A new mall opened near where I grew up in Ohio. I recently visited it just out of curiosity. As I pulled up to one of the entrances I saw that they had valet parking. It seemed to me that providing valet parking at a Midwest shopping mall was a lot like putting a tuxedo on a waiter at Hooters. I didn't want an 18-year old kid driving my 3/4 ton diesel truck into a crowded parking lot, so I drove around to another entrance. It was Saks 5th Avenue store entrance. I parked and went inside.

Upon entering I found myself in the men's department with lots of elegant displays of clothes with names of guys who were either Italian or French. Most of the suits were black or very dark. I'm not sure how you tell which suits were Armani and which were the other guys, and I had no interest in paying $110 for an Italian Panama weave pinpoint cotton shirt by Paul Stuart with the embroidery of a man sitting on a fence. But then my last new shirt was a T-shirt with the words "Bite Me" across the front.

I spotted some jeans and headed for them. They looked like dirty jeans. I don't think they actually were dirty. Someone just went to a lot of trouble to make them look dirty. When my jeans look like that I put them in the wash. They were $145. I pay $20 for my jeans at Wal*Mart and they look clean. I'm not sure why people pay an additional $125 dollars for jeans that look dirty when they can buy them where I shop and wear them to shovel coal for an hour or two.

Moving on through the store I passed the cosmetics counters. The women who worked there all seemed to be dressed in black dresses and wore more makeup than female impersonators. Some of the sales women looked as if they had gone to the Picasso School of Cosmetic Application. You don't see women looking like this in public – at least not in the Mid West. I decided they must have been flown in from New York City. I had a number of questions I wanted to ask them, but my friend convinced me that it would have been neither appropriate nor in good taste. 

There was nothing inexpensive in Saks. In fact there was nothing that was even reasonably priced. I'm convinced that the IRS should be keeping track of people who shop there and double their tax rate, because these folks obviously are not paying enough income tax. They should also reexamine their values and priorities in life. If you shop at Saks, please e-mail me. I have some questions for you.