Wednesday, January 18, 2006

And another thing...

Even though I'm pretty happy with my dinner options, lunch is another story. I bring this up because, well, it's lunchtime, and I didn't bring anything. The restaurants in the neighborhood? Lousy. Here are the options within a couple of minutes of the office:

2 bad coney islands
4 bad fast food restaurants
2 bad casual dining chains
untold convenience stores
a couple of sketchy places that you could, but you'd better not
One truly excellent cheeseburger, but how often can (should) you eat that?
Good pizza, see above
A very good, pretty expensive Chinese fusion restaurant

Add a couple of minutes to the drive and you're within range of some good restaurants, but how much do you want to spend on lunch? And how often? There's a new burrito place around the corner that's pretty good, but you really can't get out of there for under $7, which is steep to me. We're talking a tortilla wrapped around some beans and meat. It's not worth $7. I could order sushi every day close by, but it would cost me more than $3000 a year.

Am I being too picky? I don't know. If you try to eat three times a day and you live 80 years, it's about 90,000 meals. How many of them do you want to be mediocre? If you eat fast food 1.5 times per week forever (and many Americans go much more often), that's more than 6000 meals over 80 years, or $25,000 in $4 meals.

Think about that for a second. 25 grand in fast food? How about you take the principal for one year ($312), and add the same amount to it annually for 80 years. If you can invest it and generate an 8% return, compounded annually, that's more than two million dollars.

Me? I'm skipping lunch. Maybe we'll get some bi bim bap with Masa and Atsu for dinner.

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