It seems to be starting earlier and earlier every year. With only 12 weeks left of the year, shops started advertising their Christmas sales this weekend.
I’m always interested to have a look at some of the more ridiculous prices being charged, usually for equally ridiculous toys and novelty items.
I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the prices for some exclusive bottles of alcohol.
Can you believe there’s a bottle of 40-year-old Cognac selling for R45 000? No, that’s not a printing error.
It’s a 750ml bottle of fancy brandy that’s worth more than my neighbour’s car.
Clearly not the kind of thing you let your buddies polish off over a braai, with a 2lt Coke and a packet of ice cubes.
But I had seen nothing yet.
As I paged through the brochure, I came across some very serious bottles of whisky. One cost a cool R650 000 and the other a staggering R730 000.
It’s the kind of money that makes your eyes water for no apparent reason; what some people would call ‘n k@k huis vol geld. And it gets even worse.
Someone who knows about these things told me that last year someone bought a bottle of whisky for just over R1.2 million.
That’s more than R75 000 per shot, or roughly what most alcoholics would spend on booze for an entire year, assuming they are heavy drinkers, and needing a stiff dop every single day.
While I am of course fascinated that anyone would pay that kind of money for a bottle of anything, especially booze, I am also very sad about it.
In this country where our young people are fighting for free education and children are still going to bed hungry, others are able to blow a small fortune on a bottle of what is essentially very rotten grapes.
I know people are always talking about the gap between the rich and the poor, but I don’t think anything illustrates it more to me than this.
I find it hard enough to eat a lovely meal with the knowledge that someone outside my door is dealing with a grumbling tummy.
How does someone sip on a R75 000 tot, knowing that it could pay a student’s university fees for a year? Or feed a hungry child for a lifetime?
I love my country, but stuff like this really makes me quite mad.
I can only take comfort in a friend of mine’s comment: “Just imagine the maid’s boyfriend comes to visit and decides to crack open one of the madam’s bottles to have a secret sip!”