Thursday, October 31, 2013

Recent Observations

  • While handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, I observed a young boy (probably around 7) whose costume consisted of jeans and a Miller Lite t-shirt. More disturbing that the parent’s decision to place their offspring in a beer t-shirt was the fact that the shirt was appropriately sized for a child of his age. Who at Miller Brewing said, “Does anyone see an issue with licensing our logo to Gymboree?” and got no response? There is always the possibility that what I attributed to laziness and sub-par parenting was an ingenious dig at the boy’s father. Had I asked, the mother might have responded that the boy was disguised as her ex-husband since he was jobless, sloppily attired, and asking for handouts.    
  • A few weeks ago I found myself following a car with a personalized license plate that read “AMERICA.” While the owner’s patriotism did not strike me as particularly unusual, the fact that he chose to affix this license plate to a distinctly foreign sedan was somewhat ironic. Generally speaking, if you are of the mindset willing to expend the money and effort necessary to become the only person in your entire state that has “America” on their tags you would likely purchase from a domestic manufacturer. Of course, there is also the possibility that he confused the “Country” and “Desired Tag” fields on the form and has been too embarrassed to correct it.  

  • While recently attending a downtown event geared toward children, I was treated to the sounds of a local rock band. Their musicianship was admirable, but they kept playing Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash and placing extra vocal emphasis on the “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die” section. There was something disconcerting about witnessing a group of grade-school children clapping along. Much to my chagrin, I was unable to break away long enough to request Creeping Death by Metallica.

  • I have reached my limit on being forced to carry “loyalty keychain lanyards” for every business I have ever patronized in the continental United States. Every bookstore, restaurant, pet store, grocery, pharmacy, gym, and pawn shop has a “rewards card” program where you are forced to divulge your home address in exchange for the ability to hand them your money without being hassled at the register. If you don’t possess one, you are subjected a variation of the following exchange:

“Are you a secret VIP rewards zone member?”
“Wouldn’t you like to become one? It’s free and it qualifies you to receive bi-monthly 10% coupons for quarterly purchases of yearly merchandise. Plus, you get a newsletter with special promotional pricing for holiday items”
“No thanks; just the Sprite and what I owe on pump 5 will be fine”
(Cashier’s face becomes a mask of disbelief as if you have just refused eternal salvation) “Oh…if you’re sure…”

There are probably Colombian drug cartels asking coke mules if they have their “narcotics loyalty card” on them at this very moment. When did it stop being acceptable for me to simply pay for my merchandise and leave the premises? No offense, but I am not sure I am going to accumulate enough points at participating Nevada-area BP stations to justify 45 minutes of paperwork.


  1. Agree with above, I don't know if you take topic suggestions, but have you noticed how difficult it is to buy men's razors? Do I really need that many blades and do they really have to cost that much?

    1. Exceptional MediocrityNovember 21, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      I do indeed take topic suggestions and I have penned a short essay on modern razors which I will post within the next few days. Thanks for reading!


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