Informed consumers

Italian dictator Mussolini claimed an ability to make the trains run on time.  There's never been any evidence of a fascist takeover at the Chicago Transit Authority.

Elsewhere, this summer I tried my best to explore the incredible variety of entertainment available to a person.  I watched a highly-regarded movie by a French director I'd never heard of and then checked out a novel by a well-reviewed British writer I'd never read before.  It turned out to be the same story twice.  The movie was an adaptation of the book.  Movie: La Ceremonie directed by Claude Chabrol.  Book: A Judgment in Stone by Ruth Rendell. 

When I moved to this neighborhood years ago there was one grocery store and it was good.  Things have changed and now there's a spot where, depending on which direction you face, you can throw a rock and hit any of three grocery stores.  People wandering within a mile of the area, busy with their lives, will find themselves distracted by the thought of food.  They will be magnetically diverted to one of the grocery stores and, in a trance, spend a few dollars on artisanal broccoli or something. 

A few weeks ago I was on my way to a public restroom and found a little tableau directly in front of the mens room door.  A mom was kneeling down to a two-year-old boy while the dad stood nearby.  The mom was saying to the son, "Do you want to use the bathroom?  Can you do it yourself or do you want me to help?  Do you want Daddy to help?  Do you have to go to the bathroom? or would you like to visit the pet store?  Would you like to see the doggies? or do you need to go to the bathroom?"  The poor kid, already overwhelmed by the experience of standing up outside of his crib, was clearly doing his mental best to make a decision.  Wait 'til he gets to the cereal aisle.