Archive for July, 2009

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Crate and Barrel

July 27, 2009

This weekend I experienced an unparalleled feeling of dread.  For a split second my entire body convulsed with the massive surge of adrenaline resulting from the sheer panic that had crippled my entire nervous system.  For that briefest of moments all time seemed to stop, the world ceased to function and life as I knew it was coming to an end.  My wife was wandering alone, unsupervised, in the Crate and Barrel outlet store. 

The trip had started off innocently enough.  We were on our way back from Trader Joes (we really solidified our yuppie credentials this weekend) and my wife said, “Honey, let’s stop at the Crate and Barrel and pick up a serving tray.”  I thought to myself, “OK, this can’t be too bad, we have a clearly defined goal (get a tray) and a strict timetable (due to the frozen pizzas sitting in my car on a 95 degree day) so she can’t do too much damage.”  And so I replied, “Sure, Honey, good idea!”  We pulled into the parking lot, navigated around the swarm of SUVs, Volvos and Priuses, headed into the store and started to look around, my sense of frugality instantly starting to fade in the soft, comforting light of fluorescence bouncing off white melamine crockery and Brazilian Walnut cutting boards.  I think the thing I hate most about Crate and Barrel is how every single thing in the store seems to be designed with me in mind.  It’s almost as if a team of top scientists, interior designers and psychologists had been put into a room and told, “Design an entire store around this one person.”  Sure enough, they succeeded.  I love just about everything in the Crate and Barrel store, which means that either the store was designed solely with me in mind (possible, but unlikely) or the store was designed with a specific socio-economic group in mind, which I happen to fall squarely into (sad, but true).  The same is true with my wife, but she doesn’t bother with the internal ramifications of loss of identity, she just goes straight for the kitchen gadgets. 

So there we were, happily looking at the cutting board section when I suddenly turned around and realized my wife was no longer by my side.  I looked behind me, looked to the side, looked in every spatial plane, cold sweat forming on my brow the entire time when it suddenly hit me:  She was nowhere to be seen.  I frantically scanned the store looking for any sign of my phantom wife.  Maybe she was over in the furniture section, she had mentioned she was interested in getting a new end table…no, not there.  Maybe she was over by the pillows…no such luck…where was she?!  By this point panic had completely overpowered my every sense and all I could think of was, FIND HER BEFORE SHE CAN SPEND ANY MONEY!!!  Then, suddenly, I caught a glimpse of her.  She was mostly obscured by a stand of martini glasses, but there she was, and I knew I had to reach her.  Jolted into action, completely devoid of my senses, I raced across the store, flatware flying, place settings crashing to the floor, small chilldren getting knocked over; I left in my wake a trail of destruction akin to a tornado touching down in a trailer park, but with better home furnishings.  The floor was lined with shattered tea pots, crying children and the broken dreams of a young couple that really wanted that serving platter that had gotten caught up in my whirlwind of destruction.  I finally reached my wife, panting, sweat dripping from my face, blood flowing freely from my arms, pieces of jagged pottery protruding from my skin.  Trying my best to hide my concern I casually asked, “Hey Honey, find anything you like?”  She replied, “Um, not really, I don’t see anything that will work for us.  We can go whenever you’re ready.”  A tidal wave of relief flooded over me as I realized we weren’t going to be spending any money that day.  I casually replied, “Oh, OK, I’m ready to go then.”  And so we exited the building, I doing my best to guide my wife to the exit without her seeing the destruction I had caused in my panic-induced state.  We left the building, got in the car, and just as I thought we were clear my wife says, “Maybe we can stop at Pier One on the way home.”

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Cluster bombs

July 22, 2009

Yesterday, I was preparing a brief and I needed a picture of a cluster bomb.  I did a google image search for ‘cluster bomb’ and the pictures that came back were of mutilated children.

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Sexist Fire Alarm

July 21, 2009

Today the fire alarm in my office building went off and I noticed that it’s a woman’s voice that says,  “May I have your attention please,” but it’s a man’s voice that gives the actual order to evacuate.  I guess the fire alarm company figured no one would listen to a woman.  (for the record, no one listened to the man either)

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Strange currency

July 10, 2009

Today I purchased a bottle of OJ and when I got my change it included a one dollar coin.  I thought, “Oh, a one dollar coin, that’s interesting, don’t see too many of those in circulation…oh well.” and I continued on my way.  When I got back to my desk I looked at the coin and saw that instead of Sacagawea, John Tyler was on the coin!  I had no idea that John Tyler was on any currency, let alone a one dollar coin!  For those of you not acquainted with the late, great John Tyler, allow me to capture his rather amazing life in a few short pithy sentence.  John Tyler was our 10th president, and the first person to reach the position without being elected.  That’s right, John Tyler was the Vice President to William Henry Harrison, who famously died after only 30 days in office.  Tyler, who is forever referred to as ‘our accidental president,’ rushed back to Washington on hearing the news, an action he immediately regreted.  At that point in time our Consitutions wasn’t really clear on the whole line of succession thing, so it wasn’t clear whether the VP would simply become the President, of if he was still the VP filling in for the President until new elections could be held.  Tyler, in a bold and daring move that set a precedent for how VPs should act when their President dies, made it abundantly clear that he was the President and that anyone not happy with that could go screw.  All seemed to be resolved when it suddenly occurred to everyone in Tyler’s party (Whig) that no one really knew what Tyler stood for.  Rightfully concerned, Henry Clay (a Whig, and big one at that) confronted Tyler demanding to know his position on the major issues of the day, such as Tarrifs, Banks, and other such sexy topics, and quickly realized that Tyler oppossed everything that Harrison had been elected to do.  Awkward.  And so the next few uneventful years were spent with the Whigs in Congress continually submitting new pieces of legislation for the President’s approval, and the President routinely vetoing them.   (He did however annex Texas, something the rest of the U.S. is still pissed about.)  Once election time came around Tyler was swiftly voted out of office.  After a couple failed attempts to get back in the game, Tyler figured northern politics were for suckers and sided with the Confederacy where he became a representative in the Confederate congress, thus making him the only President to ever secede from his own country.  Put that in your history books and smoke it!

All of this is a long winded way of saying, “What the hell is he doing on my one dollar coin!”