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Escape news with retail therapy

July 30, 2011

I think it was Thomas Paine who said, “These are the times which try mens’ souls.” 
Never mind that he was talking about the American Revolution. We’ve got some pretty trying times right here in the 21st century.  As the US economy teetered on the brink of disaster, my friends and I had a plan (unlike anyone in Washington).
We pooled our resources, filled up my truck with ethanol-contaminated gasoline and headed out for a day of retail therapy. 
I’m here to report that  our bizarre histrionics were hugely successful, and reduced our stress levels as effectively as the parting of the sea. 
We tried on clothes we would never buy, much less get caught dead wearing on the streets. We ate sandwiches the size of surfboards at a little bistro in Tuscaloosa called FIG (Food is Good).
We bought a box of cupcakes with icing three inches thick and ended up on the banks of  the Black Warrior River sampling the goods. 
Did you know that cupcakes have become the toast of pop culture?  Shops devoted solely to the creation of the little delicacies are popping up everywhere.  I guess it’s a result of the Marie Antoinette syndrome.  As the peasants were starving in 18th century France, she reportedly said,  “Let them eat cake.”
I submit that 21st century Washington is responsible for the cupcake revolution.  Since we can’t afford homes or food, we can pacify ourselves with overpriced, artery-clogging cupcakes.  At least, that should solve the Medicare problem.
After a box of cupcakes and operating just south of sane, we still had the presence of mind to stop at a vegetable stand and buy some homegrown tomatoes and size of cantaloupes. 
We arrived back home at dark-thirty with new attitude and not a care in the world. I figure it will be another month before the credit card bill arrives and we can default on our debts along with the deadbeat lawmakers in Washington.

Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement.  She welcomes commends at

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