We have a very expensive, heirloom, tablecloth that I wanted to get cleaned. There is a nearby cleaner in Menlo Park that I have gone to in the past, Peninou French Laundry and Cleaners, where I took it this time, figuring I would get a good job. What I hadn’t counted on was how much Menlo Park has changed since the last time I used them. This is at the northern end of Silicon Valley – if you don’t count San Francisco, which is becoming the hip bedroom community for the Valley – and Silicon Valley is becoming the richest place on earth. I heard the other day that Facebook going public created three billionaires and over a thousand millionaires.
Not everybody is in the 1% but alot are and the ones who aren’t, want to be, and consider themselves falling by the wayside if they barely get into the top 10%. Peninou, which is a local chain with a history going back to 1903, has changed with the times. They have really changed with the times, charging us $54.21.
The table-cloth came back folded – wrapped in a suitable, lightweight, cardboard wrapper – and then wrapped in the purple? tissue in the picture. It is lovely and, I suppose, it looks like it should cost more than the $54.21 they charged, but – still – $54.21 to clean a tablecloth? Almost $55 big ones as Woody Allen used to say.
As an aside, there is no sales tax because a sales tax is only added to things rather than services. When the sales tax was introduced in California during the 30s, most people bought alot more things than services (except for the rich). Having to raise money, the Legislature passed a tax that looks fair at first glance – after all, the more you spend, the more tax you pay – and is really regressive because the rich pay a smaller percentage, so everybody was happy. End aside.
Since we were taking the table-cloth in any way, I added three sweaters. That cost $75! The really troublesome part is that they were sale sweaters and originally cost less than $25 each (without the required sales tax of course).