Hell on Earth

The preceding poignantly pithy phrase points profoundly at the (ok alliteration over) subject material for this particular post (sorry, I'm done I swear).

Now, I have worked in retail. I remember the experience. There are a few elements that make retail hell on earth:

Stupid Questions - 

Customer - "Do you work here?"
Employee - "No, I just wear the company shirts to throw you off, SUCKAH!"

Unfounded Anger - 

Customer - "Where are your veggie burgers!?"
Employee - "Sir, we don't serve food."
Employee - "We're a record store…"

Price Hagglers - 

Customer - "How much for this shirt?"
Employee - "Seventeen dollars."
Customer - "I'll give you sixteen…"
Employee - "Tell you what! You give me eighteen and I'll give you a dollar in change! It will be like you made money."

OR, the ever popular.

Customer - "This doesn't have a price tag on it… I guess it's free"
Employee - "HA-HAAAAAAA… You didn't tell me you were the reincarnation of Andy Kaufmann you sly devil! That was so original, I'll even throw in a shirt for sixteen dollars!"

Giant Pink Things!

Well it is Valentine's Day, this means one of two things:

"Hooray! Valentines Day! I love you. You love me? Yaaaay! Let's eat chocolate!"


"Fuck Valentine's day! It is all commercialized and fake and who cares! I don't have a significant other and I don't WANT one!"

I fall into that first category, (CHOCOLATE, AHHHHH!) but I can sympathize with the people who fall into the second category. My suggestion is chocolate, you should try it, it is great.


One of my favorite things about Valentines Day has to be the expectations that pop up as a result of it. When you have a holiday built around romantic love, it makes things a little less magical. When Christmas comes, it is highly unlikely that Jesus will actually fly in on a magical sleigh and deliver presents, so why not just drink eggnog and have a good time?

President's day? Unlikely that dead presidents will come back to life, so why not just drink Sam Adams and have a good time?

VALENTINES DAY? Completely possible you're going to get lucky. So DO EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO MAKE SURE THAT HAPPENS!

Observations: Terrifying, Erotic, Expensive… in that order

I love to walk. Walking places is fun and easy. That being said, I'm fairly certain that that there is an entire room in hell full of nothing but treadmills. Can't you see it now? Hundreds upon hundreds of dead eyed people in perpetual motion, the clomp of their feet becoming a numbing dirge reminiscent of drums on Viking slave ships… all producing the exact effect expected from moving WHILE staying still…

I know, I know, exercise. I get it.

The problem is, walking the route I take into work, while not as mindshatterlingly mundane as being on a treadmill, doesn't really make me want to look around and enjoy the sights.

No offense, two people lying in sleeping bags under the underpass who get mad at me in the morning for not giving them the lunch I packed for myself and then get mad at me again in the evening for not saving them some of the lunch I already wouldn't give them because I ate it. It's not that I dislike walking through your… back yard? (Front yard? living room? Cedar closet?) But your decor leaves something to be desired.

My solution, as a result, is to lose myself in my own thoughts as I walk into work and then back out. This works great when I have something specific to think about.

Not so much when I have "Pepper" playing over and over in my head and all I can think about is what it would sound like to slap two jellyfish together.

So here I have compiled a few of my observations. Things that I think about as I pretend to be on the phone so I have an excuse to not engage the two sleeping bag people who want my turkey sandwich:

What's your calendar like for 2017?

Aside from plane tickets (which I plan meticulously months in advance) I am not the biggest proponent of far off planning. It is nice to have big events planned out, but as far as other things go… meh.

But I've started noticing that people are extending their calendars further and further out in front of them. The easy explanation is that, with the economy fully embedded in the watery grossness you find at the bottom of a trashcan after going out of town for a month and leaving your air conditioning off in the middle of summer, people like knowing their schedule far in advance.

But I first noticed this problem years before the economy went "Phut".

Back in April of 2008 I had a doctors appointment, routine stuff, just went and turned my head and coughed and got a clean bill of health. But when I left the room and stopped by the reception desk, the woman asked me if I wanted to make another appointment.

"Sure," I said, thinking this would be easier because the minute I left that hospital I would totally forget I ever even HAD a doctor.

"Great," she smiled. "How is July 20th, 2009?"

Wait… seriously? I'm standing in front of you with no calendar and no smartphone and you're asking me to confirm an appointment 15 months in advance? Do you really need to ask if that works for me? Does anyone ever say anything aside from "um… I guess that will be fine…"?

I had to fight the urge. I really wanted to just put on a grim little smile and go "damn… July 20th, fifteen months from now… yeah I can't do that. I have a thing. Do you have something on another one of the 364 days of that year or is the 20th your only availability for 2009?"