thought it would go down well with a cookie, which costs 70 cents. But then I eat too much junk food, so instead of the cookie, I want to buy a ‘healthy’ snack, because they told me it won’t make me fat. But the healthy one costs 80 cents.
"Well, 80 plus 70 makes 1.50!
"You’re my doctor! I only do what you tell me to do!"
So I guess Pasquale got me. But he also made me understand something about economics: Consumerism turns out to be democratic, because it makes no distinction between the sick and the healthy.
Once supply is created, demand always follows. Even from crazy people.
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