Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Callin' ME out?

Jetpacks called me out. "Works like this: You get 'tagged' - then you have to reveal some dumb unknowns about yourself. Then you are allowed to call out others."

And rather than crap all over this idea (which, I'll admit, was my first knee-jerk reaction) I'll embrace it and use it to dump a bunch of baggage I've been carrying around with me for years. Perhaps this'll be cathartic.

1. When I was six, I had tubes in my ears. My mother warned me not to get my head wet because "Your brain will rot."

2. I came in last place in a wacky t-shirt contest at the YMCA daycamp when I was eight. My T-shirt was an iron-on I got free with a Burger King Junior Whopper which featured the King, and my name, 'Jamie', typeset in 16 pt Hobo. Thus I felt the first glancing blow of creative judgment. I took it poorly. I was eight.

3. My first three girlfriends' names were "D--- Tempesta, A-- Arata (pronounced erota), and C---- Lacey". I've omitted their names to protect me.

4. My path into advertising began shortly after I ripped the antenna off a police cruiser while attending JMU in Harrisonburg, VA. there was much hitting about the head and body by the campus cadets, one of whom lent me the drivers license I used as a fake ID to buy the alcohol which was, at that very moment, affecting my judgement. When I reenrolled in college at the University of Delaware two years later, I decided against renewing my fraternity membership and chose, instead, to take a 20-hour a week job running blueprints for a woman who lived in an industrial park, drove an $80K Cadillac and wore an 18" bouffant wig. A wig I saw her remove three times, revealing a haircut sort of like Melissa Etheridge has now. It was only then that the true magic of advertising design started to twinkle in my heart.

5. I weigh 148 lbs. despite the fact that I have consumed a steady diet of mexican food, Shiner Bock and pistachio nuts for the last 8 months.





I don't have five.

And no - I don't feel a whole lot better.

(Mom, if you're reading, all was forgiven long, long ago)

I got yer spirit right here

Almost came to blows with a clerk at Barnes & Noble today.

Started innocently enough, when I dumped $88 worth of books, periodicals and other wordy ephemera on the counter.

"Do you have a B&N card?"

I winced. "Nope." Dry. Flat. Honest. Uninterested. Ring me up and move it along, pal.

"Really? You could save ten percent."

I looked him in the eye, smiled and said in an even and convincing tone: "I'm not interested."

Evidently it was not convincing enough, because he continued:

"You have $88.00 worth of books here. If you make a purchase this big between now and next Christmas..." There was more to his pitch, but I was not listening. I was watching his cheerful face describing this AMAZING credit card offer with a mixture of disbelief and contempt. What about "No, Nope, Not interested" failed to convince this guy? Did I really look that on-the-fence look to him? What involuntary poker tell had I emitted to invite him to continue with this conversation. Did the man have no boundaries? Don't they teach you how to be observant in book-selling 101?

"I'm being reimbursed for all these books, so I really don't care."


I was ready to get ugly, but just like that, it stopped. Finally, an unassailable argument. There's nothing in this for me, man. I'm going to get all $88 back.

And then he puts my receipt in the bag. Which I hate. For a guy who had no problem asking me questions, to skip right over the "Would you like your receipt in a bag?" question was pretty annoying.

I have a credit card. I use it. I pay it off. I earn miles on it. I can use it almost everywhere (except a handful of family-run restaurants that only take cash, including the Plumstead Tavern, a mediocre bar in everybody's hometown: Media, PA.)

I don't want a Barnes and Noble card. Or an Old Navy card. Or a frequent-luncher card. Or a weekly email from iTunes. Wow.

I DO have a collection of keychain tags for the various Dallas area grocery stores (because it's utter insanity to pay $1.40 for a can of soup, when you can pay .60 cents for the same can of soup. No credit application required. No yearly fee. And they donate a percentage of my purchases to my son's school. Done. Love it. Give me my soup and shut up.

I don't know which angers me more: pushing credit cards during christmas or charging me upfront for a discount.

Either way, I'm out. And I'm buying all my books online.

Monday, December 18, 2006

They had me

Viral fake news: blogworthy.

42 midgets vs. lion.