Mooching around in a famous London department store, I noticed a T-shirt.
It was an ordinary T-shirt, or so I thought – with a Mickey Mouse logo. Now, while the short-sleeved T-shirt might have been run of the mill, the price certainly wasn’t. Take a deep breath… Ready? One-hundred-and-forty-two-quid.
Yes. You read that right. For a T-shirt.
I thought there must be some mistake. But I rummaged through the other T-shirts that were bundled on the counter, and they all cost about the same.
Well, perhaps the red logo was printed in ink derived from the blood of sacrificed virgins? Or the material was hand-woven from special wool, gently plucked from the underbelly of a rare breed of goat only found high in the Himalayan Mountains?
But no. There is absolutely nothing special about this garment – except the price. According to the sales blurb: it has European sizing. It’s white and short-sleeved. It has a Mickey Mouse printed design, and a crew neck. Pure cotton. Machine wash.
It’s a flamin’ T-shirt! Just like one of the dozen T-shirts I have. Identical in every way – except for the price.
Well, as I wandered off I couldn’t help wondering what kind of idiots would actually spend that kind of money on a Mickey Mouse T-shirt. People with more money than sense, perhaps? If I’d bought it I would certainly leave the price tag showing when I wore it, just so my mates would know how much I’d paid.
And I would wander around all winter just in T-shirt and jeans. I mean, why cover it up with a jersey and duffel coat when I’ve paid that much?
Of course, maybe the shop is relying on passing trade that doesn’t understand UK currency. Tourists from distant shores where there are 23million kwingodollars to the pound. In that case, 142 somethings for a T-shirt might sound reasonable.
Or maybe it’s just that there are people out there with loads of money and bargain basement self-esteem who think that the rest of us will hold them in higher regard because they paid a week’s wages for something the rest of us would polish the furniture with.
It’s a mystery to me.