Friday, November 25, 2011

I repost because I care...and because I can.

It's Black Friday, people. 
If you're one of the many insane people out and about today, you'll miss this reposting.  Be safe.  Remember how to hip check properly and protect your faces.

Black and Blue Friday - a poem

Twas the dawn of Black Friday, and in front of the store,
The people had camped out all night by the door,
Their bottoms were nestled in frozen lawn chairs,
As they peered through the glass, plotting what would be theirs.
The veteran shoppers were dressed for the weather
Eyeing new blood, as they huddled together,
When toward the glass doors an employee came near,
With a key in his hand and his face filled with fear
They watched him approach, with their eyes opened wide
He unlocked the door and then leaped to the side.
Like antelope, torn from their watering hole fun,
When the lion creeps nearer, break into full run,
So into the store the patrons did dash,
With lists miles long and buttloads of cash.
More rapid than eagles, they grabbed at Wii Games
They pushed, kicked and called one another foul names.
The Black Friday shoppers went straight to their works,
They prided themselves on behaving like jerks.
They said, "Puck your mother!" (or words of that sort)
As shopping became a full-contact sport!
Black Friday peeps, know this as you roam-
You're fighting without me, I'm staying at home!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

You want a piece of me?!

When I'm feeling punchy, I'm going to start my shopping at 6 PM on a weekday.  I bet I could kick some ass.  My fellow shoppers are clearly not happy to be there.  They're tired and hungry but they're also armed with metal Battlebots.  

I'll fill mine with canned goods and garden tools.  


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Is Cyber Monday the New Black?

I've heard too many horror stories about the Black Friday sales to feel that diving headfirst into the lion's den to get a deal on the newest craze is something I'd be interested in doing.
No, thank you.

A few Thanksgivings ago, I wrote this poem, poking fun at the insanity that is Black Friday.  That year a New York Wal*Mart employee was trampled to death by the stampede of shoppers.  Sadly, my creative humor was in the right place at the wrong time.  I saved it for another year.

I know some people take their Black Friday shopping very seriously, while others look at it much like Roller Derby, full of hip checking and shoving, but having loads of fun doing it.

I've never seen a scarf or lamp or Wii game that was worth my life.  I'm still gonna have to pass.

Will you be shopping the Black Friday sales or will you wait until Cyber Monday?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let's talk about grocery store tantrums.

I am a firm believer in teaching children in the moment.  Sometimes, however, said moment arises and finds you completely at a loss as to what to do.  Well, NO MORE!  Random Ninja is here to save you from your totally unprepared self!   You're welcome.

What will you do in the event that this is the happy day your child decides to be all "HULK MAD!  HULK SMASH!" with a bombardment of spaghetti sauces because you refused him a new Matchbox car?

It helps to have a few grocery store rules to begin with.  I have always given the kids a choice to either hold onto the cart with one hand or sit IN the seat of the cart.  If you let go, you get in the cart. 
That's a blog for another day, so we'll get back to the little noisemakers. 

You must first resist the urge to throttle your child.  Please.  If you leave the store, plan to return immediately.  Leaving is how we teach children that if they can't have what they want, they can just get mom to take them home, which is often what they wanted in the first place. This is a great opportunity for your child to learn what's acceptable behavior in a public place.  Seize it!

If the child is already in the cart, GREAT!  Ignore him.  Don't talk to him, don't look at him, don't pacify him with a box of Cheerios or a new toy that you have no intention of buying him.  Keep shopping and avoid the aisles containing pickle jars and tomato sauces.  If it becomes too much for you to handle without losing your marbles and housing the little twerp in the deep freeze, park your cart somewhere in the back of the store, with the tantrum thrower facing a wall.  Tell him you'll continue shopping when he's calmed down.  Walk out of his sight (behind him usually works best, so you can still see him but he has to crane his neck to see you).   Now you wait.  Read a magazine. 

If he's not in the cart, you have three choices:  
1. You can lay down next to him and do what he's doing (which will earn you bonus glares from passersby).  
2. You can pick him up and put him in the cart if he's small enough for you to lift.
Or 3.  You can leave him flailing around on the ground and walk away.

Obviously, you have to know your kid in order to use number 3, as you'll have some children who live fearlessly in our world and will likely run in the opposite direction, getting themselves into more trouble than this method is worth.  Mine always picked themselves up and followed me.  It's possible that they were afraid I'd actually leave them in the store.  (Moi?!  Never!)  Still, it worked extremely well and I'm happy to say that once I chose my tantrum-squelching techniques and used them unfailingly, tantrums no longer plagued our trips to the store.

You are now armed with a plan of attack or at least a few ideas to formulate a plan of your own.  I hope to see fewer faces peering out from behind the frozen veggies.

Go forth and kick some ass.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Kiosk Snipers!

UGH!  They GOT me.  *collapses melodramatically*

I was at the mall with the spawn, heading toward the exit when a woman approached me and asked me where I was from.  I never should have made eye contact, but she wasn't standing right near her kiosk, so I was caught completely off guard by her interesting use of an ancient pick-up line.  She got me.  I answered, "I'm local."  She asked me if I had a good hair straightener (I flat ironed my hair today, a mistake I won't be making again) and beckoned me over to her little shop of horrors.  I blame being hungry and tired on my inability to say no to this woman, for I followed her like an obedient lap dog.  You would have thought she had enticed me with a fistful of bacon.

She led me to her stand, where I thought I'd hear a little blurb about how great this new hair straightener is and instead I found myself with a glob of Dead Sea Salt Exfoliant on my hand.  
"Rub dat een", she said very quickly in a very thick accent whose origin I couldn't quite place.  

Holding my hand over a white plastic bowl, she played twenty questions with me, asking me my name, how old I was, if I had a husband, how long we've been married and whether or not I was gainfully employed.  Oh, she was good, this one.  She had me right where she wanted me: wet and trapped.  She had a towel hidden there somewhere, I know, but I couldn't see it and I wasn't too keen on the idea of walking off with one hand covered in Dead Sea Salt, so I remained her captive customer.  She then showed the children and me how terrific this product was as she hosed my hand off with a squirt bottle of water.  

Then it got gross.

She laughed with the children as she told us how NASTY Mommy was and how "she needs a shower", while surveying the depths of the white plastic bowl which was now full of my dead skin.  

Um...ick...and WHAT?!  Did she just say that, really? 
I think we were all a little taken aback that she actually said those words in her sales pitch.  "Nasty" and "needs a shower".  Yup.  Well, that'll sell a bundle of this shit, right?  Absolutely.  Give me 100 units!

I was offered a few backhanded compliments for my trouble: "Your oily skin is a gift from God."   My what is a huh??   

Mesmerized by this woman and her accent, I stayed planted on the spot to listen to what else she found hideous about my apparently troll-like skin and greasy, gunk-filled pores, while my children stood by and helplessly watched the drama unfold, their eyes big as saucers.

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore.  I had accepted her free presentation with good humor and didn't bloody her lip when she basically told me I was too grotesque to be walking around with normal people.  It was time to end this before one of us got hurt.  

In an effort to bring about the end of my Trial by Esthetics, I asked, "How much?"

I don't know how they train these people for this stuff, but they do have a knack for it. We got the rundown of a professional salesclerk and were told that the skin of a princess could be ALL MINE for the "low price" of $250.  Jeebus, for THAT, I could buy actual princess skin and make myself a princess suit!  

She sensed my apprehension and suddenly, as if by magic, the Discount Gnome came along and bippity boppidy booped the entire line of skin care down to $125.  I don't know HOW she did it!  Amazing!

Still too pricey for my blood, I declined to purchase her wares.  Now, maybe her brother needed a new kidney or maybe it was costing her too much to keep fuzzy Uggs on her little feetsies this winter, because she REALLY wanted me to buy this stuff.  She was so intent on making the sale, that she whipped out that magical Discount Gnome again and this time the price poofed from $125 to a mere $39.99 for two of the four miracle working products with the additional promise that I could come back tomorrow and get the other two for $15 off the price.  Wait, what?  Was that $15 off the original price or off the discounted price? 

Ah, forget it.  Doesn't matter anyway.  Somehow I managed to peel myself from her evil clutches and escape with my children, my one soft arm and what was left of my dignity.  

While I was at the store, I bought a jar of really good-smelling dead sea salt exfoliant and a bottle of lotion.
Twelve dollah.

Eff you, Kiosk Sniper.

Some Other Stuff I Wrote