(2/9/2005) Five years ago, I went to Family Dollar to buy a fly swatter. The store only sold fly swatters in a pack of three. I told the clerk that I did not have enough hands to use them. A couple of years later, these three plastic fly swatters became hard and brittle. When I used them to swat flies, they all broke into pieces upon hitting a hard object. Doubling the amount of a product does not necessarily means that its usable time doubles. Fly swatters like food have an expiration date, and like cars depreciate in value as time goes by. So why should I buy three of them?
    A few days ago, I found I could not peel off the tape that I had bought seven years ago because the glue on the tape had deteriorated. So I went to Staples to buy new tape. The store required that I buy a pack of five. That amount of tape is a lifetime supply for me. When I enter a store, I expect an inexpensive price, but I do not expect to purchase a lifetime supply.

(11/5/2008) The pilot light of the burner that I use to boil water does not work. I have to use matches to ignite it. My matches were gone. I had to go to Wal-Mart to buy a box of matches. I walked all over the grocery aisles, but I could find none. I asked at least five employees at Wal-Mart. None of them knew where the matches are placed. One said they were placed beside kerosene. She might still live in the dream world of the 1950's. Where was kerosene then? Another said they were placed beside barbecue grills at the garden section. The garden section was located in the opposite corner of this super Wal-Mart. I had to walk over ten blocks to get there. I did not want waste my energy, so I went to the customer service desk. The manager first asked other employees to assist me. After she found that no one knew where matches were, she decided to lead me to the location. They were placed beside ashtrays. No one could think of this odd combination unless he is a smoking addict. I wonder why Wal-Mart did not provide some computers so that customers may access a merchandise’s location by searching for its name. Helping customers to find a needed merchandise would be a more realistic and praiseworthy service.