OK, I've bitched about my experiences at Starbucks (I'm going to start calling it "The Bux", because it makes it easier to cram it into one run-on word. For example: "gettacupatthebux". I'm all about brevity, and just don't have the time for actual proper English, busy guy that I am) and grocery stores, so naturally, the next, almost organic, progression from these two retailers would be (drumroll, please): Target. Quick exposition to set up the rant:
I was going on a short one hour flight last weekend, and I wanted to buy some cheap headphones pre-flight. Why cheap headphones? Because if they get lost during your journey (which is a 50/50 probability), you won't get all bent out of shape because you left them stuffed in the airline seat-back next to the barf bag and the Alaska Airlines courtesy magazine (why are your headphones stuffed in the barf bag/magazine seat-back? Because you got up to take a leak. Duh. And why are you getting up and taking a leak on a measly one hour flight? Because you were pounding Stella* prior to the flight. Double duh). Anyways, I really don't like to fly (my brain gets mildly preoccupied with the all the moving parts that have to work perfectly in unison in order to keep you aloft...and if you ever spent any time pondering the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, you'd be preoccupied too...), so listening to music is a nice diversion. I suppose having a crazy three way with the flight attendants would be another diversion as well, but I feel listening to my iPod is a) more appropriate b) easier to attain c) probably doesn't violate any FAA laws, and d) doesn't require the use of latex, various gels, and an awkward post event shame-walk back to your seat. Additionally, you're less likely to have to look anyone in the eye and have an uncomfortable moment of false intimacy, talk dirty, cuddle, or wonder two weeks later if that rash that suddenly appeared means anything (then again, I have no idea how involved you are with your iPod/iPhone...so maybe you do experience those things, you perv). So, off to Target I go, and I see a basic pair of Skull Candy earbuds on sale for less than $10. Perfect. I make my purchase and go catch my flight.
OK, so now were back to the flight, post Stella shenanigans and trip to the urinal 30 minutes into the flight (sans flight attendants and the kinky stuff), and I wander back to my seat. I look out the window and stare at the turbo-prop to my right and immediately start wondering about lift vs. downforce vs. drag, gravity, structural integrity, pressure variances, and, yes, as mentioned above, entropy. Hey man, to quote Yeats: things fall apart. OK, it's definitely earbuds and iPod (well, iPhone) time! I pop in the earbuds, crank up the tunes, and......only one of the earbuds (bud?) works. Looks like the old 2nd Law is working its magic quicker than I would have thought. Do you have any idea how hard it is to enjoy music with only 1/2 of the stereo sound working? Exactly. You cant. Upside was, I killed another 20 minutes of the flight trying to figure out how to get them to work properly (maybe if I blew in the earpiece to dislodge an unseen particle of plastic, or fiddled with the wires, maybe try and peel of an unseen piece of protective film on the miniature speaker....fuck. Nope. Broken as Mickey Rourke's face ((was going to say "mental state", but truth be told, I have no idea how sane Mickey Rourke actually is, or isn't. But his face, I think we can all agree, is a train wreck. Btw, he was fucking awesome in Angel Heart. Just sayin'...)). In hindsight, I now realize watching me obsessively fuck with the earbuds must have gave the other passengers the idea I snorted a whole bottle of Ritalin in the bathroom, but oh well). Anyways, I gave up in defeat, and perused the Alaskan Airlines in flight magazine. The magazine had little nuggets of info like: Alaskan Airlines has flights to Alaska. Holy shit. Who knew???? And: the National Parks of the USA are picturesque. Well, fuck me...somebody better get a photographer over to Yosemite and Yellowstone, stat. Might be a good idea to photograph them in order to let folks know they may be a nice place to visit. Amazing nobody thought of that. Thank you Alaskan Airlines.
Now, where was I? Oh yeah. Ear buds no workee. So, I get back to good old Fresno (Fres-no? Fres-hell-yes! Sorry...dumb but irresistible) and eventually head over to Target and get in the "returns" line. There's three lines. Two with four people in line, and one with two. Being the mathematical genius I am, I get in the line with two people ('cuz two be less than four and shit). All three lines move at equal speed with the first people in line, but then we get to the second in line. The lines to my left and right continue to move at a nice clip. But, naturally, mine grinds to a halt, because, as usual, I pick the line that was the opening act for some pretty good street theater. This evenings show was titled (I'm guessing) "White Trash Camera: A Source of Debate". I have no fucking clue what the issue in front of me was, but the evenings performers included a goateed family of six (both men and women goateed...with the women possibly having more tattoos than the men...and all in loose fitting tank tops) trying to return a camera, coupled with what appeared to be the entire Target staff clustered around that one register. The conversation seemed to be going something like this:
-Family matriarch: We just want to return this camera we bought here. Nobody told us to keep the receipt!
-Target staff: Ma'am...the lack of a receipt is only part of the problem. The bigger issue is this camera doesn't appear to have been purchased here. In fact, I'm not even sure it's even a camera. It appears to be made of clay,wood, bits of string and a Pabst beer can...and the brand name "Nykon", which looks to have been scratched on the side with a switchblade, isn't spelled with a "y".
Anyways, by the time I got to the front of a different line, my exchange took about 15 seconds. That's right...I'm the wet dream "cash register line guy in front of you". If you're in line behind me, I can guarantee you'll be out of there tout de suite...and I usually smell pretty good too, which is a bonus. Some folks? Not so much (see the Duggar family above).
I got my return, and there was great rejoicing throughout the shire (confession: I dont have hairy feet). I would add more to this story, but I just got back from the gym, it's late, and a hot shower and bed sounds better than...well, something normally fantastic. I have analogy fatigue. Sorry.
*Stella as in Stella Artois the beer. So, when I said I was pounding Stella, I meant I was sucking down a beer, as opposed to having some wildly enthusiastic sex with Stanley Kowalski's wife in the airport (who's that? Why Stella of course. Read a damn book** once in a while for god's sake).
** Yes, I know it was actually a play. Quite being an argumentative pain in the ass.
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