Soup’s On! – That is if you can afford it

When did soup get to be so freaking* expensive?

If you’ve cruised your grocery store’s soup aisle lately, which is second only to the cereal aisle in measurable girth, you know what I’m talking about. Every time I break down and buy a can of soup, I notice that the price has shot up, so I stopped buying soup — assuming I’m the sole cause for the nationwide soup spike. This very same logic compelled me to stop buying gas and health insurance as well. You’re welcome, dear Reader.

Because it was so cheap, soup literally consumed my grocery list when I was in college:

(Sample grocery list from college daze)

-Beer (12 pack)
-Chicken Noodle Soup (12 cans)
-Bread
-Peanut Butter
-Beer (case)
-Ramen Noodles
Vegetables
-Beef Vegetable Soup (12 cans)
-Pop-Tarts
Vegetable Soup (5 cans)
-Reserve Beer (3 cases)
Cream of Mushroom Soup (8 cans)

At the current rate of soup inflation, it won’t be long before contestants on “The Price is Right” will no longer be bidding on soup to get face-time with Drew Carey, but instead will be bidding on soup as the foundation of the “Showcase Showdown.” It’s hard enough for us Midwesterners to accurately bid on these products, because the prices haven’t been adjusted for the cost-of-living. For example, take a box of Macaroni and Cheese, which may cost $.69 in Iowa, but when adjusted for the cost-of-living in Southern California will run anywhere from $9 to $11.

I’ll be damned if I’m going to fork over 10 bucks for a box of Mac ‘N’ Cheese. Thanks, but no thanks. Like my pallet for finer wines, I prefer my Mac ‘N’ Cheese in a box.

Some fancy restaurants in town have actually added macaroni and cheese to their ADULT menus and charge $15 a bowl. I’ve actually heard people say “Oh my god, they serve the best macaroni and cheese.” That’s like someone coming out of a sperm bank and saying, “Now that’s some of the best sex I’ve ever had.”

Given the latest economic crisis, Americans may no longer have the comfort of turning to soup for economic security. Andy Warhol may have helped immortalize Campbell’s Soup through his mass-produced pop-art portraits of soup cans, but soup itself, should its prices keep spiking, may inevitably face extinction. My favorite Warhol Campbell’s Soup Portrait is “Campbell’s Soup 1, 1968,” because if you look real close, you’ll notice that Campbell’s Soup 1, 1968” is blushing. How freaking* pure is that?

Projected worth in 2025 = 3 cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup

Andy Warhol's "Campbell's Soup 1, 1968": Projected worth in 2025 = 3 cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup

And what about the proverbial Soup Kitchens that helped get us through hard economic times? Will they disappear when the market becomes oversaturated with overpriced soups and the Soup Bubble bursts? I hope consumers heed the warning signs and stop buying more soup than they can afford.

If skyrocketing soup prices don’t level off soon, I fear that Soup Kitchens will become nothing more than elaborate fronts for the Soup Mafia, who will use these kitchens to launder soup to help finance their less nefarious activities such as gun sales to children and human trafficking.

In the meantime, all this writing about soup has inspired me to tap into my 1970s stockpile of Chicken Noodle Soup and play Soup Roulette, hoping I don’t get yet another case of Salmonella — which I could barely afford to liquidate the last time.

*Euphemistic f-bomb. For if I used the word that best expresses my true outrage, I would not be able to access Say Something Funny at work because of The Man’s hypersensitive Internet filter. And work is where I create and write most of my posts on the taxpayers’ dime — which is now only worth a freaking* nickel. It’s no wonder that sticking it to The Man is merely half the fun it used to be.

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