July 6, 2005

It’s All In The Logo.

With Wal*Mart changing the landscape of America’s retailing forever, I can’t help but long for the good ol’ days. Back when shoppers had a choice of where they shopped. Stores where you could walk from one side to the other without the need for a Service Area. Shopping experiences where you weren’t assaulted by surly greeters trying to supplement their social security or televisions hanging from the ceiling to compliment the noise of the snot nosed brat kicking his mother in the shin.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I go to a department store to pick up things I need, well, from a department store. I don’t go to get my hair styled, I don’t go to get fitted for contacts, I don’t go to do my banking and I don’t go to the department store to get my nails done.

I go to buy clothes or laundry detergent or cat litter or shaving cream.

I blame K-mart. When they went from the big red “K” and little blue “mart” to that stupid “Big K” big block K logo thing, the former S.S. Kresge Company opened the floodgates with their inevitable failure and gave Wally World room to expand. Those Big K’s weren’t any bigger than the old K-marts. Heck, they didn’t even carry appliances like the original K-marts did! And where was the popcorn by the jewelry counter or the K-mart cafeteria in the back? Gone!

If they had done what they’re Australian counterparts did with their K-marts by just updating the logo a little bit, staying true to their original course and keeping up with the times, I bet the retailing landscape would be a little bit different today.

And I bet I could still grab some popcorn near the jewelry counter. Sears Essentials my ass. Popcorn is essential!

Business In The Front, Party In The Back.

Earl and I decided to frequent the local casino for supper tonight. I guess we were in the mood for a little people watching and whole lot of food from the buffet. I could spend hours, maybe even days, watching people as I just find the whole world so amusing. So interesting. Even the most mundane person has something to contribute this world, even if it’s just a heap of boredom.

But I have to ask, who’s idea was it to bring back the mullet? For the hair history challenged, let me briefly explain what a mullet it is. You take a perfectly good head of hair, a little on the longish side, and head down to the mall. At the mall, you seek out one of those futuristic hair emporiums, usually named something like “Fashion 2005” or “Big Fashion, Little Cents” in big Atari type lettering. You are then consulted by the hair washer girl (who has failed beauty school a handful of times), the hair drying boy and then Gregor, the big sissy with parachute pants and snappy gum. He takes your perfectly good head of hair and sort of shag/Farrah’s it in the front but shorter. Think “feathered” with not a lot of “wing” but extra poof. Then he waves the scissors over the back and doesn’t take one millimeter off the length. Voila! A mullet.

It’s all business in the front but turn around! It’s all party in the back. Bring on the Milwaukee’s Best baby.

The extra adventurous pay extra to get that party in the back permed.


Back to the casino.

Whilst people watching, I noticed quite a few people (mostly men and a couple of mean looking dikes) wearing mullets! Holy ’87 Camaro! What to do? At first I suspected that it’s because the casino is only five miles from a dirt race track (hot action every Sunday night), but that would be stereotyping. No, no, no.

It’s just that bad fashion sense is prevalent in these parts.

Into The Storm.

Last night Earl and I went to a local restaurant for a reuben on rye and a basket full of fries with gravy on them (my arteries have been a little too clean lately) and then hit Barnes and Noble for some browsing (and the books weren’t bad either). We had both wanted to pick up a new book to read during our vacation plus we were wasting some time before seeing “Bewitched” for the second time.

Our browsing was cut short by a flicker of the store lights and a rumble of thunder. Seems there was a BEAUTIFUL thunderstorm coming in from the west. I instantly jumped into “storm chaser” mode and Earl came along for the ride.

Usually we do the storm chasing in the Jeep, but because we were out and about, we just went ahead and did the chasing in the Acura.

Now that was an experience.

We headed west about five miles where the wind picked up considerably, the sky darkened to near midnight proportions and it rained and rained and rained and rained. It was raining so hard the wipers couldn’t keep up. Big rain drops made themselves known by pounding on the sunroof with a loud “plonk”. There were several awesome displays of lightning and the wind was blowing branches all over the place.

When Earl began to get a little nervous with the whole thing, I decided to turn around and head home. In an effort to get home quickly, I turned directly into the storm. We had to do a U-turn and backtrack due to fallen trees across the road. We were in the middle of the storm, with the wild wind and rain and dancing lightning to a thunderous beat. All that was missing was a flying cow. I was absolutely loving it!

Then I remembered all the windows were open at the house.

When we arrived home we found that while there was considerable wind and rain, nothing in the house was disturbed. The storm had cooled the house down quite a bit, but other than that, it was business as usual.

By then, the storm began to subside so we headed to the movies. Today the flowers are a little brighter and the grass is a little greener courtesy of their potent drink last night. The National Weather Service is predicting more fun tonight.

I better ready the Jeep and the camera ready!