Sign of the times

"Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. "

--Ronald Reagan

Decided after many weeks of brown-bagging to pay a visit yeterday to my favorite Italian deli near the office and what did my wondering eye see but this welcome sign: "All Sandwiches (on menu) $6"

I hadn't been haunting the place much lately because the usual $8 or $9 they get for a sandwich had begun feeling more like a luxury than lunch what with gasoline flirting with $4 a gallon locally before the big dropoff of the past few weeks.

Gas may be a more reasonable $2.79 or so around these parts now but groceries remain sky high and nothing seems a bargain anymore, be it made in China or grown at a nearby farm for that matter. I mean even the little mom-and-pop coffee shop down the road from my house has gone and hiked its long-standing charge of $1.85 for a nice big cuppa Green Mountain coffee-- better than Starbucks, let me just flat out state by the way-- right past two bucks to $2.10!

Now I know $6 for a sandwich served at a table will sound pricey to many. But trust me, it's a bargain around here and would be considered an absolute steal just 30 or so miles away in the big city of Manhattan. And we're talking about a scrumptious sandwich here. Cold cuts and cheese imported from Italy placed just so in the perfect amount to be satisfying but not sloppy between hearty slices of Italian bread-- with or without seeds, your choice-- trucked up to Conncticut daily from the famous bakeries on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Can't beat that ever and now I can't beat the price, either.

The deli's owner, a bit of a character like so many small businesspersons are, called out to me that it was my "lucky day" as soon as I crossed the threshold, making it sound like maybe just maybe the lower price was good for today only.

He is smart to price by sign. If business is brisk, he can snatch the sign out of the window and wait until the next slow day to hang it back up.

One thing is certain though. That sign would not be there if we weren't all being pummeled by a stagnant economy.

At least for now, that sign is a sign of the times.


I'd gladly pay more for lunch if it meant our economy was moving again!