Word came out this week....via an audit of the Justice Department and it's "meetings"....that they had been accused of spending lots of government cash for fantastic food and drinks. Namely: $16 muffins, $8 cups of coffee, and $5.50 cups of Coke.
So I finally stood up today and pondered. I asked four folks that I know....that have lived in the Arlington, Maryland, or DC area for years and years....where do you find a $16 muffin. Most folks knew where there were some great $4 muffins. I did a Goggle search in the DC area....where I found one special type muffin for $7. Then I found this great deal $15.99 for a six-pack of muffins.
Then I started to ponder how competent a audit guy might be. There simply aren't any $16 muffins in DC, or Maryland, Arlington, Baltimore, or even Atlanta. Let's be honest here....unless you found some topless muffin dancehall.....there just aren't any $16 muffins. Bogus.
So the $8 cup of coffee. Again.....no one knows where you can buy coffee like this. I know a place out on the main drag of Paris....where a cup of coffee....in Euro....would end up around $16 but in DC? No. Again, it's totally bogus. Course, you could rig up a deal with a fancy coffee shop where you buy four cups in a four-pack for $8.
The $5.50 for a cup of Coke? No....you can't find a place in DC that offers such a deal. I know a place in Tucson where they sell a XXL cup of Coke for $1.99, but I can't think of a single place in DC where you'd spend $5.50. Course, you could buy a 12-cup container for around $5.50 from some discount center. Or you could buy a six-pack of Coke for $5.50 at the local Harris-Teeter shop in Arlington. Bogus again.
So, for Senator Grassley from Iowa....who is all upset and just plain going nuts over $5.50 for a Coke, and $16 for a muffin.....you need to simmer down....sip some tea, and get real. There just ain't any $16 muffins in DC.
But since we are listening to Senators and Congressmen all day talk about $16 muffins.....perhaps you folks would like to explain how $1 million is spent per year for free water (bottled water)....for you and your staffs on capital hill. The breakfast trays that are commonly laid out in your office with pastries? Did you use the $25k a year in your 'snack-fund' for that daily tray? Maybe you'd like to tell another chapter to this outrageous story? I kinda doubt it.
So as you sit there in Nashville, or Red Bay, or Eugene tonight....wondering where you can get a $16 muffin.....settle back and just accept the fact that things haven't gotten that bad yet. Course, you were looking to bribe a Senator....you still need $50k for his re-election fund to get anything really done or have lunch with the guy. That fact hasn't changed.
And if you were looking for the best muffins? Try Wal-Mart Blueberry Muffins...for around $2. These are the jumbo size.....so you could eat two or three for a good sweet breakfast. But don't tell your Senator about that deal.
Only in America.
UPDATE: The Hilton Corporation, which was at the heart of this audit of the Justice Department and the $16 muffin finally wrapped up their review of the episode and released a report late yesterday. What they were asked to provide to participants....was a open breakfast bar....which included coffee, juices, various different pastries, fruits, cereal, sodas, etc. So they wrote this up in corporation "shorthand" on the bill...."muffin". The audit guy? My guess is that he never called Hilton, and he probably has no real background with hotel operations, hotel bills, or such. He simply found this "muffin" listed for $16 and got all peppy. So, in the end, I stand by my words.....there simply isn't a $16 muffin. Never was...never will be. And the audit guy? He probably got a promotion....had an office party send-off, and got some great $4 muffins from Krispy Kreme.