’Tis the Season, my fellow contributors and readers, for mayhem in the malls. For those of you out there that truly know me, you know my disdain of the major "shopping experience." Unless it’s an Apple Store, a Camera Shop, or an independent record store (i.e. vinyl), I pretty much avoid the “Dawn Of The Dead,” zombiefied shopping atmosphere. I praise Marty for his recent posts about the small shops earlier in the week, and when I can, try to support local business, rather than the corporate big box arenas.
That being said, it should be obvious, I am not a fan of “Black Friday.” (Hell, I wasn’t even too fond of the “Steely Dan gem.”) How do I survive when the need arises to venture into that particular realm, when absolutely necessary? I must amuse myself. I often say, “My sense of humor is a form of ‘self amuse,” and indeed it is. I recall seeing filmmaker John Waters on David Letterman many years ago, likely the mid to late 80’s (I recall this, because I began this “art form” in my “former life,” and I didn’t sober up until 1990), in the interview, he mentioned he liked “shopping for others.”
“Shopping for others,” involves placing items (left up to your own discretion, or lack thereof) sneakily into other people’s shopping carts. This is a tradition I have carried on for decades, not on a regular basis, but as the mood or situation arises. Sometimes it’s a nice “candid” way of getting back at annoying shoppers, a stolen parking spot, couples on the verge of a fight, simply observe people, watch the “attitudes.”
“SFO” when properly executed, is a wonderful source of “entertainment.” Drop some Magnum sized condoms in a couples basket, maybe a box of tampons, or lipstick, in that big, burly, macho guy’s cart, some Vagisil in with some loudmouth’s purchases, perhaps some Head Lice treatment in with that uppity, well coiffed, snooty bitch’s haul, you get the picture. The key is, to be creative, and with any luck, get in the checkout line either behind them or on either side of them during checkout. It also helps make the wait in line a bit more ‘enjoyable’ as well!
Watch the denial, the sheer uneasiness and the unsuspecting looks of others, while they wave it around, claiming they don’t know how it got there. Trust me, they don’t. Consider it my way to helping to boost the economy, or “helping others” in a way. You never know when that extra quart of transmission oil, or 10 pounds of russet potatoes will come in handy.
Use your imagination. I have a few ground rules, not to get any children blamed, people who cannot afford these “extra luxuries,” or the elderly, as sometimes they go unnoticed. They don’t need any problems once they get home. However, by observing people, you can usually get a pretty good ‘read’ on what they might ‘need’, or that they may actually have a good sense of humor about it as well. Give it a try, for me, it makes the holiday shopping a bit more bearable. Perhaps I will “see” you shopping this holiday season, and be your own little “Secret Santa.” Ho, Ho, Ho!
Now, on to some recent photos of the past few weeks, (no shoppers were harmed in these images) as I once again revisited some of my favorite places where rust indeed, never sleeps.
Take care of yourselves out there until we “meet” here again.