We went to seeThe Hobbit today, my sons and I, and enjoyed it very much. Quiche and apple muffins for brunch first, fried chicken and mashed potatoes and corn after.

I had an odd experience at the mall yesterday. I don’t negotiate and I don’t care about bargains. Frankly, I think many bargain hunters end up spending more just because they believe they’re getting bargains. I have no proof of this.

Anyway, my menfolks and I were strolling along in search of prezies when a guy called out, “10 seconds! Let me show you something!”

One thing about being very aggressive is that people like us don’t know how to respond. We obediently went over and the guy buffed one of my nails. My left thumbnail, actually. It was 10 seconds with one surface of the buffer, 10 with the next, and 10 with the third. He had a spiel involving cotton and silk and something else — like the Tinderbox, with the three dogs. One had eyes as big as cart wheels, one had eyes as big as… something else…

In any case, the buffer did exactly what the guy said it would, he was perfectly right that the price of the thing was equal to a single manicure of this type, and I needed a replacement gift for #2 daughter, whose intended gift won’t arrive in time.

I wanted to buy the thing.

He wanted to sell me two at a bargain price. In fact, he wanted to sell me not the magic buffer, which he had but wasn’t willing to sell me, but the full kits. At a bargain pice.  I resisted. I wanted a  buffer to put in a stocking.

He then offered me a free kit if I bought two at the bargain price. At this point I tried to get a total, but he wasn’t affering that. I wanted to buy one. He didn’t like that. He offered me two for free if I bought two, with some complex reasons for that involving how totally wonderful my family and I were.

I promised I’d think about it as we finished our errands, and that I would come back and buy something.

“I fully understand,” I said, “that this offer may not still be on the table when I return.”

He then said he would sell them all to me for the price of just the buffers.

At this point — somewhere in there the guy asked me whether I knew where the Dead Sea was, and fortunately I did — #2 son leapt forward and offered to buy a third at the special price being offered if I bought two. The guy accepted this, took our money, and allowed us to leave.

I wondered whether this was a sort of shell game. That is, we were offered so many different deals, and never got a total, so what prices were we actually being offered? Had we gotten a good deal at all?

I looked the products up on line. We would have paid $80+ more, plus shipping, had we bought them online. They appear to be an excellent product. Was this the best deal among the ones he offered? And what was wrong with him to be offering us these deals? Maybe the packaging was outdated, or the products were about to expire…

This is why I’m not a bargain hunter.

The song for today is “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” #1 son introduced me to “Shoogar Plumz,” an interesting variation.

This is a great piee from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, a tremendously fun ballet traditionally associated with Christmas. I love it. Petipa’s choreography, or Ashton’s variation, are my favorites.

I should have saved it for December 18th, which will be the 80th anniversary of the opening.