Drunken Recollection… Shopping At Target As A Morality Play

Seven seasons of septegenerian heaven

Seven seasons of septuagenarian heaven

If there’s anything I’ve learned in this life, it’s two things:

1) Don’t shop while hungry tipsy.

The second one I’ll share at the end.

Basically, I met up with some friends for a couple of drinks after work and opted to stop at Target because I needed a few things.  Those few things needed:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Vitamins and fish oil pills
  • Air conditioner air filters
  • Um… Charmin
  • And some food

On the way into the store, I noticed someone had left their headlights on.  I memorized the license plate and approached the cart guy outside the store.  He told me to head to the customer guest service desk, where this happened:

Me: Excuse me, but someone left their headlights on in the parking lot.
Worker: They’ll probably just turn off themselves.
Me: I don’t think so.  It’s an old green Escort parked in a handicapped spot.
Worker: I’ll get to it when the line is clear.
(I wandered off to look at the sales ad in case the worker wanted more information.)
Random lady (leaving): You were very nice for doing that.
Me: Well thank you.

Me Just Grim...

Me Just Grim...

Feeling victorious and uplifted, I made my way to the toy section first.  No real reason why, other than force of (forcive?) habit… of collecting.  Being in between a series of collectibles to search for, I’ve often eyed the animated Transformers toy line, and upon finally hearing the worker announce the Escort parked in a handicapped spot with its headlights on, I picked up a mini-Grimlock.  No essentials yet.  Just a small child’s toy.

I rounded the corner into the Lego aisle and what did I see?  Brand new Indiana Jones playsets.  Say what you will (and I have) about the last movie, the playsets from Raiders, Temple of Doom, and Last Crusade are pretty sweet, and in my hands in an instant (Ambush in Cairo almost made the cut).

Deflated and defeated, I put back everything but Grimlock and walked over to the electronics section.  Guess what I discovered there?

Every season of Golden Girls for $9 each!

I had a similar impulse a few weeks ago when the first four seasons of Saturday Night Live was on sale for $20 each, but this one I’d follow through.  Several weekends in September are about to be booked up.  Mjusayn.

I eventually gathered up my remaining essentials, plus a ton of food.  (Yay! Hard salami‘s back at Target!  For now…)  I put the bottle of Gain laundry detergent and a bottle of Liquid Plumr (‘cuz you never know) on the bottom of the cart, and a thought crossed my mind:

I wonder if someone will check the bottom of the cart…

At the checkout counter, the clerk brought something to everyone’s attention:

Somebody really must like Golden Girls.

I emptied the basket and pushed it forward to refill it with bagged items.  I noticed I had slipped the Gain and Liquid Plumr past the clerk.  I looked back into the eyes of the people that laughed at my must really liking Golden Girls, and a voice echoed in my head:

You were very nice for doing that.

I removed the two jugs from off the lower tray.  “I almost forgot something.”

After paying, I headed to my vehicle, past where an Escort with a dead battery could have been.  As I filled my trunk with purchases, the cart attendant approached to help.  I said thanks, and he nodded as he took the cart to add it to the returning basket train.


Oh yeah, and the other thing I learned:

2) Don’t assume your friends ordered whatever beer was
on special, because it just might be regularly priced.

The Sh– To Just Sh–ty… Filmmaker Chris Columbus

I know he created you, but he also wrote "Christmas with the Kranks"

I know he created you, but he also wrote "Christmas with the Kranks"

As a child, my list of favorite films was simple and current.  There were the easy ones: Star Wars, E.T., Back to the Future, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Some of the others… not so easy: Gremlins, The Goonies, and Adventures in Babysitting.

What do those works have in common?

Who has two thumbs and loves Beth Cooper? Not too many movie goers, I'd say.

Who has two thumbs and loves Beth Cooper? Not too many movie goers, I'd say.

Steven Spielberg’s protégè, nay, discovery (hah!),  Chris Columbus wrote Gremlins and The Goonies, and directed Adventures in Babysitting.  For me, he could do no wrong, and let’s be honest: as kids, our taste is horrible.  But I feel all three of these films have stood the test of time.  Some of his other works?  Eh, not so much:

  • Young Sherlock Holmes (noted as the first film with an entirely CG character)
  • Heartbreak Hotel (a kid kidnaps Elvis… anyone else but me remember this?)
  • Only the Lonely (made me thankful I wasn’t a mama’s boy… sorry mama)

Now grant it – he had other hits through the 90’s: Home Alone 1 & 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, and, um, Nine Months?  Jingle All the Way?  Stepmom?  Bicentennial Man?

And to most Potter fans, he directed the weakest films in the series (Harry Potter and the Stuff in the First Movie and Harry Potter Rides Again), but I don’t watch those films, so I don’t hold it against him.

Like his compatriots I will be attacking in future The Shit to Just Shitty’s, it’s about the fall from what imagination, vision, and drive they once exhibited, to the money grubbing, the disillusionment, or the detachment from the public they display in recent works.  Is it the state of the studio system?  Is it the movie going public’s demands?  I offer no answers, only martyrs.

Here’s hoping *hold your breath* *cross your fingers* Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (that’s the title folks), contains some of the gritty charm of his earlier works, and not the glossy finish of his latest offerings:

Hrm.  Looks glossy…

InASense, Lost… Indiana Jones and the Mosh Pit

Let me preface with this:

After seeing this film at !2:01 am on May 22 – I was livid.  I was beyond livid – I was destroyed.  Not only had my nostalgia for “Star Wars” been tainted, but could I wash the taste that was “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” out of my Mt. Dew and Reese’s Pieces dirtied mouth?  (Overall, that’s a pretty disgusting sentence.)

Turns out the answer was, yes: by spending two weeks spewing vitriol wherever my typing fingers would guide me.  I read and forwarded every damning review.  I reveled in the posts that tore any positive commenter a new one.  And it’s true what they say – time heals all wounds.

Well most of them.  With the arrival of said dread film on DVD, I opted to take a second viewing, and too be honest – it wasn’t as bad as I remembered.  Sure the big ones still, well, pulled a candiru for me: the groundhogs, the monkeys, and Mack… but I surely didn’t feel as slighted.  I actually enjoyed Indy and Marion’s reunion this time.

I was going to write this as the first blog in a series I want to call “In Defense Of” (this one would have been “IndyFence Of”), but instead I went with my “InASense, Lost” because it is more like innocence lost.  Check it:

Spielberg and Lucas were younger and more adventurous when the earlier romps for Indy were made.  Also, “The Last Crusade” came out at the end of the living cartoon 80’s films after “Die Hard,” and along with “Batman” and “Lethal Weapon 2.”  The original trilogy was right for the times, capturing the mood and the spirit of its creators. 

To put this in terms from my own life to make a point, I will be referencing my experience with mosh pits.  (If I was geekier, or could even remember how to make geometry proofs, I would do that now.  I’m not sure which precedent is stronger, or if they’re even separate…)

EXAMPLE (A) I’m 22 years old.  It’s my first punk concert – Rancid – at the State Theater in downtown Detroit.  Three of my high school buddies are there.  The show starts, as does the mosh pit.  Having only been to a Debbie Gibson concert prior to this (at Sea World in Florida, no less), I have no hesitation and jump in.  Wailing and spinning and flying bodies.  Fights without fighting; punching without punches.  I get up and body surf a couple of times.  The bouncers throw me around like a rag doll.  I leaned down to tie my shoe in the pit at one point, and a cadre of fellow punkers split the pit open like the Red Sea so I wouldn’t get trampled.  In other words – “Raiders of the Lost Ark” totally.

Flash forward to 1990 and on (for Steve and George, duh): rumors and lies and hopes and dreams exist that make Indy 4 seem like a simultaneous inevitability and impossibility.  Yada yada yada they pull the trigger (or should I say, cracked the whip!  Nah…)  The stars and the Stars align (minus Connery) and success!  It’s done!

But the end result isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  How can this be?

EXAMPLE (B) I’m 32 years old.  It’s my latest punk concert – Say Anything – at St. Andrew’s Hall in downtown Detroit.  I’m with my brother, Scott, and cousin, Steve, and we’ve just left the casino.  (They were 13 and 12 in the first example.)  I won ten bucks and charged all our drinks thus far.  They’ll get mine at the show.  I wonder which arena will end up having the better deal on beer.  While partaking in more drinking before Say Anything’s set, a couple of girls approach Scott.  I assume Steve’s glow-in-the-light monster truck shirt isn’t helping him.  The show and mosh pit begins, and we swarm to it.  I keep thinking I want to go up, but I find that I’m the guy launching people.  I’m the guy controlling the crowd when people drop.  As the show goes on, I finally surf once – over three rows of teens.  Amazingly, the bouncers still throw me around like a rag doll.  I get kicked in the head as much as I did ten years ago.  In other words – “Crystal F-ing Skull.”