…of potatoes in Regina. Can we talk? Well okay, today, because I’m not in my right frame of mind, not that I’m ever in a right frame of mind, but simply that I’m not prone to ranting, I’m going to rant. (Luckily, I have the kind of job that I can tell as many clients as I must any rant I have, and of course, they have to listen, being stuck in the barber chair with metal shears flashing about their head; so I quickly tire of my verbal diarrhea). Today, though, I’ve been stuck at home in front of a computer screen working on a proposal of sorts, or of no sense, and I have a bit of rant on the rising cost of everything. So listen…

Why is it the influx of people into an urban (perhaps this happens in a small rural setting as well, only there’s no one there to notice) centre creates a rising cost on those items deemed necessity?  And mostly, (brace yourselves) I want to know, since when did the price of potatoes become more than the cost of beer? Since when does a root vegetable rate top dollar? Since when do 12, count ’em, 12 average sized red, round potatoes cost $9.17??

Did I miss something? I know I’m not the most observant person travelling in the grocery sphere most days, and I’m prone to blanking out in the dairy section frequently as I contemplate rows of multi-hued cheese, but as I’m standing at the till with my less than 15 items, at the 15 item or less line, I react suddenly to the shock of the price. “Since when,” I ask the young woman, neatly attired in black, her pants saran-wrapped to her butt, the standard issue grocery store sweater squeezed over top, and adorned with the company’s new subtle logo, “did potatoes get so expensive?” To which she snorts and answers, “At least you picked out nice ones, most of the time they’re rotten.”

And this too is true! The prepackaged bags of potatoes, the kind they sell in various poundage, now come in unclear plastic bags, so you can’t see the state of the potatoes. And the loose ones look like they’ve been carelessly stabbed many times over with a pitchfork. Or they try to convince you the small potatoes in the small square bags, with sprouts growing out the small, round breathing holes, are “NEW.”

Not only has the price risen like a child’s helium balloon, but in the time of a boon, we pay top dollar for gross product. Why in the era where we’re encouraged to eat healthy, to eat fresh, to locate and pluck the best organic and wholesome produce we can find, do they attempt to unload the crap on us?

And where does the good produce go? Do they sell those to superior, select stores for an even higher price? Maybe soon we’ll be having to distinguish our produce by grades, at which rate you’ll pay top dollar for a potato without any unsightly bashing. Or even worse, sprouts. One baked potato, $20.00 please.

So the girl packs my 14 items in the black recyclable bag that I have to buy every time I’m in line, because I don’t carry the bags with me everywhere, but the guilt of a cheap, plastic bag that will break as soon as get to the car, wears heavy upon my heart, and I fork out another $.99 to house my golden potatoes. I head out to the car that took only $14.00 to fill not 10 years ago, and now takes $50.00, so I can drive home the remaining 2 blocks to the house that now costs nearly 5 times what was paid for it not 10 years ago.

And why is it, I ask, worn from the misery of a rant that will go nowhere, and be seen by even fewer than a dozen eyes, I don’t see my income sprouting as quick as a “NEW” potato?