We’ve reached the season that Meijer’s self-checkout cash registers start giving out gift receipts. But they’re a little sharper this year. They will give a gift receipt for a set of surely-made-by-adequately-paid-workers-in-environmentally-safe-conditions-as-far-as-I-know art supplies meant as a Toys for Tots donation. They didn’t give a gift receipt for a pack of toilet paper and three bars of Ivory soap. They were correct in this. The soap is totally my gift to myself and my excessive hand-washing compulsion. I’m just glad they’ve got the system understanding this.
So there’s been some progress and I found some acceptable cargo pants at Meijer’s. And now I have to work out whether I had an “extremely” satisfying shopping experience. I have no conceptual theory for what makes an extremely satisfying pants-buying experience. I have some ideas of things that make for an unsatisfying pants-buying experience. I’m a little unhappy that I had to ask someone to unlock the dressing room, but that’s just because I don’t want to bother the person whose job it is to unlock the dressing room by asking for dressing-room-unlocking services.
But that’s not truly unsatisfying, the way I’d be unsatisfied if, say, a pair of test-fit pants turned out to have legs full of angry worms. I don’t know why the worms are there. Maybe they wanted to simulate the leg experience. Or if I took the pants off the rack and was immediately tackled by The Number 23-era Jim Carrey. Maybe if I went to buy them and got caught in a spotlight while buses full of everyone I knew in middle school came by to point and laugh at me.
But “extremely” satisfying has to be more than just “nothing unpleasant happens”. I need something more. I don’t know what. I’m stuck on what that would need. My attempts to think of an “extremely” satisfying pants-buying experience keep failing. Like, suppose I tried on a pair of pants and found a $20 in the pocket? Great, right? Except then I can’t just ignore the fact that some stranger wore these pants before me and they weren’t even washed or anything. Or else someone didn’t put these pants on and is just shoving money into the pockets of un-used pants. Why would someone do that? What’s their angle?
The people behind me in lane 14 are getting tired of my dithering. Please send help. Also, companies, please stop trying to be personal. It’s not working out like you want.
The card reader wants to know if I had an extremely satisfying shopping experience? What would an extremely satisfying shopping experience be? I was just there to pick up a prescription and some toothpaste. I can imagine ways that this would be unsatisfying, like if I picked up a tube of Crest and it burst into fire, but that didn’t happen. Surely an extremely satisfying trip requires more than just toothpaste not combusting? Does toothpaste even catch on fire? If not, could you use it to put out a fire? Why? It would have to be an extremely small fire and in that case couldn’t you just spray, like, mouthwash on it instead? Would that work? How does that help me figure out whether I’m “extremely” satisfied? I guess I didn’t find a new pair of cargo pants, but then I didn’t figure I was going to either. I just checked in case they had some. I have a lot of stuff I can’t do without having in my pants, such as my legs, quarters for pinball, and my iPod Touch. Cargo pants are good ways to satisfy those needs, since there’s more pockets than there are things to put in them. But if I didn’t get something I didn’t really expect to get am I satisfied? Anyway, someone please go to the soup aisle, get a can of lentil, bring it to the microwave aisle, warm it up, and bring it to me at the checkout lane. Thank you.
So there I was at Meijer’s reading all the labels of stuff because don’t we all and I noticed this bottle of nothingness.
And I was all ready to joke about what you take with a water pill and then foolishly read the actual instructions.
They beat me to the joke. What am I supposed to do with that?
Anyway, I found an excuse to include a Betty Boop cartoon over on my mathematics blog. Maybe you’d like to read that, then?
So we were at Meijer’s trying hard to think of what we went to Meijer’s to buy. We succeeded as far as we know. The store had some toys in those little mid-aisle displays that make it harder to get around the aisle. This one was of those giant Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures. Well, I guess they’re not giant. They are like four feet tall and I think that’s about life-size for the Ninja Turtles. The 1980s Ninja Turtles anyway, that I’m kind of sure-ish about. They’re way giant compared to any toys.
We were walking past and this kid ran out of Seasonals, punched a Michaelangelo right in the stomach, and then ran off before the Ninja Turtle could retaliate.
It all seemed mysterious. And quite unfair. Who sucker-punches a Ninja Turtle? I mean a Ninja Turtle other than Raphael. There must be some story we’re not getting behind this.
So I have to figure the target market for this is people who are figuring to go to a bar tonight, and know there’s a fair chance the bathroom will run out of soap, and they want to do something about that, but only if doing something about that involves getting to compress a computer-animated rendition of Leonardo.
And if I’m wrong? I’m not ashamed. Anyway I talk about some mathematically-themed comic strips over on my other blog, so you can look at that instead.
So at Meijer’s they’d set up a little tent with a ballot box. “Who Do You Want In Your Basket: Chocolate Bunny or Marshmallow Peep?” And delightful was that it was just a sheet of paper to mark your preference. It doesn’t ask for contact information. There’s no using your vote to market anything to anyone. That was fine enough. And then —
Somebody was so bothered about a mis-marked ballot in a meaningless, irrelevant buy-more-candy stunt that they tore up the mistaken ballot? I’m so amused by that I’m going to go ahead and pretend I don’t suspect the torn ballot was there at management’s orders so people wouldn’t feel worried they’re the first person to fill in a ballot or anything.
And in my mathematics blog, mathematics comics. No calculus this time, although I do try to transcribe Comic Dutch dialect. Plus I ask about educational reform trends in Canada, so you know that’ll be fun!
And finally, those reading Thomas K Dye’s Infinity Refugees may have missed the sad news. He’s had to put the project on hold for a while. But the good news is he’s taking the chance to rework the Newshounds comic it draws from. The new version started this week, so it’s a good chance to hop on.