No, today, being the time of year that it is, I'd like to talk about social experimentation. I had a thought (scary, I know) about how one could more or less mindfuck nearly everyone in the country. I've always felt the $.99 marketing ploy to be one of the most ridiculous and yet simultaneously brilliant ideas ever conceived. Think about it...it's fucking everywhere! You go to the store for a gallon of milk - it's $2.99. No...it's not, it's $3.00. You head to your favorite fast-food restaurant/cholesterol pusher and order something off the $.99 value menu - bullshit man...those nuggets are a fucking dollar! You pump your gas...the price is $2.41(9) a gallon - fuck you Gassy McCon-Man, that gas is $2.42 a gallon. You know it, I know it! I don't know where it started, I don't know when it started. At some point in U.S. history, some marketing wizard (aka Legionnaire of Satan) got the crazy idea that turning a $1.00 item into $.99 would entice Joe (Dumb Schmuck) Customer into buying said item more often. And the kicker - it fucking WORKED!!! Americans (well...most of them) are stupid enough to think that given the choice between a shitburger for $2.00, and the exact same shitburger for $1.99, they're getting the better deal with the latter! That new Pocket Pussy 9000 w/ Super Suck Action sounds way cheaper listed as $99 instead of $100. Well fuck you sales man - I know better!
American consumers take seeing a 9 in the price of anything for granted - I don't think they'd know how to react to a 0 except with complete and total disgust, anger, and frustration. There are 9's in everything we buy. Except maybe for Wal-Mart. Those guys basically said, "$5.99? Oh yeah, well fuck you, we're gonna make it $5.98! Let's see who saves the most now motherfucker!" Which is great, I suppose - because, you know, at that rate the average American shopper can save upwards of a hundred bucks or so over the course of 3000 YEARS!!! The American penny is the most worthless hunk of metal on Earth, and I'm a dedicated advocate for getting rid of the little bastard. And yet I don't think that we, as a society, are psychologically prepared to deal with the ramifications of not having that meaningless scruple in our lives. Taking the 9's away would likely have the same effect as the confusion that would result from, say for instance, the federal government announcing that the official American language is Swahili-Pig-Latin (it's Swahili, but spoken in a Pig-Latin manner - how screwed up would that be?)!
See, I think The Joker had the wrong idea. Generally speaking, I don't think a group of people necessarily would kill a boatload of other people to save their own asses (generally speaking - it could happen). I do think that the average American would absolutely go medieval on some poor Mexican kid's* ass over having to pay an extra penny for that cheeseburger from Mickey-fuckin'-D's! Seeing this kind of carnage, chaos, and mayhem would be the best Christmas present EVER!!!