Friday, April 27, 2018

The Black Olives

I suppose it was my own damn fault.

But I was worried about getting the wrong kind of olives on my pizza.  The last time I had ordered black olives, my pizza came with some kind of weird-ass nasty looking olives. 

That. Were. Not. Black. Olives.

I just wanted to be sure that I got the right kind of black olives this time.

My BFF Becca and I were at lunch at a very nice Pizza/Sandwich shop that begins with a B and ends with an S and has two L's in the middle.

We were ordering personal pizzas from the counter guy.  Let's call him "Buck".

I told Buck that I would like black olives and tomatoes on my pizza.  I then added, "Are your black olives black olives or the other kind?"

"Black olives," said Buck.  "They are black olives."

"But are they black olives?  Not the other kind of olives that I got on a pizza once?"

"They're black olives," Buck said, enunciating the word "black."  He gave me the look you would give a two year old who was asking too many questions.

I told Buck that I had a pizza once with black olives and they weren't really black olives.

Buck sighed, turned around, and proceeded to the topping area, where HE PICKED UP A HANDFUL OF BLACK OLIVES WITH HIS BARE UN-GLOVED HANDS.

He brought them back to the counter, held our his hand and said, "These are black olives."

I was stunned.

"Yeah," I said.  "Those are them.  They are certainly black olives."

I turned to Becca for help.  Becca, who never leaves home without a back-up bottle of hand sanitizer, looked completely unscathed.  Like there was nothing unusual for a pizza counter guy to hold out a handful of black olives.

In the meantime,  Buck turned around, and headed back to where he had obtained the black olives.

A guttural sound escaped from my mouth when I observed Buck dropping the black olives back into the black olive bin.  He slapped his hands together, presumably to remove any black olive juice, and returned to the counter.

I no longer wanted black olives on my pizza.

But I had just told Buck that his black olives were the black olives that I wanted.

Here's what I should have said.

"Buck, I no longer want back olives on my pizza because you just picked up a handful of black olives and I don't know where your hands have been."

But instead I gulped and said, "Okay.  I want a pizza with black olives and tomatoes."

Thankfully, Buck didn't show me the tomatoes.

When we got to our seats, and I was done throwing up in my mouth, I told Becca that I didn't know how I could possibly eat the pizza.  She reassured me that the germs would be cooked off in the oven.

I was so relieved.

And even more relieved that I had not ordered the Greek Salad.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Consulting with the Airlines

Have you noticed the latest thing in airline travel?

Basic Economy fares.

For the thriftiest of thrifty.  Like me.  

However, these lowest available fares (which aren't that low) have a few teeny tiny restrictions:

-No seat assignment until check in. (Oh boy!  A middle seat!)
-Board last. (Oh boy! Crawl over the aisle passenger!)
-No carry on luggage. (Oh boy! Pay to have it checked!)

Note that if you attempt to smuggle luggage onto the plane that won't fit under the seat, the airlines will charge you $25 to check it at the gate.  And top it off with a $25 gate handling charge.  

And force you to sit in the bathroom for the duration of the flight.  

Okay, I made that last part up.

Since the airlines are committed to nickel-and-diming passengers to death, they may be interested in adopting some of my scathingly brilliant ideas.

In fact, I have identified 3 additional pricing opportunities that will significantly increase an airline's revenue.

Nerdling Idea #1: Additional Carry-on Luggage Fees

Overhead compartment - $75
Under seat - $50
On lap - $25

And for those sneaky-ass passengers who wear their otherwise packed clothes in layers to avoid being charged, there will be a $50 penalty.  Per layer.

Of course, flight attendants will be trained to identify these deviates.

To that end, here are some snippets from my How to Identify Passengers Wearing their Luggage (PWL's) seminar.

Clue #1: Head to body ratio.  The ratio of head to body is much smaller among PWL's than other passengers.

Clue #2: Sweat.  PWL's experience excessive sweating due to their multiple layers and the fear that they will be discovered.

Clue #3: Smell.  Related to Clue #2, PWL's often smell like they are wearing multiple layers of clothing.

Nerdling Idea #2: Repriced Airline Food

Begin charging for snacks that are currently free.  Pretzels should be priced at $5.00/bag, which is approximately $1.00 per pretzel, an excellent value for the Basic Economy passengers.

Peanuts should be priced at $10/bag to help subsidize potential litigation related to peanut allergies.

Implement a $10 surcharge to passengers who bring food aboard the airplane. ($50 surcharge for food containing garlic.)

Nerdling Idea #3: Introduce Middle Seat Surcharge (MSS)

This robust recommendation is based on a sophisticated pricing model that was developed in the Nerdling Consumer Research Institute.

The MSS allows passengers to have control over their "neighbors" while trapped in enjoying a middle seat.

For passengers willing to sit between two passengers with infants, the MSS would be just $25.  Alternatively, if the passenger agreed to sit between a large passenger and one who was bringing on food, the MSS would be $30.

The most expensive MSS would be for the passenger who can afford the luxury of sitting between two Millenials (who are so focused on their devices they never move a muscle during a flight).  That fee is a hefty $250, but may be worth it for the desperate discriminating middle seat passenger.

Passengers who enjoy gambling would have an opportunity to be surprised by their Aisle/Window neighbors.  The MSS Surprise-Surprise option is just $60.

I am fully aware that by publishing this blog, I am releasing my intellectual property and, as a result, will be unable to charge the airlines for my ideas.

But that's okay.

The airlines would likely pass that cost along to the passengers.

And the next thing you know, you would have to pay to use the restroom.

You're welcome.