But it's not necessary

The biggest sucker deal in retail.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Can't we all just get along? Part 1

  Okay people, just a few things we all need to remember during these hectic days of the holiday season. Winter is a wonderful time, the chill in the air keeps us all indoors crowded together more than any other part of the year. Add in the shopping and we are closer together than I personally am at all comfortable with; so we need to go over a few basic concepts that hold our fragile society together.

  Odor. If you use one of those metro-hip body sprays, that's great, always glad to see people making the effort to smell better. However, the key word there is 'spray'; not 'body'. It's for after you shower, not instead of. It's not a body-odor cloaking device, it's not shower-in-a-can, and it certainly isn't personal-cloud-of-flowery-funk. If people know you are there before you open the door, it's too much. If you are spraying long enough that visibility drops - you are spraying too much. And, perhaps the easiest to understand, if bees are roused out of hibernation to follow you around - it's    just    too   much.

  Sickness. All that togetherness allows the germies to hop easily from person to person, so it's more than likely you'll catch a cold or two. Facial tissues are a great, handy tool, but they have a lot in common with that other very common type of tissue: I don't want to watch you use them. I'm not asking that you find a stall every time you need to sop up your nostril drool; just please at least turn away from me. And if you have to honk and squeeze and then dig around I think finding some alone time is the least the rest of us can ask of you. We'll return the favor, promise.

  Shopping. I fully understand the cleverness of splitting up and going to different stores; comparison shopping via cellphone, I've considered it on occasion myself. One thing to keep in mind, (and this goes for the rest of the year as well), I don't really give a shit what you have to say to your caller. I'm far beyond the point of being annoyed when people take calls in line at the register and go on and on about their personal business, I find it rather amusing most of the time that people are so oblivious of their own assitude. But there are two things you can do to appease me and the few other people on the planet that still have a modicum of class. First, use your indoor voice, anything you say is only becoming mock-fodder for those around you. Second, don't make eye contact and pretend that you are so put upon by the caller and/or your hectic life; you had the option of not taking the call. I'm not going to play along and eyeroll with you, you are the one carrying a self-imposed leash around, I'll only be eyerolling at you with other people.

  And no cuts, ever. If you want to save a place while another part of your party is still shopping, more power to you, but if he/she/it isn't back in time I'll be sure to point the way to the end of the line. And if your companion does make it back before your turn with the register jockey, there are limits, just so you know. I don't know an actual number, it's an unwritten, etiquette-type deal. Let's say 5 other things. Definitely no second shopping cart, that is beyond obnoxious. It's only common courtesy, but sometimes you gotta remind people.

Friday, December 16, 2005

This is worse

  Okay, I had something to write about, but it has slipped my mind for the moment. (I have a note written somewhere, it'll turn up.) Since I am here anyway, let's all ponder the psychological ramifications of flirting with your Mom via the Internet. Link to Yahoo infotainment article about a guy that set up a meeting with someone he had courted online, found his Mother there instead of the young morsel he expected.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The punchline that had no joke (Barry Gibb is not jealous)

  I had some friends that I had been cliqueing with since high school and at one point two of us were working a construction job together. Sometime in the Summer of 1988, Frizzle (name changed for pretty good reasons) and I worked one particular job, a new patio deck and some remodel work inside. The owner of the house was an Italian-American guy with a lot of money (lays finger along side of nose). The wife and kiddies were never there and briefcase-and-shiny-suit guy was amiable enough when he would sidle through on his way in or out; but he had a Mother-in-law, (or Grandmother or something), that didn't speak any English and hung around watching us all the time.

   On one sunshiny day Olda Cronia was watching as we did nothing for about two hours while we waited for our boss to bring back more lumber for the deck. Apparently Olda Cronia was unfamiliar with the concept of contracted work, she was very agitated that we were there not doing anything; I believe she thought we were on her clock slacking off. Of course, we were being paid by the hour, but our idle time was hurting our boss, not his client. Nevertheless, she eventually meandered out near where we were and started speaking gibberish * and motioning for us. We walked over to her and listened as she waved her arms about and said things we didn't understand. She became increasingly exasperated at us for deliberately not learning any Italian as she harangued us on the topic of ... like I said, I think it was loafing on her dime, I will never know for sure. I started nodding to her, thinking she might shut up and go away if she thought we were agreeing with her -- but that made her get louder. I probably agreed to do something and then didn't do it, I sympathize with her vexing situation.

   Eventually she summed up, (I concluded from the context of her sweeping arm gestures that she was nearing the end of her rhetoric), so I nodded most agreeably and said "Yes, yes, penis fluid"; with my most agreeable smile and continued nodding. Agreeably. Frizzle, of course, cracked up, causing Olda to storm off with steam blasting out of her ears, (not literally). Being a friend of mine he had been chosen for his skill/sense of humor in finding me hilarious, but it was a pretty funny moment I must say so my damn self. I could have said anything, she had made it very clear she didn't understand a single word of English; 'yes, yes, penis fluid' just happened to be the funniest thing I could think of to say at the time.

  Forever after that day, the phrase joined well-worn movie and song quotes in our gang's lexicon. Anytime someone said something nonsensical, especially if they were very earnest, one of us would invariably start nodding his head, then the punchline "yes, yes, penis fluid." Followed by gales of laughter and a look of consternation from the nonsensical babbler.

* I say 'gibberish' not as a gibe towards the fine language of Italian, but as a commentary on someone continuing to blather to a person they know does not understand.