We used to make a lot of things in America and my wife is convinced there were a lot of things made that may still be in stores, but I’ll be doggone if I can find them. However, what I do find is always interesting.
The other day I found myself wandering through a very large, “we have it all store,” boogying down to the sounds coming over the speakers and looking for a few of these items. She enjoys sending me on these crusades while she sits happily at home waiting for my phone call that assures her the items on her list came from her head or have not yet arrived from China.
I know this sounds like deviant behavior, but we cannot afford a psychologist to make me feel better and help her see that we do not make stuff anymore. It usually takes about 30 minutes for me to figure out she’s duped me into looking for a cat food suitable for dogs, a chemical so powerful it will clean our shower and (if you fail to rinse) rot your feet with the mere touch of a button and a spray that will make a black tire whiter.
I have to say, the music helps, even though as I dance through the store to “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” I’m thinking that would not be a bad idea. Walking through the store, I join the other “shop till we droppers” who seem to be boogying with their buggies and jamming to James Brown’s “I Don’t Want No Body to Give Me Nothing; Open up the Door, I’ll Get it Myself.”
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It seems as though they’re all like-minded, thinking, where do I sign? This Visa card is melting a hole in my pocket. I’m ready to make some serious purchases.
On my way to automotive, I stop by the hardware/paint cubicle. Did you know that you can actually watch paint dry to “Time Keeps on Slippin’, Slippin’, Slippin’ Away”? I usually dress down for shopping, preferring to fit in with the rest of the folks and a few of the employees. Today, I’m wearing a fashion statement sweatshirt with the words, “If you talk about my mamma, I’ll slap you with my purse” in pink letters. My daughter left it on the kitchen table and I threw it on without looking.
Staring up at the automotive “wall of fame” I see nine members of what could be an acid rock band (perfectly capable of talking about my mother), who can’t wait to put four tires on my jeep and watch as I go “slippin’ into the future.” The garage area has three more of these “post office Pennzoil brothers,” who are “sagging” to Van Morrison’s “Bright Side of the Road.”
I’m sure I’ve seen these guys while mailing a letter. And now the waiting begins. NASCAR can change a tire in 15 seconds, so I’m figuring in 15 minutes, including the oil change, I should be back on the track to home.
That gives me enough time for coffee and news in the waiting room -- a room designed for middle age monks who mostly wrote while drinking mead from wooden cups. There were two other monks sitting there but they had the last two copies of Motor Trend magazine. I’m left staring at a wall and feeling like a fifth wheel, while the sagging three do the “shim sham shimmy” on my car.
Glen Miller’s “In the Mood” plays in the background. My crusade in search of products that no longer exist will end two hours later as I browse through the outdoor department to Pete Seeger’s, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” Oh, by the way, those tires? Well, they were made in good ol’ America. No offense to China, but sometimes I bring my family along for the ride.
Sonny Harmon is an educator at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.