Like Carter's economic advisor Alfred Kahn once said, maybe it's just a banana. But then that reminds us that bananas may be going extinct! We just can't win these days. Anyway, the Chron reports that inflation, the one dire economic trend the U.S. has been able to control for more than a generation, has crept up to 3.8 percent. Stores around the country report new consumer strategies to save cash; the East Bay's very own Longs Drug Stores reports that finally, people are buying generic drugs instead of the overpriced brand names. Why does it take such unpleasant circumstances before people do things like take Amtrak or alternatives to Claritin?