Sunday, September 20, 2009 

A Tale Of Target & Teenagers - With A Twist

This has NOTHING to do with food or music - although I was looking for a new DVD player to quality proof the authored DVDs I'm knocking out these days. This is about something I witnessed in a south Chicago suburban Target which got me thinking about a few things, especially juxtaposed against our current political climate. That is to say: Litigious, race cards & accusations of race being thrown around everywhere, invasion of privacy - you name it.

I'll get to the main story in a minute, but when the checkout girl said they'd need to scan my driver's license to buy a bottle of wine - I said HELL NO. I'm obviously well over 21 to anyone who's not blind, and I have never had anyone ask to scan/digitize my ID before to make a simple (cash) purchase. Even though part of my life is in the spotlight, I've always had a funny feeling about & been resistant about giving up my info to anyone. But that's a different conversation - here's the main story:

As I walked into the Target, I noticed 5 or 6 teenage girls sitting by the little food court, maybe 13 or 14, all pretty much dressed the same (shorts, tank tops, flip flops, light jewelry - the tribal/gang thing most teenagers do naturally), having a fairly rowdy good time, no adult supervision in sight. I remember thinking about how it was like being at that age - testing boundaries, trying to crack up your pals, seeing who could be the most bold or outrageous.

I went my way, checking out various stuff, breaking down the layout like I always do in stores (i.e., POP displays, lighting, large format print ads, inventory, flow of the store; I know, I'm a freak that way). Before long, I noticed the crap-tastic Halloween inventory was already out (and it's mid-September). And then I heard the teenage girls being loud nearby; and then I saw something else.

It was a mid 30-ish Target employee - red shirt & khaki pants with a walkie talkie on her belt - coming up fast, and getting on those girls like a duck on a junebug (as they say). She had a very stern delivery: "If you girls aren't going to buy anything, you need to take off those Halloween masks and move along. Otherwise I'm calling security." A few other Target clones came onto the scene, and I heard some chatter on their walkies; the girls calmed down a little, and did seem to be moving along (I didn't stick around to see the outcome).

And now... Before I tell you what COLOR OF SKIN the girls or the stern employee had - can you figure out what I was thinking at that moment? Here it is: I was wondering what would have happened if the girls had been a different color/race - would that scenario had played out differently? Would there have been a complaint to the store? Or even a lawsuit? Or an embellishment of what was actually said by the employee? Even though I thought the employee was well within her responsibilities to lay down the law, we've all heard stories about crazy stuff happening in these big box/corporate chain stores.

Like I said - I'm a freak, and my mind just gets carried away a lot of times. And now (big finish): The skin color of all the teenage girls and the stern employee was (scroll down for answer)...

..... white.

Thursday, September 17, 2009 

The 1990 Honda Civic | 250k Miles

Although I keep it on the DL ("downlow") because of its VERY rough exterior, I bartered some design work with a client a few years back for their company car - a 1990 Honda Civic. I didn't think much of it at the time - I mean, it didn't really cost me anything BUT time - but as time went on, it started to amaze me about what an amazing piece of automotive technology that car is. Just last week, it went over the 250,000 mile mark.

Did I mention I barely put any maintenance or work into it? I've never had the oil changed since I've had it (it does burn a little, not bad); it's never had a tuneup. I've replaced the muffler, alternator and brake pads & rotors - that's it. Hell, it even got stolen once! After I got it back from the City of Chicago auto pound (also crooks, in my opinion, but that's another story), the only thing missing was the sun visors (!?!?!?!).

Unfortunately, although the engine & mechanicals are amazing, the body is quickly returning to its rusty roots, and I know I'll have to get a different ride soon. I guess I'm wondering what kind of vehicle could possibly match this little Honda for mileage, durability & low maintenance? Viva La 90 Honda Civic!