Monday, November 10, 2008

Sometimes We All Do Silly Things...

I'm not one to recap my weekend in a blog because I honestly can't imagine anyone being interested in the minute details of my life. Besides, it's Monday morning and I barely remembered that I had to get up for work so remembering every detail of my weekend is not likely.

However, there were some parts of my weekend that I remember rather well and which I think I'll share with you today. Mostly because, as you HAVE to have figured out by now, I'm a ranter. And sometimes I just like to get things off my chest.

For example, this weekend I decided to go shopping. Not Christmas shopping but I went with my mother who is a very good shopping companion. Our first mission was to replace my parents coffee maker because it had recently exploded. And no, that is not an exaggeration. From my mother's accounts, it actually blew up. So, they needed a new one and we decided to make that our mission for the day.

And so we went to Linen's n' Things because it was going out of business and it was selling everything 20% off. Now, an experienced shopper knows that 20% off is the very beginning of a store going out of business and it lasts for a good long time because it's not that much of a discount. This way the store can still make a tidy profit but prey on those lunatic shoppers who feel that Everything Is A Bargain and thus must Shop Til They Drop. And, trust me, they do.

The thing with Linen's n' Things is, besides the fact that it's almost the EXACT same store as Bed, Bath and Beyond, is that they published a weekly flyer. On the back of the weekly flyer for the past years has been a coupon for 20% off anything in the store. Better yet, Linens' N' Things also accepted competitor coupons from Bed, Bath and Beyond which also had a weekly 20% coupon.

So, following that rationalization, I was expecting the store to be quite busy with people seeing what's what and deciding if it was worth buying a potato peeler for $10.40 instead of $12.99. (Note: Captain Monkeypants would like to say at that price, buy a knife. Seriously. There are much more uses to be gained from knives. Just ask Dexter Morgan). But I didn't think people would be too excited because it wasn't like they couldn't have bought that potato peeler for 20% off before with their coupon.

Unfortunately, I made a bad decision. For Linens N' Things was not merely busy. It was a zoo. It was like the day after Thanksgiving. People were insane. They were seeming to singlehandedly trying to say "Whatever" to the bad economy. You couldn't browse without someone barrelling down the aisle with a cart and trying to mow you down. I understand the need to shop wherever the bargains are but in my humble opinion, these weren't bargains yet. They might be in a month or so but for now, the prices were about the same as any other store having a REGULAR sale. I could almost hear the store walls laughing, rubbing their hands together and saying "SUCKERS!"

However, they did have the coffeemaker that my parents specifically wanted and that was a pretty good price. And so we waited in line. For 30 minutes. At least waiting in line was fairly safe. By this time, shoppers had reached that deflation that comes after grabbing as many items as one can cram in a cart and realizing that now it's time to pay. It's the time of Second Guessing the Impulse Buy. Some people take one look at the line at the checkout and decide if it's not worth the wait and they then ditch their items anywhere they can. This is why those random items that Don't Belong There litter every aisle. The item-ditchers are usually the people who found one or two items they thought was worth the price. For the three or more item buyers, the fact that they just survived the battle zone of a store clearance sale in order to get those three or more items leads to the decision that they may as well wait. Sometimes, like us, you have been specificially looking for an item (in this case, a coffeemaker) that you haven't been able to find anywhere and you're fed up of looking and so you end up waiting in line anyway.

On the plus side, it was good practice for Christmas shopping. Especially as Linens N' Things, despite the fact that they're going out of business, still decided to set up their Christmas Aisles. This meant there were ample objects for people to wind up and hear a never ending loop of "The First Noel" as they waited in line to pay. And when I say never-ending loop, I mean never-ending. I suppose it could have been "Frosty the Snowman" which is one of my least favourite Christmas songs ever.

Note to self: Avoid Going Out of Business Sales on weekends. So, that was The Silliness of Captain Monkeypants, incident #1.

Incident #2 came last night when driving home from my parents. It's a two hour drive and I have found that audio books are fantastic for passing the time. I love listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks because Jim Dale reads them. Jim Dale is awesome. He does different voices for every character and it feels like it's a whole new story, even if you've read the Harry Potter book many times already.

However, audiobooks can also be a bit troublesome. Especially when they make you miss your turnoff. Now, I've driven back and forth between my parents quite a few times by now and so I finally have the route memorized. However, I was so busy listening to Harry Potter last night that I forgot to turn. It was about three miles before I realized I had gone too far. Being the midwest, and being on an Interstate, there aren't many exits. Fortunately, I have this handy dandy GPS in my car that I borrowed from my dad. I plugged that in and thankfully, the nice lady who talks to me when I don't hit 'mute' guided me home. Granted, it was a strange way to go and being southern Ohio, it was very hilly. There were a couple of hills that made me feel like I was on a roller coaster. They were almost a straight incline and straight drop. Terrifying. I don't like roller coasters.

I do like the GPS though. Although the one my dad loaned me makes me laugh. She actually sounds exasperated when you don't do as she says and she has to recalculate. I think it'd be fun to design a whole line of GPS in which you can choose the type of voice you have. I would like a voice that was little nuts and would randomly shout factoids as you were driving long boring stretches. That would be funny. Anyway, there was no harm done. I just felt silly for missing my turn.

My biggest "duh!" moment came last night. Since I moved into my apartment, I have noticed how warm it is during the day. I always assumed it was because my windows were east-facing and thus the sun had a greenhouse effect on my flat. Last night, I came home from my parents. Over the weekend, the temperature outside had gone from warm and balmy to flat out cold. My apartment was still warm. And then I heard it. The heating came on. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my heat has been on for weeks and I didn't know. In my defense, it turns out my thermostat is labelled wrong. I had it set to "off" but this, apparently means "heat". Since my electricity bill is due any day now, you may hear a very loud, piercing scream of terror when I get it, no matter where in the world you are.

And so, those are the top three dumb things I did this weekend. I find the dumb things we do far more entertaining than the smart things we do. Perhaps next time I'll tell you how I was making mushroom soup last weekend with shitake mushrooms and didn't realize that the recipe was asking for dried mushrooms and I'd bought fresh. So, when I soaked the mushrooms in water as directed, I couldn't figure out why they weren't puffing up with the water until I read more closely. Well, I suppose I just told you that, didn't I?

Hey, I never said I was a genius. Happy Monday.

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