Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Adventures in Retail

I've been setting up the rabbit warren as of late and gotten to the point that I no longer need a trail of breadcrumbs to find my way back and forth to the Home Despot (your home improvement and denial of basic rights warehouse).

In fact, the day will come when, on intellectual autopilot, which is most of the time as my mind is always off on some bizarre tangent of collecting meaningless and obscure information, most of which winds up dumped here, I will drive to the despot when I really mean't to go to, oh, the grocery store or the airport.

Speaking of a collection of trivialities, I had to explain what stigmata was this morning. On the 6th of August, I remarked at how interesting it was that we were meeting with a consulting group named Trinity Technologies.


The sixth of August is relevant in history in that it was the day the first atom bomb was used in war. The final test of the bomb was held in the New Mexico desert at a site code named "Trinity."

And I wonder that I don't date much.

I am described as having a collection of useless facts bandying about. One of my contemporaries who is afflicted with the same store of knowledge is called "cultured." Clearly, he has a better grasp of fine wine than I do and probably buys his suits off the import rack.

One of the things the new home needs if I am to occupy it successfully is food. That was last night's quest. Weekly grocery shopping or as I go about it: The blind leading the confused through a maze without and end.

I have to admit being a food snob. I go to the upscale store in our area for two reasons: One, if you ask for Shitake's, they don't point you towards the restrooms. Two, a cuter class of people go there, which is to say professional women whom you never know, you might strike up a conversation with near the fresh vegetables. Beats the blue hairs at the place in town that dog you from aisle to aisle so you can read labels to them and comment on something's digestibility.

But even at the palace of upscale eats, you need to pick up staples. That means breakfast cereals, frozen food for the (most) nights when all you either have time for and feel like is to throw some pre-made concoction in the microwave and get back to the book you were reading or amusing the cats somehow.

To the latter, does anyone find it as disturbing as I do when a Roast Pork dinner sports a banner that says "Made with Real Pork."?

As opposed to what? Here kitty, kitty kitty?

And cross promotions? Look, I want a box of simple breakfast cereal, I don't care about software, trips to Disney or starring in the next episode of Survivor. And you boys and girls at Life Cereal, Inc.? Stop pixilating the models on your boxes to look like they're made out of Lego. The morning will come that I pour a bowl with a nasty hangover and one of us is going to be sorry.

But I got through it all, all right, without major injuries or having to explain the atomic weight of uranium to anyone. Chances are I'm free Saturday night as well.

Meanwhile, back at the despot, I'm having early senior moments or fits of cluelessness. This past weekend I finally decided to fix the screen door. The old screening had come loose and the fellow whom I bought the knob and tube palace from felt that duct tape was an appropriate fix.

I know him. He's a nice guy, one hell of a soccer player but, looking around the house, not the handiest tool in the box.

Screen is held in place by one of two things: Either staples or spline. Spline is a rubber gasket that wedges into a space and holds the screen down by friction. As with all things though, it comes in a variety of different sizes because, well, people like me like to stand in the aisle holding up two packages trying to guess right.

Guess what?

Yes, of course I bought the wrong size so, its back to the despot, back to the aisle, back to the package I didn't buy, compare it to the wrong size I did buy and...

...toss the right size back onto the shelf and walk out with the exact wrong size again.

Did I say two things held screening in place? Three actually, frozen Roast Pork, made with Real Pork will do in a pinch.


Blogger Kathryn said...

am in full agreement on the upscale grocery store thing --- very cute boys wander through the Wholefoods I frequent, though unfortunately often accompanied by their equally cute girls ....

2:42 PM  

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