Sunday, January 5, 2014

Man Shopping

Greetings WYMOP readers!

It's just after the holidays, and everyone's still shopping crazy and burnt out on the mall. Except me. I went to the mall one (1) time during the holidays, and it just happened to be two (2) days after Christmas - the height of Return Season. But I did it right.

I did it like a man.

Here's the story...

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My SanDisc Clip 4G Mp3 player wore out.

Stopped working.

I needed a new one.

I didn’t comparison shop. I didn’t spend any time looking at fliers, or calling from store to store, or buying multiple MP3 players at different stores in order to see which one I liked best and then run about returning the ones that didn’t make the cut.

I wanted a SanDisc Clip 4G MP3 player. So this is what I did.

I pulled into the parking lot at my nearest Best Buy. This Best Buy happens to be attached to a mall, and it was only two days after Christmas, so the lot was full of cars —  people returning stuff, in order to buy more stuff. Rather than drive around looking for a spot as close to the building as possible, spending minutes circling in search of an open spot, or slowly tailing someone walking through the parking lot like some pedophile who ‘just wants to make sure the little ones get home from school safely, officer’, I had decided to just drive away from the building in a straight line and take the first open spot I saw, even if it was in the next county.

I got stuck momentarily behind a car that was blocking the aisle, directional flashing away, as they waited for a woman to vacate her spot. The woman, a matron of about one hundred and nine, helped what looked like her mother into the driver’s seat, then stood behind the car to help guide the ancient crone as she backed out of the spot. There was backing and stopping. And backing. And stopping.

I went around.

I found an open parking spot and pulled in, hopped out, and started hot-footing it back across the parking lot. I was in luck: the spot I found was close enough that the mall was still in sight, and I would not have to stop to ask for directions along the way. As I beelined up the aisle I passed the spot that had been so recently vacated by Methuselah's grandmother, and saw the driver of the car I had been stuck behind. I noted in passing that she was a woman of about my age, and was accompanied by a boy in a green shirt. I would have fit into this shirt three times over, probably with room for my son as well, but on this young lad the fabric was stretched so tight he looked a little like some bizarre party balloon.

I did not slow.

I slammed through the entrance like an invading army bashing through a castle gate. The young tough manning the door was alert and aware, the words “Welcome to Best Buy, can I help you find anything?” slapping me in the face just as my lead foot came down on their inner carpet. I flung up a hand, fending him off with a well-placed “No thanks, I got it!” and slipped by the stunned guard. Gazing upward, I took in the department signs suspended from the ceiling.

TV and Home Theater... Computers and Laptops... iPod and MP3 players.

MP3 Players. I took that as a clue. I headed that way.

Juking left and right like some Top Gun extra (kids, ask your parents or look it up) I zipped through the crowd. I was moving with purpose, and though I went around people larger than me, anyone smaller got the hell out of my way. I shouted an apology over my shoulder to the old woman who didn’t move fast enough.

I’m sure she’ll be fine.

I slipped into the MP3 aisle with a smoothness that would have made Fred Astaire cry (kids, parents!) and stopped in front of a SanDisc Clip 4G. The last one on the rack. I gave myself leave to do a two step happy-dance, then retraced my steps to the front of the store, hurdling the old woman who was still struggling to her feet. I can’t print what she called me, but I can tell you there’s nothing wrong with her lungs.

I’m sure she’ll be fine.

I hit some luck at the registers: that maze they make out of ropes and crowd control stanchions, the one that started at the bank but rapidly spread across our retail society like syphilis blasting its way through 16th century Europe, was, astonishingly, empty. I bee-bopped through the maze at a speed approaching Dark (because no matter how fast Light is, whenever it gets somewhere it finds that Dark is already there and waiting) and appeared at one of the open registers like a stage magician’s trick gone wrong. Old, and bald, and wrong.

“Did you find everything you were looking for?”
“Do you have a Best Buy rewards card?”
“No, and I don’t think I’ll open one tonight, thanks.”
“Okay, sir, if you’d just slide your —”

I was already sliding my debit card through the machine. I keyed in my PIN like a CPA on meth putting a serious beat-down on his adding machine, took the receipt she held out to me, and with a “You have a wonderful New Year too!” I was heading for the door Apollo Ono style —  head low, arm swinging, big strides, and at the head of the pack.

I paused to hold the door for a frazzled-looking woman who entered the store followed by a huge green balloon-shirt with legs. The shirt was bitching about something. The long walk in from the parking lot, I think. I grinned and let the door hit him in the ass as I strode out into the parking lot.

Total time in Best Buy, from sidewalk to sidewalk: less than 120 seconds.

Man Shopping. That’s how it’s done.

Let the door hit the bitching green shirt in the ass.

I’m going to go listen to my brand-new, fully functional SanDisc Clip 4G MP3 player.

Y’all have a good day.

Talk to you later!

Author’s Note: In the course of writing this post I realized I could not recall the actual term “crowd control stanchions”, so I Googled the phrase “in line at the bank thingie”... and it @#$%ing worked! How @#$%ing cool is Google?


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That's all I have for now. Talk to you later!

Bonus Video:

I just finished reading my first Jack Reacher novel, and I have to say that although in the books he's 6'5" and 250 lbs, little Tom Cruise does a pretty good job depicting the brutality of Reacher's fighting style.

Disclaimer: No testicles were hurt in the making of this film.As far as I know. I think. Maybe.

1 comment:

  1. I would do the same for my Walkman MP3 player. Suck it, iPod....