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High prices in cramped quarters - Johnny Jackson

It costs about $5 for a bottle, and you cannot keep the bottle cap. Everything else is near the equivalent of ordering from a restaurant menu with fast-food or Seven-Eleven results.

Adults regress to their high school days, cramming walkways, corridors, and entrances like salmon swimming upstream to spawn with those sweet-smelling kiosks serving temptations at every turn.

And the seating -- if you get a seat, brings you back to the college years, when sitting in a 40-year-old desk wearing last night's "fabreezed" garb -- the tiny, cheap seats located somewhere between poor man and nose bleed.

My co-workers and I have discussed this recently, briefly. There is a consensus among us that (a.) entertainment/sports venues are not what they used to be and (b.) making them count fully is only becoming tougher and tougher to do.

There is a sort of bell curve, I suppose, that supports the adage that with more money, comes more problems. People seem to spend incrementally more with increased spending power.

This is true, as far as I am concerned. It is amazing how many necessities we have lived without, that seem to materialize when our spending power increases.

This spring, millions of folks are going to have a few hundred more bucks to spend on whatever they want. The government's stimulus rebate will pay up to about $600 for individuals, $1,200 for married couples, and more for families.

The running theme with people I have talked to has been that they may end up spending the money or saving it. The money, they say, would likely be filtered into their everyday expenses like gas, or even a couple of entertainment venues.

And the entertainment venues are kind of pricey these day, not just for ticket prices, but also in food costs.

The other issue is time. Reportedly, the Atlanta Braves professional baseball team organization is pushing up its weekday game times about a half an hour.

That is great, I am sure, for teachers, students, and retirees. But what about the rest of us fans who do not have a third-of-the-day of daylight to kill before the game?

Well, we have to settle for the weekend, when everybody and their uncle decides to join us.

Even on certain Sundays, you will have extreme turnouts at this venue or that, which can make for an awesome experience, or a unpleasant one.

It is almost as if you would have to take a vacation from work in order to get to a decent venue less than 20 miles from your home or work.

This is what it all has come to these days, high prices and slammed parking lots of late-arriving crowds.

Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at jjackson@henryherald.com or at (770) 957-9161.