Pre-Drunken Recollection… Strange Things Are Afoot At Target

"You had me at logo"

"You had me at logo"

On a mission to get some essentials post-soccer and pre-impromptu bar session, I stopped into the Target I used to work at AKA the Center of My Universe.  Here’s a breakdown of all things odd that occurred in a very short visit:

  • Being adorned in leftover soccer attire, I entered the store and found a young lady that appeared to be wearing full soccer attire.  I witnessed a too tight yellow t-shirt, way too small black biker shorts, and sock covered shin guards black faux leather boots to her knees.  Her mother was with her and didn’t stop her from leaving the house.  This was just the beginning.
  • I ran into my cousins’ aunt and uncle and they warned me about someone they had passed that I was about to run into.  I won’t spoil the upcoming surprise, but I warned them of The Boots.
  • Yes, the man did look like he was wearing underwear as pants.  Gray boxer-briefs, more specifically.
  • Moving forward, I saw one of my friends helping an old lady in one of the aisles, but she didn’t see me.  I proceeded to linger at the end cap, banging things on the shelf intermittently, doing the same in the next aisle.  No response.
  • A mother passed by with her tween son and daughter and shunned the son with the phrase: “Here’s the stinky man aisle.”  She abandoned him, and his sister waited to mock him as he set out to pick out his first deodorant in shame.  I paused from pounding products and considered helping him – I didn’t.  He went for the cheap stuff on sale and ran out into the main aisle as his mother returned.  They rejoined the father that happened to be the MAN IN THE UNDERWEAR.
  • Tired of embarrassing myself by making a small scene to get my friend to stop talking to the needy old lady, I rounded the corner on the opposite end facing her.  I realized the lady was inquiring about lady shaving products.  Specifically bikini area hair removers.  My friend looked captured, but upon seeing me, finally excused herself.

Oh Target, you complete me.

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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.

Finis.

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.

Drunken Recollection… Dressed To Kill (This Is A Funny Title… Trust Me)*

At night at the bar does not always provide teachings, but last night, I learned two things:

  1. Sometimes, to get the girl, a guy’s gotta wear a zip-up fleece and corduroy khakis.  I’m not a zip-up fleece and corduroy khaki kinda guy, so I would never get the pointy shoe and $100 blue jeans girl – not that I would want to.  Introduce me to the girl in Target jeans and Keds anytime.
  2. Is this not possibly one of the greatest movies of all time?! 
    I just ordered it on DVD, so I’ll be sure to let you know.  Brian DePalma made this in 1974, a year before Sisters and two before Carrie.  It played on a background TV out of earshot, behind the couple from Hell Hell Bean.  I’m still not sure which display was more frightening.

*check out #18 on this list

Drunken Recollection… Tron And Lil’ Wayne = Cheese And Whine

I’m no fashionista.  (I even felt uncomfortable writing that word.)  I don’t dress in the latest fashions (if Target or Kohl’s ever become haute couture, I’ll be set).  I don’t even wear a suit to formal affairs (I have my standard white dress shirt, random tie, black pants, and until someone called me out on wearing a certain vest to their wedding – a certain vest).

So please do not judge me as I judge another.  My sisters always said it’s 10% what you wear and 90% your attitude (I think they borrowed liberally from another saying), but there was this guy at the bar that made some choices, and then some additional choices on top of those, and… well, let me explain.

First off, he was in mid- to late-twenties, and he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt bearing what I call “a Tron pattern.”

(Not So) Artistic Representation

(Not So) Artistic Representation

Which on its own, I guess, would be fine and dandy (I shall never write that phrase again).  But he could have worn something akin to this, instead:

Boba Swett...shirt

Boba Swett...shirt

And he would have pulled off the look a bit better.  But he also could have actually gone to this extreme like this guy:

Does he Master Controller to Tron?

Does he Master Controller to Tron?

Yet I’m not done.  The sweatshirt was a few sizes too small, as it tapered and adhered to his arms.  A bad choice on its own, but forgivable if he opted NOT TO WEAR THE HOOD.  It was snug on his noggin, and seemed to pull up the shirt underneath as well.

So what? you might be thinking.  He can just put down the hood.  My response: then why doesn’t he pull up the back of his pants!  He had them purposely draped below his gray boxer briefed bum, as his leather belt held them firmly there.  My friend, Jess, thought he might not know, but I knew he knew.  It was another in a long line of bad choices.

The coup de grace for me was when my friend Devin was doing karaoke of Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli” (which is a dumb song, btw, with some of the worst lyrics… check them out after the jump).  This too-small-Tron-hoodie-wearing, non-boxer-pants-sagging doofus jumped up to sing with him, and he couldn’t keep up!  He ruined it for Devin.  Oh well.  Like I said, who am I to judge… in my 90’s X-Men tee and skaterboi jeans with the cuffs rolled up.

(SIDE RANT: What’s the appeal of Lil’ Wayneanyway?  Is he big merely for the fact he may have been the first to integrate electronica with rap?  Why couldn’t he be a nice, clean cut guy like Chris Brown, and get cozy with a sweetheart like Rihanna?)

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JusWondering… Flooded Bathrooms, Head Sizes, Spasms, And Dirty Words?

Just some things I’ve been thinking about the last 24 hours:

  • At the bar last night, someone left a faucet running.  It filled the sink and started flooding the floor.  I turned it off and alerted the waitstaff.  The waitress’ response, “Not again.”  This made me wonder: Are we so used to automatic water faucets that we don’t remember how to use the old ones?
Now... you grab what and pump how again?

Now... you grab what and pump how again?

  • I get an occasional twitch in my left thigh where my cell phone usually hangs around.  Should I change the pocket I carry my cell phone in?
  • I used to be pretty good at math, and I’ve always loved board games.  People used to tell me I should have went into statistics, but I thought that would have been boring.  Maybe I should have invented some new kind of puzzle game.
  • Brit pop star Lily Allen has a new CD out.  Kevin Smith’s latest movie just came out on DVD.  While I was at Target, I looked at the back of Lily’s CD and saw that she had a song called “Fuck You,” clear as day on the back.  Yet, Zack and Miri couldn’t have Make a Porno on it.  So a “Fuck You” on your back is better than a “Porno” on your front?
    "What's a p****, mom?" "A p**** is a video of people fucking, honey."

    "What's a p****, mom?" "A p**** is a video of people fucking, honey."

  • This song I heard on the radio last night as I was driving home reminded me of discovering new music in my college years:
  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist would have been better if Nick and Norah’s heads were in proportion to each other.  I’m not sure if Michael Cera’s head is too small or Kat Dennings’ chest head is too big.  (I’m thinking the prior.)
    Made me not-so-afraid of NYC... I watch too many 70's movies.

    Made me not-so-afraid of NYC... I've seen too many 70's movies.

InASense, Lost… 80’s Pop Culture Reference That I Missed

My sister, Becky, recently started a blog about things she learns everyday called SomethingKnew.  Since I’m usually forgetting things, I thought I’d pay tribute to her site by recounting something new that I learned.

Today, I discovered the origin of a nickname I received when working overnight at Target.  I didn’t even know there was a basis for the moniker.  Whereas most of the other overnighters bounced around departments in the store, my only job was to take care of Plastics – the unpacking and organizing of all large Rubbermaid and Sterilite containers.  I always had a bunch of cardboard by morning, and the trash compactor runner guy, Greg, used to call me Baby Plas.  He called my friend, John, the Gordon Fisherman for some unknown reason, and my friend, Rodney, simply Dangerfield out of necessity, I guess. 

And I didn’t think much about it.  I thought it was just an odd yet obvious choice.  (For example: if I was dubbed, say, the Trix Rabbit, I would have wondered where it came from, much like I did with John the Gordon Fisherman.)  Somewhere inside me, I resigned to the fact that it teetered on the Dangerfield zone of unoriginality.

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this facet of pop culture that escaped me:

Baby Plas was a reference to “The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show.”  Baby Plas was Plastic Man’s baby.  I worked with plastics.  I was more the Gordon Fisherman than John would ever be.  I was more Dangerfield in every sense of the word.

And I missed basking in the nickname. 

For shame.

So Long, And Don’t Let The Automatic Door Hit You On The Way Out!

Asta La Windows Vista, Baby!

Asta La Windows Vista, Baby!

The hell hole that stole my soul will finally be no more.  Circuit Shitty is set to close it’s remaining 567 stores by the end of March, and it’s website will shut down today.

Why do I have such disdain for the retail store?  Let me count the ways:

  1. I took the job to avenge my sister – I should have known better.  I had recently moved back from L.A. where I worked at a Best Buy.  There, they had taught me that “Circuit City” was the enemy and “working for commission” was evil.  As the DVD market was beginning to grow, I remember us laughing about the ridiculous plan CC had in motion to develop DIVX (more on this in a moment).  My sister, Tammie, had opened store #3604 back home, and she had been complaining about a manager that kept hitting on her/harrassing her.  She refused to take action so I got a job there to make sure it stopped.  It did.  That manager ended up helping me make a lot of money, so he ended up being an all right guy.  Cursed Southern salesmanship!  (NOTE: To be read as “curs-ed”… not “curst”… thanks.)
  2. It elevated my lifestyle.  When I started there in August of ’98, working in the SOHO department (Small Office Home Office), I made something like $700 my first full-commission week.  The next week, I made $1oo more, and the next – $200.  I had worked at a medical center prior to BB, and at BB, I was the Media Department’s Senior (which is a splash above regular).  This money influx was amazing.  There were days I could make my week’s pay that day.  I spent more than I saved.  And it took me a long time to break that habit, as well as another.
  3. It turned me to drinking excessively, amongst other things.  You see it in every movie: Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, Giovanni Ribisi… they start making money and things *snap* start *snap* happening.  I had so much money I didn’t know what to do.  Couple this with the fact I worked at a nightclub Friday and Saturday nights… well, I didn’t do completely stupid things.  I just drank more than I even do now and partook in inhaling and occasionally ingesting certain types of vegetation…
  4. I had to make the sale.  No.  Matter.  What.  I never outrightly lied.  I may have slightly bent or tip-toed to the edge of what our service plans covered, but as long as I worked there, anyone that came in with a problem was taken care of by me.  Too bad I was only there for a year-and-a-half (too long).
  5. The DIVX Dupe.  For those of you only familiar with the media format, there used to be format with the same name.  The idea was you’d buy a disc for $4.50 and once you played it in your machine, you had access to it for 48 hours, after which you had the option to pay $15 more to permanently unlock it, or could “rent” it again for $3.  It put a DVD player in my house, but it was a dumb idea.  And I was forced to sell this product to every customer.  And since it was in the TV Department, all out wars broke out between SOHO and TV (because of the spiffs).  When it finally folded as a format, all the discs went on sale for a buck or two.  I bought pretty much every one.  They exist in a box in my basement and predicted my eventual DVD purchasing habit (I currently own over 1200).
  6. The CompuServe Rebate Ripoff.  For the first Christmas I worked, people had to save up to buy a home pc.  The cheapest complete system (14″ monitor, tower, printer, and of course – service plan) cost $1585.55 out the door, with something like $50-$100 in rebates.  I killed at selling this package, and it probably made me eighty-some bucks a pop.  The following August I spent backpacking in Europe and upon returning, the well had dried up.  The cheap machine boom was upon us (as was the looming Y2K fiasco), and at the center of the shitstorm laid the CompuServe rebate.  Anyone would get a $400 dollar rebate for signing a 3-year agreement to join the dial-up service at $21.95 per month, so everyone and their kitchen sink were coming in for the “FREE” pc.  Hardly any commission on that, and try to sell service plans I did – to no avail.  Where I had been swimming in cash at the end of ’98, I dove into an empty pool at the end of ’99.  I wouldn’t last many months more because in addition to making peanuts for pay (I was back down to $400 per week – the horror!), the quality of products we sold had also diminished.  This lead me to take a second job overnight at Target which brought me a great group of friends I still associate with to this day, so maybe Circuit City wasn’t that bad after all.

(I feel cleansed like this was some type of confession.  BB CCing you in hell!)

Another one buyts the dust...
Another one BUYts the dust…