Unplanned obsolescence bitterness

Welcome to Ben's Bitter Obsolete Island. Where things I obsess about go to die.

Welcome to Ben’s Bitter Obsolete Island. Where things I obsess about go to die.

Whether you like it or not, many products and services fail(I’m not the only thing that fails over and over).  It is the nature of things to eventually break whether it is your car, your refrigerator, or Transformer toy collection(like I would know anything about this).  What you may not know is that companies and manufacturers actually plan this, so eventually after a certain time you will have to buy a new thing. It is called planned obsolescence and it is causes people a lot of money, but mostly bitterness.  I know companies eventually need to make money, but making things fail seems like a bitter way to do it(I like their style). What makes me more unforgiveably bitter are the items that aren’t planned, or what I call unplanned obselescence. Bitterly, I contain within in me a curse that causes this rare phenomenon.

Exactly like this, except it was in a bottle and it said Aronia Berry Juice instead of Apple Raspberry.

Aronia Berry Juice is exactly like this, except it comes in a bottle and it says Aronia Berry Juice instead of Apple Raspberry.

I first realized I had the obsolescence curse when I tasted Aronia Berry juice at Costco.  It was in the Bitter aisle between the sweet Grape Juice and sour Lemonade.  One taste and I knew that this was stuff was going to be “accidentally” slipped it into the cart and then dibs claimed by drinking directly out of bottle at home.  After fooling my wife zero times, she allowed me to get it each time we went, because I always chose other healthy options like cupcakes, candy bars and double stuffed crust pizza at Costco.  Just as my favorite juice was becoming the one thing I could count on in life, Costco decided to stab me in the back Little Caesar style and discontinue the juice.  Good thing I didn’t hold a grudge and cancel my membership and burn and Costco to the ground.

You call them an ice cream sandwich. I call them "The Treat that Saved Costco" from my bitter passive aggressive wrath.

You call them an ice cream sandwiches. I call them “The Treat that Saved Costco” from my bitter passive aggressive wrath.

I did allow that Costco to live for one reason only.  Right after I heard about the discontinuance of the juice, and was about to light the match, I decided I needed to cool down, so I sat in one of the freezers.  I looked over and saw what can only be described as ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies.  It had chocolate chips on the outside and they called them Big Ed’s.  I could relate because I knew this rapper named Big and I knew a TV show that had a talking horse name Ed.  This would be the chocolate chip ice cream sandwich with chocolate chips on the outside that would soon be known as the “Treat That Saved Costco” because they would never discontinue it, right?  Well surprisingly, despite my contribution of $50 worth of sales toward this item, they discontinued it. They would now soon feel my passive aggressive wrath.  The last time I checked out with my some wheels of cheese, crate of butter and two BluRays, I gave that checker a very aggressive, bitter stare when she gave me the total of $549.  Don’t mess with the bitter master, you Costco Benedicts.

You might call this Cherry Limeade. I call it the reason that old store "Wal-Mart" no longer exists.

You might call this Cherry Limeade. I call it the reason that old store “Wal-Mart” no longer exists.

Others have turned traitor on me, like the Chips Ahoy with Creme Filling, and more recently, Minute Maid Cherry Limeade, the nectar of the Gods I got from Walmart (the one and only reason I ever went there), and now they rest bitterly in the grocery freezer in the sky.

I would pay a million Schrute Bucks or 5 million Stanley nickels to find out if Dwight ever became Assistant Regional Manager.

I would pay a million Schrute Bucks or 5 million Stanley nickels to find out if Dwight ever became Assistant Regional Manager.

It’s just when you thought only food was a part of my curse, along came bitter television shows that ended too soon.  From the first episode of Smallville, I knew we had a special show on our hands, with the main character Alexander Luthor leading the way, but it sadly ended after only 10 seasons, 200 episodes and a really unpredictable ending where (spoiler warning) Clark Kent becomes a superhero called Superman.  Another unheralded show that no one ever really watch, called The Office (it was a show about bitter people working in an office. Most people thought it was boring, but it had a bitter vibe, which is right up my alley.) only lasted 9 seasons.  It made me bitter that in such a short time, only very few questions were answered. We will never know if that annoying Jim will keep trying to break up the adorable Roy and Pam or if the dynamic and awesome Dwight Shrute will ever stop pranking Jim enough to become assistant regional manager.  And what about Micheal Scarn?  Will that movie ever get a well deserved Dundie Award?

Some would say that I have been cursed with obsolescence all through my life in order to keep me bitter.  But I realized that it is a gift.  It is actually the other way around. I have the power to make things obsolete.  Perhaps you think the government shut down was because of disagreements on health care.  Nope that is all me.  I have just really become a fan of the bitterness the government provides.  So, do you want it to start back up so you can get your health care?  How much is it worth to you for me to not become obsessed with it?  Anything else you might want “obsolete” but want it to look like an accident?  Have a blog you don’t like and want “shut down”? I am your man, for a price.

Arrrggghhh

Bitterly Obsolete Ben

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202 thoughts on “Unplanned obsolescence bitterness

  1. I hope you don’t go obsessing over my favourite cereal anytime soon (I won’t mention it for safety reasons) it might become obsolete!
    But you can obsess about FIFA all you like… *looks over to husband consumed with his game* …the day that dies I’ll be happy dancing!

    Fun post, btw! 🙂

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  4. Every time something was discontinued, I used to imagine that the universe was punishing me and telling me that I can never have nice things. Now I know the truth. Whatever you do, stay away from Talenti gelato. Not only will you eat the entire pint without a hint of regret, if you like it I already know it’ll be sent to the freezer in the sky. I don’t think I could survive without my cappuccino gelato Ben. I wouldn’t make it.

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  6. I hate when you love something but then it’s discontinued. Why doesn’t Costco ever run out of trampolines. Conspiracy Bitter Ben? And thank you for letting me live vicariously your staring bitterly at the Costco clerk when she told you the total. Ah! That felt so good! :* (that’s supposed to be a Bitter Ben emoticon emoting bitterness).

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  7. Get out of my head.
    And… I have postponed watching the final season of The Office until this week, actually. I just can’t handle letting go.
    And yes I’m definitely familiar with planned obsolescence– I used to work for AT&T while I was in college and I’m pretty sure we manufactured all those phones to self-destruct one month before your contract was going to expire.

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    • I’m sorry your head had to experience such bitterness for the 2 minutes I was in there. I’ll get out immediately.

      The Office finale was great and I understand your hesitance to delay. I still can’t believe it is over. Thankfully I can watch 1 or 2 repeats a day and no matter what they are still funny. The repeats make them live forever.

      I used to telemarket for American Express and they offered protection all the way up to the moment before all your stuff broke.

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  8. Ben, This is why we have old people like me. When we get old enough we become obsolete and need to get the hell outta the workforce to make room for the young ‘uns who rightfully NEED that job to pay off their trllion dollar “education loans.” The young ‘uns are screwed from the get: They are unable to afford to get their own place and start the Stages of Economic Adult Life that go something like this: Desire (yep, if course they want that “stuff” and rightfully so-we did too), Acquire (yep, they finally can afford a studio apartment shared among 15 of their Besties) and then, Pray for a Fire: This is what happens when you get old and now have all this “stuff.” Not like hoarder “stuff” but yk, like a house-full of stuff you desired and acquired throughout your lifespan.
    Any wonder our kids hate us (more) when we die-the ultimate testament to Obsolete/Past Expiration Date? They get to figure out what to do with all this besides rent a dumpster-and PAY for it.
    And the ultimate in Bitter Obsolescence: The obit reads, “89 yr. old (fill in name) died suddenly/unexpectedly on (fill in date.)” HUH? What? You’re OLD. How is this “sudden” or “unexpected?” You blew past “classic,” annihilated “antique” and are now stuffed in effigy to the vagaries of the DNA (aka Damn, Not Again!) family Legacy that’s passed from one generation of older-than-dirt to the next.
    Us old people need to get the hell outta the way whether or not we can afford it even if we can’t-and I can’t. But I am. It’s my societal obligation to volunteer, not contribute to the young ‘uns feeling obsolete before they’ve even begun their cubicle stint. And to protect the young ‘uns from our nasty cohorts that grab marked-down goods right out of the hands of the young ‘uns and then have the audacity to complain about the “rudeness” of young ‘uns: (Where’d they learn THAT, btw?)
    I’m a bitter old widow broad, Ben. I remember when “Durable Goods” actually WERE: That was never meant to include *us,* OK?
    TW

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    • I believe you just commented longer than most of my posts. I’m just curious if you have an opinion about this, cause you are kind of shy when it comes to comments. To the rest of this post, uh, comment. Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh, uh huh, uh huh. That is me agreeing with stuff and listening intently like all men do.
      Seriously though. The young ones can have the jobs. I’ll be glad to retire 25 years early if my kids could just leave the house.

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  9. Hilarious post!

    I hope your move across the couch went smoothly. I don’t have a twitter account because it’s going to become obsolete soon, so why join?

    Why do people have to comment on 3 or 4 different sites? Why can’t it be just one?

    You should make an app that you can comment on and it posts to all the social networks, then make it obsolete in like, a year and make everyone bitter.

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    • You should have a twitter account so I can send you bitter tweets and you can follow what stupid celebrities say.

      That would be a great app to have for lazy commenters. Although I put stuff on my facebook that I don’t want bloggers to see and vice versa. But I could be bitter about it.

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    • Yes. My blog post was thought out and planned and organized not for my amusement or my bitterness or to tell you about the recognition of my new power, it was simply to let you know in a passive aggressive way that I am taking down far superior blogs (ie yours only) by liking them so much that they go obsolete. Watch out, superior person!

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  10. Love this blog, kudos for saying the things we so often wish we could say! P.S. I am no longer here on WP I have moved and WP won’t acknowledge my new site so hence, no more gravatar and replies go to cyberspace, please see me at dgkayewriter.com

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  11. So I can draw the conclusion that you do not like Twinkies since they have come back from the pit of destruction? (btw – I make those chocolate chip cookie/ice cream things – can I bribe you?)

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  12. Oh, Bitter Ben! Hear my prayers! I want most reality tv shows to go away. Can you help me? I’ll sacrifice ten rubber chickens at the next Bitter Ben cult meeting….

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      • Is that a one time, single meal size price or are we talking installments? How soon can I expect results? Do I get a refund if it doesn’t work?

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        • So many questions. I admire your positive attitude and inquisitiveness. In the paraphrased words of Ron Swanson of Parks and Rec. “Just give me all the chicken you have. Wait…wait. I worry what you just heard was: Give me a lot of chicken. What I said was: Give me all the chicken you have. Understand?”

          You can expect results within 2 days – 45 years.

          If you don’t get results, I will refund one piece of one of the buckets of chicken, because I am nice(not really, I’m bitter.)

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        • You admire my “positive attitude and inquisitiveness”? Charlatan! Deceiver! What have you done to Bitter Ben?!?!?!?

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  13. Oh it is such a bitter thing, this obsolesence deal. And it works down to the most common things, for which you can no longer find “that part”, but instead have to buy a new one! Great entry!

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  14. Yes, BB, I understand your pain and bitterness. I always like the flavor, TV show, product, etc. that no one else supports. Every time I find a moisturizer I love, they change the formula.
    I, also, go to Walmart for ONE item – Cafe Vienna flavored International Coffee. This flavor has been disconinuted every where else.
    We should start a bitter campaign that makes it illegal to discontinue or modify a product as long as one faithful customer exists. After all, it’s not our fault they made us dependent on it.

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    • I hope you find a new place to buy Vienna Coffee or whatever, because I will be demolishing all the Wal-Marts later today, along with all the Sam’s Clubs. I have told Target that they have dibs on all of Wal-Marts inventory.

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    • I think I may be the only product left on the shelf soon because I am the only thing that doesn’t do anything useful.

      As far as guest writer, yes, I accept your offer to write for NBC’s Community. But I won’t like it all so it doesn’t get cancelled.

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        • I would guest write for the View, only for the fact that they would be really pissed off about whatever I wrote and that would be my masterpiece. But mostly I would do Community because I would love to write bitter lines for Jeff.

          I would think about guest posting. I have done guest posts on other people’s blog’s before and they don’t always turn out well. But we will see.

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  15. Planned obsolescence is the reason I am reluctant to buy mops, dusters and toilet brushes that use disposable, refillable pads and scrubbers. They end up changing the dimensions on newer models to force you to buy a new mop. I quit cleaning house in protest.

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    • I’ve never even started for fear that as soon as I start, I will have to go out and buy new stuff. You did the right thing, by protesting and being lazy. Just know that no matter how hard you try, I will be lazier and worse at doing housework than you.

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  16. Plainly you have already achieved the very thing I have made my lifetimes quest, yet still, after all these years search far and wide to find, namely, making ‘bitterness’ work for you as opposed to the indifferent alternative I am still stuck with! A jolly good read!

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        • Yep, get all that and you’ll be set. Though I think membership into Chaos should count as license/registration…maybe I can make a badge for Chaos members to carry as proof of membership.

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        • That would be so cooool. I want a badge! You could also design our outfits too. Probably leather and cool looking. Cause you know I always make you do all the work, because you are the boss and I’m lazy.

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        • Haha I will get to work on those badges. Outfits however, I am not required to provide, as mentioned in the application. But perhaps I could create outfits for the high-ranking members of Chaos…Hmm I think usually it is the other way around, isn’t it?

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        • I’m not asking you to create the outfits, just create the designs. Also you are not required to do any of this. You can get a lackey or minion to do all the work. That is what those cretins are for.

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        • Design I can do. It is after all, my particular talent. Indeed I could get one of my minions to do it for me – actually we have a new member of Chaos who is I remember rightly enjoys designing outfits…I shall consult with her immediately.

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        • I waiting on her sister’s application before I make that judgment. They frequently make a diabolical team, so it might be best to put them together. Also, she suggested she act as a minion to steal and undermine others’ nefarious plans, so in that case, she would be holding both positions. I am inclined to give them to her.

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        • Kind of an Evil Wonder Twins vibe. I’m digging that. Sounds like having her as a spy will make her even more valuable. I don’t know how much say I get, but I approve of this person and her sister(if she passes the application part.)

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        • They definitely have the Evil Wonder Twins vibe, and have even been asked if they were twins on occasion. (The pair of them are my youngest sisters, just so you know). As my second in command, your comments and opinions are of course important to me. I’m glad they have your approval.

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        • You know you kind of look like them too. Are you sure you aren’t like triplets? As far as going the crew I know I can mistrust them because they are family and what better trait to have as a villain the mistrust of close family members. So are they artists too? Do they have ideas for the logo etc?

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        • Yes, I have gotten that before. However, they have flaming red hair, while I do not (and until my youngest brother came along, I was the only child without red hair, therefore leading to many jokes about me being adopted). Indeed . Mistrusting family members is a perfect starting point for a villain. Kelsey is more of the artist than Molly, but both play instruments and write – but of the two, Kelsey is the more creative one. I have not asked them about the logo or anything else yet…

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