June 14, 2003

I Refuse to Pay $240 for Sunglasses

Folks, I need your help with a fashion question. Here's the trouble:

The new Agent Smith sunglasses -- as in Agent Smith from the recent movie, Matrix: Reloaded -- are due to be released at the end of this month. Now, given that Agent Smith rules, my own sense of style, and some physical parameters -- most notably my pasty, quasi-clean-cut complexion -- it is clear to me that I ought to purchase a pair of Agent Smith sunglasses.

Here comes the problem, however. An authentic pair of Agent Smith sunglasses costs $240 in God-fearing American currency.

When I saw the price tag, I about choked on my own bile. Two-hundred-and-forty-dollars-for-freaking-sunglasses? Oh, hell no! I said to myself. I don't care if they're inlaid with platinum and turn into a laser when you adjust the earpieces -- I will not pay $240 for sunglasses.

After all, paying $240 for sunglasses would not merely be a lifestyle choice: it would be openly defiant of the financial literacy I've accumulated over the years and violate my notorious sense of frugality in certain areas. For thanks to the magic of compounding, I could take this $240 and invest it. With just a five percent inflation-adjusted return, I could have $1100 in today's dollars when I retire. Then I could buy a pair of Agent Smith sunglasses and all sorts of neat accessories when The Matrix: Version 12.0 hits theatres in 2033. Besides, I still have my cheap television set from college, and it works fine. No way am I going to purchase sunglasses for a sum equal to six or seven times my TV's present market value.

Then again ... they're Agent Smith sunglasses ... and they have titanium frames ... and they're just like in the movie ... and they're really cool.


There may be a way out for me, though. After doing some on-line searching, I found sites where I could purchase a Cheap Knock-Off Pair of Agent Smith sunglasses for about ten percent of the above sum. But this too presents a problem. While the cheap knock-off pair is priced so that even I could purchase them without guilt, the lenses and frames are of lesser quality and it is pretty obvious.

So my questions to my readers are these: should I grit my teeth and hand over $240 to a sunglasses firm, just because the frames and lenses are a wee bit better and more 'authentic' looking? Should I make that extravagant purchase just so I can look far out and with it? Or, should I purchase the lesser set of sunglasses and hope no one notices they're not exactly the same?

Maybe neither option works. But since I know little about fashion -- I've never really cared before about these types of things -- I am pretty clueless.

RELATED NOTE: An e-mail to The Rant inspired this post. Said writer, whom we shall refer to as Mr Johnson, writes as follows:

You should get a new pic of yourself in the dark suit and tie, hair slicked back, add the dark glasses and put it up on the site and see if anyone else can figure out what I already have: that YOU ARE Agent Smith!

Now I had a great laugh at this! A really great laugh. Heh heh heh! Heh heh.


Mr Johnson.

We here at The Rant have no idea what you are talking about. We have absolutely nothing to do with a machine-oriented conspiracy to conquer the human race. We will let you have your little joke; however, we would remind you that you have a medical exam next week. Yes. A medical exam.

You don't remember that? Ah, but you do, it's all right here in our files. Now, we know that you want to do the right thing, and don't want to inconvenience your medical practicioner or your insurance carrier by missing it. Remember, it's at 10 a.m. sharp. on Tuesday. Ten a.m. See you then!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at June 14, 2003 12:27 AM | TrackBack

Dear Agent Smith:
It's been a long time since the first movie, so I understand that you confused my name.


Gee, that sounds like a swell deal. But how about this? I split the cost with you for the sunglasses. You post a picture of yourself in said glasses admiting that Ben Kepple is just your cover identity. And then you give me my phone call. I know my rights.

You know where to find me... for the time being.

Mr. Anderson

Posted by: Mr. Anderson at June 14, 2003 12:48 AM

And remember, there is no spoon...

Posted by: Mr. Anderson at June 14, 2003 12:52 AM

It ain't the glasses, it's the moves that make the Agent. Anyone can blow half a week's take-home on a fashion accessory, but a REAL agent makes it look good (and Baaad) whether he's wearing the authentic item or making do with chintzola.

I hear the same arguments from beginning guitarists who've gotta have that sweet Strat so they can play better, and from sportbike riders who've gotta have that sweet new 600 so they ride better. My advice is you buy the cheapos and work on your Agent skills with those. Then if you ever DO upgrade to the real deal, your Kung Fu will be better than those other agents who started at the top.

Posted by: Kevin White at June 14, 2003 05:22 AM

Hmmm. Let me impart to you a little taste of the Allison Wisdom:

The only way to properly rationalize spending $240 on a pair of sunglasses--and that is shocking--is to make certain you get your money's worth out of them. Wear them on sunny days, of course. And cloudy days, and at night, and in your apartment, at work, in the shower, to bed,...

In fact, never let people see your eyes ever again.

Posted by: Allison at June 14, 2003 02:50 PM

Hey Bro, I paid $235 for my pair of sunglasses :).

Posted by: Jesse Kepple at June 15, 2003 11:53 AM


Posted by: Benjamin Kepple at June 16, 2003 08:18 AM