Purchase at your own risk…

So, you need a broom, or a new pair of headphones, or some other menial item that seemed inconsequential until you attempted to live life without it. To find it, it’s inevitable that you’ll turn to one place: Duane Reade. Those brightly lit aisles have every menial item you could possibly need, but they also have some of the most blatantly cheap pieces of manufacturing you will ever see. In order to help you figure out when you can shop at Duane Reade and when you should opt for a more expensive alternative, Bwog has compiled a helpful power ranking.

  1. Iron: Two of your four years at Columbia. Most likely the latter two, because that’s when you will actually own enough business casual clothing to utilize it.
  2. Comb: One semester, if you’re careful – pulling it through your hair too abruptly will cause the teeth to snap off, leaving you with half a comb.
  3. Coffeemaker: From whenever you buy it until finals season, when your suitemate will push it slightly off balance on the counter and send it shattering on the floor. (This may sound fake, but it has happened to me multiple times.)
  4. String lights: Two months, at which point they’ll fizzle out one by one (just like the motivations to do well in each of your classes). But honestly, this one’s on you – why were you buying lights at Duane Reade in the first place?
  5. Air mattress: Six weeks or six usages, whichever comes first. Duane Reade’s fancy “air bed” might seem impressive, but one loose pin on your floor will cause it to rip faster than the jeans you thought would be fine clothing for yoga on the lawns.
  6. Headphones: One month. The special discount pairs that Duane Reade never seems to run low on are great for about three weeks, and then one headphone inevitably stops working, and then it’s a dangerous game of unequal ear sound until the other one follows.
  7. Umbrella: The next big rainstorm. One gust of wind from the Hudson will be enough to push that sucker off its wiring forever, like a frat bro. I once had an umbrella break in the time it took me to walk from Duane Reade back to Plimpton for this reason.
  8. Disposable camera: One weekend. You will take about twenty pictures, then either forget the camera at 1020 or drop it in the toilet. On the off chance that you’ve managed to hold onto the thing, you’ll develop it only to find that you only took about twenty pictures, half of which have come out blurry or otherwise incredibly cursed.
  9. Sunglasses: A few hours. Seriously, that’s it. Put them in the wrong pocket of your backpack, forget them in a jacket, or even take them to a Columbia football game, and they’ll be gone by the end of the morning.
  10. USB/Outlet converter: The amount of time it takes you to get home, plug it in, and find out that it never worked in the first place. Thanks, Duane Reade!

Photo via Bwog Staff