Movie tickets are expensive, but if you go to the theater with a date and bring with you only enough money to pay for admission with a few bucks to spare, you may find yourself in trouble. Beyond the stodgy stub collector rests an oasis of popcorn, soda, candy, nachos, pretzels, ice cream bars, and a dozen other variations of crap to eat while you enjoy the show. These snacks, however, come with a sticker shock that may well (in conjunct with the artery-taxing food) stop your heart cold. On my last trip to the theater, I was slammed with $ 3.50 for a bag of peanut M & Ms and another whopping $ 3.00 for a medium beverage.
Ridiculously expensive consessions are unfortunately integral to American entertainment venues, from concerts to sporting events. Baseball has a particularly strong history of concessions, as the baseball game is the quintessential American family outing, and part of that model is the purchase of food one does not enjoy on a regular basis. So integral is the purchase of food to the game of baseball, the sport's official anthem includes the line "buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack." That song was written, mind you, by a man who had never actually attended a baseball game.
Fans at any major baseball stadium can buy beer, soda, dinner food, snacks, treats, and a wide array of merchandise. Part of the genuine American baseball experience is having the fat guy behind you spill beer on your back as he lunches out of his seat excitedly. The shouts of various food vendors walking through the seats are a huge element of the game atmosphere. A friend of mine once invited me to a Cleveland Indians game in loge seating. There were menus under every seat and a well-dressed waiter who catered to our desires. It felt nothing like a baseball game-until, that is, I saw the price of concessions.