Four Fancy Things That Don’t Need to Be

As technology advances, the more demanding we become. Whereas our grandparents’ generation made do with what little they had and tolerated circumstances many of us could not have endured for more than 20 minutes, we are a bit more high maintenance. We’re not satisfied with things that simply work; we insist on having the thing that works but is somehow more deluxe than the normal version of the thing. We take stuff that works perfectly fine, add something shiny to it, then immediately dismiss the previously acceptable item as unusable.

We are a fancy generation who increasingly demand bells, whistles and other needless rhinestonery. Consider the evidence.

1.       Ketchup – Ketchup was a marvel when it was first invented in the 1800s. People were blown away by this magnificent condiment that paired so well with so many things. At some point, regular ketchup ceased to dazzle, so a group of marketing wizards decided it was time to take ketchup to the next level – Fancy Ketchup.  In true Big Ketchup fashion, despite not even so much as changing the recipe, they have since upped the ante even more with the advent of “Extra Fancy Ketchup” – which will surely become obsolete once “Incredibly Fancy Ketchup” debuts.

2.       Apples – Not even the pure, wholesome apple can escape our insistence upon tinkering with things that are just fine.  The fact that “fancy apple” status is awarded only to those apples that appear unblemished and are perfect in color — regardless of what’s on the inside — leads to the tragic humiliation and discarding of who knows how many millions of perfectly good slightly uglier apples every year.

3.       Pants – It used to be that a man’s pants were little more than protection against animal attacks, or a place to put your hammers. Nowadays, you see fancy pants with absolutely no utilitarian value everywhere you look.

4.       Cat Food – What’s that Mr. Snuggles? You only eat Fancy Feast made with symmetrical medallions of marinated liver bits? Even our cats grow soft; demanding only the fanciest.

Of course there are other examples but you get the idea.

The Swanson Pyramid of Greatness offers an alternative path for those with no use for fancy things.


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