I hung in the [ Cafe]( for a bit today (from 1:00 until 2:00) and chatted with a couple people there. Mostly about rural vs city vs county living (I prefer county at this point in my life, but I’ve lived both rural and in the city at different times before).nnThe turnout was small, but that is how it is for now. It is what it is.nnI also went to Schnucks just after, and picked up a Mt Dew Code Red and an Arnold Palmer golfing beverage 😉 And also a thing of S’chnakers chips, which reminds me of the word “schnockered” which was used by Danny Bonaduce (sp?) back on Letterman in 2005, and for whatever reason I always kept that word in the front of my vocabulary whenever I was describing how “messed up” I got back in the day. It’s a powerful word, indeed.nnThe clock strikes 3:00, and I considered making a trip to Walgreens again (either one of them – on North Telegraph *OR* South Telegraph), to try to retrieve the Western Union awaiting me at *either* location (any location with a WU kiosk, basically), but I called ahead to both locations, and they both confirmed that their WU kiosk is “down” for now, and they do not know when it will be operational again. Tomorrow, I hope. nnIn fact, the stuff I got from Schnucks I purchased with Schnucks Rewards, which *used* to be very generous with their Rewards program, and now it is fairly stringent/stingy. I used to tack a dollar onto my Rewards balance every two trips to the store at one time, and now it seems I have to make four or five trips just to add another dollar to the balance. Weird. nnI hope Schnucks sticks around in this area, though, because if the grocery options boil down to *just* Dierbergs, I’ll never eat again. There is the “Dierbergs Tax” that people talk about, which means whatever you buy there, expect to pay at *least* a dollar over “spot/market price”. And things like Ramen noodles and off-brand foods? Not there. They won’t bother to carry such pestilent poor people products in their aisles. Need a bag of organic, artisan, small batch quinoa bread, though? They got a shelf of that shit!nnSo, Schnucks is necessary. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods wouldn’t arrive in this area (even though it is a “nice”, “blue collar” area, from what I can tell), so the only other option would be Aldi’s or Save-A-Lot, for all my expired cereal and over-ripened fruit needs :/nnAnd there *was* a third option; Shop N’ Save, and I *adored* Shop N’ Save, because they were at the bottom of a (steep!) hill from where I lived in Crystal City, MO. at one point, so everything was *right there* and convenient. I even did my pharmacy stuff there. Basically the same deal as Schnucks – what things cost, they cost. No BS’ing around. They eventually went out of business, though, because they had some perverse rewards system where it was like $10 off of every $30 order, and if you spent $60 it was $20 off, and if you spent $90, it was $30, so it was some “Super Coupon’er” type of stuff. But they ran this discount every Thursday from like 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM or some shit, so every fxxxing person within spitting distance of a Shop N’ Save location would show up on that date, at those times, and no one could move throughout the store, and they never had enough people on the registers, people yelling to “put people on that register! Come on!”, and the three clerks would just hurriedly check people out while having low-grade panic attacks.nnThe store lost business after they cut the discounts to $15 off every $60 spent, and a $60 minimum, so Schnucks bought them out. And then Schnucks fought against their union (fought against the long-standing Schnucks union, that is – Shop N’ Save never had one), and Schnucks basically won. From then on, they closed down all the Shop N’ Save locations, most never did become Schnucks in their place, and Schnucks removed the “Courtesy Center” at the front of their stores (Schnucks stores), so no bills can be paid there nor can people get money orders. They stopped being 24/7, too.nnSo, maybe it is better if Schnucks DID go out of business? Kind of a jerk way of running a company, really.nnBut, I cannot spend $35 for five items at Dierbergs, and I can’t eat Save-A-Lot fruit with mold on it, so…I’m stuck with what is nearby.nnI hope you liked this little foray into silly grocery store business models and what *works* and what *doesn’t*. Have a good rewards program and don’t fxxx over other businesses nearby, and people will be happy.nnback later

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