Introducing: “Yeah, but is it worth it?”

I grew up in a disposable household, in the heyday of impossibly-cheap products destined for limited use and quick replacement. It wasn’t my parents’ fault, of course, it was the nature of society at the time. Why pay more for something that will rack up wear-and-tear when you can pay less and get a new one?

And, to my shame, this was my inherited mindset well into adulthood, an ethos born in childhood but stoked to full-on zeal by the printer-ink paradox. You see, when I was in college, printer ink was so stupidly expensive, it was cheaper to just buy a whole new printer (which came with ink). When you’re already counting pennies to buy ramen noodles, there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room for upselling craftsmanship. (Now that I think about it, most of the beer I drank fit nicely into this economic framework, but that’s a whole other can of worms. Which, coincidently, is what I think they were trying to make when they invented Natty Lite, but I digress).

Anyway, at some point I developed a love for cast-iron cookware, which is the kitchen gateway to the buy-it-for-life philosophy. Cast iron is meant to outlive you. It’s meant to outlive your children. It’s meant to survive the heat death of the universe. And, frankly, there’s something romantic about that notion.

From there I started looking at other aspects of my life. I was a practicing trial lawyer at the time, and I was absolutely BURNING through work shoes. It’s like the asphalt outside the courthouse was made of WWII barbed wire or something. I, of the disposable mindset, also refused to spend more than forty or fifty dollars on dress shoes, and as a result had a senior partner pull me aside one day and tell me to… ah… clean up my act, and spend some money on my footwear.

I quickly learned, however, that a higher pricetag doesn’t always equal higher quality, and – what’s more – I found that when things cost more, the people who buy them can become deranged fanboys in the quest to justify their purchase. At the end of the day, it can make sorting the reality from the hype a real task.

And so, after some prodding from Mrs. 10Chickens, I’ve decided to launch this new category of posts about some of the things we use around the property, with one question in mind: if tiny, tree-dwelling gremlins descended from the forest and stole a particular item in the night, would I buy it again? In other words, is it really worth the money?

These reviews will hopefully be informative, maybe a little funny, and ultimately put you at ease about investing $400.00 into a smoker, for instance. So, without further ado: Yeah, but is it worth it: Webber Smoky Mountain.

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