Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Have yourself a merry little ... whatever!

I know, I know - it's an omen! The secular media is killing Christmas and we're only allowed to say "Happy Holidays" and not "Merry Christmas"!

Well, semi-bah-Humbug. "Happy Holidays" doesn't bother me. I've used it myself more than once. Even though most of the time I say "Merry Christmas". But I understand that if you're working with the general public, you have to be sensitive to the possibility that a few people might not celebrate Christmas and might prefer to hear "Happy Hanukkah" (a strong possibility) or "Happy Kwaanza" (less likely but still in the realm of possibility.

So when you're making that split second decision ("Lemme see - is this sour-faced old prune more likely to celebrate Christmas, Chanukah or Kwaanza?"), sometimes it's just easier to split the difference and go for "Happy Holidays." Which annoys everyone equally and so can't be faulted as divisive.

So - merry Winter Solstice, everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

And by the way, I hate Wal-Mart too

Saturday morning I got up super-early and bravely fought the traffic on Van Nuys Blvd. so I could buy my favorite aunt a gift card. See, she likes Wal-Mart, and I like her, so even though I personally am a Target fan, I swallowed my dislike and went in.

Well, guess what? I found the PERFECT gift card for her - it had a picture of a monkey on it and said "Go bananas!" And my nickname for my aunt is "Anna Banana". So - well, you get it, right?

Anyway, I got to the register and guess what - they couldn't sell it to me! Why not, you ask? Well, apparently because their scanning equipment didn't recognize the card, and neither the clerk at my register nor the manager could figger out how their own equipment worked.

Being impatient at the best of times, I mentally gave up after only fifteen minutes of this, muttered something about how I was going to go to Target instead because when they sell gift cards they actually SELL them, and stormed out, vowing never to enter the citadel again.

And when I got home, guess what I found in my mailbox? A Christmas card from my cousin Kathy, containing - are you ready? - a $25 gift card from Wal-Mart!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Why I Hate Home Depot, and Why You Should Too

Have you seen the Osh Hardware commercial, where bewildered shoppers are wondering around a huge, impersonal hardware store (cough Home Depot cough) with big question marks on their shoulders, while sad piano music plinks in the background?

Well, recently I wandered through my own local H.D. for half an hour, with a big question mark on MY shoulder about vacuum bags - namely, do you have them and if so, where are they? I asked three different people and got three different answers.

The first one, a man, said, "I'm sure I've seen them around here somewhere," but made no move to actually try and find them for me.

The second one, a woman, at the CUSTOMER SERVICE desk, no less, said, and I quote, "I think they're in the same aisle where the vacuum cleaners are." But she didn't know where that aisle might actually be located, and didn't really seem to care.

The third and last, also a woman, said, "We don't carry vacuum cleaner bags." Oh! Thanks! If only I'd known that half an hour ago! (Though on the plus side, I did get my daily walking workout so I shouldn't complain too much, eh?)

Anyway, after that I left and went to my friendly neighborhood Lowe's (sorry, Osh, I like your commercial but you don't have a store anywhere near me) - and what a difference! As soon as I walked in the door there were at least half a dozen employees right there, and I had no problem finding someone to tell me exactly where my vacuum bags were located.

Okay, to be fair, they were off by one aisle. Still, it was such a relief to finally get the stupid bags that I'm willing to let them off the hook. Thanks, Lowe's!

(by the way, I haven't actually USED the vacuum cleaner bags yet - but it's nice to have them around, in case I feel the urge.)