birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Upcharges

Life is unfair to everyone.

We all know that.

We didn't get the doll we wanted for Christmas when we were 7 or the best parking spot at the grocery store or the promotion at work.

Life sends us curveballs to learn from them. But you know what's unfair that I haven't learned a darn thing from? Upcharges.

Take for instance baseball game tickets. You want to go see a game but you don't want it to cost you more than $50. So you find seats for $20 for you and your sweetie. Total that will be $40 right? And with tax, maybe $45. Wrong. Because there's a convenience fee and a handling fee and oh, you wanna pick it up at will call? That's another $5, sir, please.

What. The. Heck.

It's 2018. And I can Venmo anyone who has the damn app any amount of money. In fact, in California, people are Venmo-ing their drug dealers for their weed. Because it's 2018 and everything is made simple by pressing on our phone screens. But somehow, me buying a ticket to a game has $15 dollars in added fees for a ticket that I'm going to show on my own screen? I understand baseball players' salaries are in the millions but come on. My price to attend the game just skyrocketed. And that's before the $14 beers, the $11 dollar ice cream sandwich and the $18 nachos (prices go up when you've won a World Series in a big city, Y'all.)

Ok, so your argument is, 'Well they have to find a way to pay the ballplayers. Who do you think is gonna fund it?'

It's stupid and archaic and asinine, but fine. Let me give you another example. I eat gluten-free food. Not because I'm on a diet or I want to be part of a fad, but because my stomach is truly gluten insensitive. Which means, when I eat food with gluten in it, I feel bloated and sluggish and I have tummy pains and I'm extra gassy and I have to go No. 2 way more than a normal person.

When I don't eat food with gluten in it, I'm none of those things. So I've decided instead of being miserable, I'll avoid gluten. Thankfully, chefs everywhere have found ways to make things like gluten-free pasta and GF breads, GF pancakes and GF cakes.

Perfect. I love you people. Except those of you who think it's fine to charge $8 more for a small pizza because my crust is made with cauliflower instead of wheat flour. One time, my mom bought a sandwich that was normally $8. GF it was double in price. That's ridiculous. I know, I know. Eating healthier costs more. My credit card statements are telling me the same thing. But why should you be able to get away with charging a stupid amount more? I've started going to places that don't charge more for GF options or only charge a couple bucks more.

I could go on and on about truly unnecessary added prices. But you're lucky, my time is up.

Divine Intervention

What's Unfair?