Black–Friday The 13th,14th,15th—-

clothes on sale
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The turkey has barely come out of the oven and the tryptophan has not yet cast its sleepy spell on folks when many stores open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. They no longer wait for the calamitous black Friday to launch its war on unsuspecting customers.  The doors of stores now open just after dinner time and everyone now excuses themselves from the holiday to rush off to retail hell and begin their annual ritual of buying shit that no one really needs or can afford.  You don’t even get time anymore to digest before shuffling off on your mission to beat everyone else to the stores and secure those fantastic discounts.

“But wait there’s more!”, the retail giants have come up with a brand-new scheme to entice you into their spider-like retail web.  One week before the dark day of shopping hell, the major, corporate marketers put out large boxes wrapped in paper (some in black, others in wrapping paper) with signs that say, “be here on Friday to see what specials and giveaways are in these boxes”.  So, it is no longer effective to just have sale items on “Black Friday”, but now we have to tease customers like children who can’t wait to open their wrapped Christmas gifts under the tree, giddy with the excitement of free goodies.  My theory, as is many others is that nothing is free.

To make matters worse, these boxes are huge and located in the main entrance area of the store and cause a human traffic jam.  Of course, knowing that foot traffic gets slowed, there are tons of point-of-purchase items right there to catch your attention and take your money.  Leading the way are tons of candy which has every child in the store glued to them like sticky traps for mice.  This, of course, leads to the epic confrontation of parent and child with both blocking my entrance to the store.  Jeezo-all I needed was a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread!

It almost feels like these corporate mega-mart stores are small and very cramped, even smaller than the old family-run stores of years past.  And the atmosphere in these stores during the darkest of Fridays feels like the inside of the cage being used for a “Texas Death Match”.  People literally race through the place looking for the ultimate bargains with little to no regard for their fellow humans.  I have witnessed brawls that had more humanity and compassion.  It seems like this one day of the year sparks a psychosis in human beings that is like flipping the switch on a buzz saw or even worse releasing bloodthirsty hounds after a wounded rabbit.

I have an idea here, why don’t we abandon gluttony and return the days of buying gifts that have sentimental value or maybe usefulness (i.e. books).  How many televisions, cell phones, or devices where you can tell it what to do for you as it spies on you, do you need?  It has been gluttony that has led us to this world of mega shopping hell where malls now sit vacant and online shopping monarchs steal your money.  Do you not see the spell that these corporate bastards have put over you?  Stare deeply into the swirling light and when you wake up you will have your credit card in your hands and some poor sap’s blood on your feet.

Maybe it is time for us to return to the age of celebrating “the holidays” with the spirit of enjoying family, friends, food and of course spiked eggnog.  Forget the gifts, let’s just raise our glasses and toast each other or just get toasted. Let’s just enjoy the essence of the holidays and the goodwill that they are supposed to bring.  Maybe we can learn to be civil again and not turn into rabid animals with the me-only attitude.  Once we accomplish this then maybe Old Grumpy can go shopping and burn off the tryptophan in peace on the day after Thanksgiving.  As always, this is just my opinion.

Talk to Ya Later

The Grumpy Old Fart Customer @2019 All Rights Reserved

 

Dude, Where’s My Camper?

photo of a man in white long sleeved top on blue and white pop up camper
Photo by neil kelly on Pexels.com

So, you have saved, scrimped and saved some more and the day has finally arrived– you can purchase your brand-new camper.  Can’t you just feel it, the call of the open road, the smell of the trees, the air and the sudden greeting of the dump station aroma, ahh–this is American camping.  It’s that moment when Americans load almost everything, they own into a confined space on a vehicle with 6 to 10 wheels or a trailer– once the traveling refuge of horses and cattle.  It is the American dream to have your home on your back for two weeks and all of the U.S. is your frontier.  Never mind the fact that the setup of the camper at the campsite has been the cause of numerous divorces and heart attacks.  Just take a deep breath of that fresh air and say to yourself “I am there”.

But when the vacation is over there are many chores that must be completed before you put away your palace on wheels.  You must unload and relocate your household’s worth of goods, especially the perishable items.  Of course, there is the cleaning of the inside and outside of your mobile vacation residence.  The winterizing of the vehicle is an absolute must (in some cases) and for good measures, you throw on a little wax or maybe even a cover to protect your vehicle for the 50 weeks that it sits unused. Many store their magic carpet of the vacation getaway in their driveway or maybe the yard.  For some, it may be stored at a lot created for such vehicles and keeping them out of sight and out of mind.  That is the subject of this blog.

I have some dear friends who have owned campers for many years.  Once they retired, they became very avid campers traversing the country.  They have owned various types of campers, types A, B and C (you can look up the different types) all of which have their own distinct advantages.  As they are now getting older, they recently downsized their camper from a motorhome to a size C camper which is on a large truck body with a truck cab.  It has all the accoutrement that you can imagine in a camper of a very high caliber of quality.  It is a very beautiful machine that I could see myself and the love of my life traveling around the country.

In recent years my friends have parked their campers on various storage lots that claimed to be securely monitored and are fenced and gated. This past year they moved their camper to a different lot that was closer to their home, one that was said to have a sterling reputation of security and boutique service.  The service included battery care and some other wintertime maintenance that is necessary with campers that are motorized.  It claimed to have some certifications, I’m not certain if that included being bonded or other security credentials that deem them to be reliable.  They had a series of security cameras surrounding the lot that were supposedly operating 24/7/365.  The gate to the entrance of the storage lot had a security pad with a security code for each person who stored their vehicles on the property.  It seemed like a perfectly great place to store the camper for the winter or anytime.

As wintertime approaches the Midwest it has become the tradition of my friends to pack up their camper and head south for the winter.  They have a home in Florida where they spend most of the brutal Midwest winter months at.  This year was to be no different as the month of November arrived and with it their hasty departure from this area or so they thought.  On a Monday morning, my friends (husband and wife) had made their plans to retreat to the south and headed to the storage lot to pick up their camper and begin preparing for the journey to the winter home.  After entering their security code at the gate of the storage lot, the gate opened, and my friends drove to the numbered spot where they had parked their camper.

When they arrived at the numbered parking spot, they were stunned to find the camper was not there.  Before panic set in, they decided to drive all around the lot to see if maybe their camper had been moved.  After circling the lot a couple of times and not spotting their camper they headed for the maintenance garage to see if maybe it had moved it inside there for some reason.  The door was locked but they could see through the window that the maintenance garage was empty.  They headed to the office of the storage lot only to find that no one was there.  So it is at this point that you start scratching her head and asking a lot of questions, is this the right lot, did I have the right number, did your camper get moved to a different lot and lastly the question that no one really wants to ask was it stolen?

My friends attempted to call the owner of the storage lot but no one answered and they had to leave a message.  Now panic turns to an angry frustration and impatience begins to dominate their mental landscape.  Since the lot owner could not be reached it was difficult to call the police without some confirmation that the camper had been stolen.  Minutes become hours and hours become days.  Finally, the storage lot owner returned my friend’s call and acting completely surprised confirmed that the camper had not been moved by them and had probably been stolen.  Now, we turn to the recovery phase and the call to the police.  This also turned out to be frustrating as the police told my friends that the lot owner had to file a missing property form (glad we are not being mugged here).

Once the storage facility manager arrived on the scene it was disclosed that the security cameras had been struck by lightning two weeks prior and the coded front gate was also not operating properly.  The manager told them that any combination of numbers would open the gate—freaking awesome!  My friends also discovered that the facility mangers had not done any form of inventory on the lot for the last month.  This all adds up to a cluster-fuck of errors and no actual security being done on the property.  You put your costly, hard-earned assets in the trust of a company who assures you that they will take the utmost care of them when in reality you could have just parked the damn thing in the worst alley of the shadiest neighborhood and it would have been as safe.

I know that I gripe about this kind of thing quite a bit but I feel that the trust and service offered to customers come in the form of snake oil sales pitches simply offered to get your business.  I mean seriously who doesn’t repair or replace key pieces of equipment such as security cameras, it’s not like you are guarding a serial pedophile here, this is your camper dammit.  And a security gate that anyone who can count to 10 can open, seems like an open invitation to take anything you want.

To make things even worse, the insurance company dragged their feet for over a month before finally making restitution on the lost camper.  It just feels like customer service and satisfaction is something that is fleeting in every type of business service or product offering today.  It’s funny that our money has the words “In God We Trust”, that very well might be as there are few others whom you can.  By the way, the stolen camper was never found, and I suspect it is now a mobile meth lab. As always, this is just my opinion.

Talk to Ya Later

The Grumpy Old Fart Customer @2019 All Rights Reserved

Santa Clause Is Coming To (A Postmodern) Town

person holding santa claus figurine
Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on Pexels.com

For as long as I can remember Santa Claus has been the patriarch of the holiday that was originated for an immaculate birth (a scary thought to many of us).  He was oft described in books and lore as a “jolly old elf”, a rather pudgy figure who could barely fit into a furry red suit that had the look of the pajamas that we all hated to put on.  In many of the movies, cartoons or even advertisements, Santa somewhat resembled the snowman that you built after a snowstorm.  With rosy cheeks and snow-white hair, the jolly fellow had a grandparent look to him, or in some cases, your uncle Joe who was half in the bag by Christmas Eve.  Never-the-less, he had an inviting look that gave warmth to the hopes and dreams of children all over the world.

Flash forward to today and a whole new image has been created.  Now, for the last 30 years, Santa seems to have gotten bigger and bigger in stature as he was becoming more human.  But a commercial that was released this year shows Santa in a completely different light. This year’s Santa Claus is about 6’ 4” and very buff with the touch of gray look that now adorns most middle-aged males on commercials.  His stature is more lumberjack/wrestler than Santa.  In this latest commercial, Santa is finishing up his annual globetrotting deliveries and returns to his post-modern home in the burbs, he climbs out of the sleigh with the look of someone who’s just come from the 24-hour gym.  Sporting all of the male machismo of one of the fight club or wrestling parodies that violent sports fans seem to crave, Santa unlocks the front door (wouldn’t have to do that if he were still living at the north pole).  His stature no longer resembles the fat elf of old but rather the macho model of what middle-aged men in cosmopolitan America should look like today.

As Santa unlocks the door at his suburban digs it becomes quickly apparent that he no longer lives in the little cottage nestled in the snowbanks of the North Pole.  Instead, Santa now lives in an upbeat, 2 story, postmodern home with 8-foot windows and modern steel furniture.  Evidently, on his way home Santa had stopped at one of the more popular jewelry stores and had purchased Mrs. Clause the latest trendy diamond necklace.  That’s where the commercial lost me because as I remember it Santa delivered all of his goodies on Christmas Eve and finished on Christmas morning and as desperate as retailers are to make sales today I’m not aware of any jewelry stores that are open at dawn on Christmas morning.

As Santa slowly walks his up his postmodern stairs to the new age loft that now serves as his bedroom, he finds Mrs. Clause fast asleep. Santa sets the jewelry gift on the pillow that Mrs. Clause is fast asleep on. As we zoom in on the Mrs., we discover that she has beautifully coiffed grey hair and looks as if in previous years she might have adorned the cover of a fashion magazine.  She looked to be very fit, probably goes to the same health club as Santa and certainly not the pudgy roly-poly Mrs. clause that we all once knew and loved.   Laying in a modern bed of the finest Egyptian cotton sheets and bedspread, a completely different image than the one I always had of her lying on an old slay bed covered by a blanket painstakingly sewed by Tante Kringle.  Mrs. Kringle has the perfect complexion that only money and the latest cosmetics can afford her.  Somehow these images don’t fit the look of two people who supposedly live in the rugged far north where the closest thing to cosmetics is piles of reindeer excrement.

If that commercial isn’t bad enough then there is the one where a Gen-Ex couple is exchanging gifts inside their post-modern, ginormous house (also with large modern windows).  After the wife presents her small gift offering, the husband leads her outside for the presentation of his gifts.   His gifts are two $40 thousand dollar SUV/Truck vehicles with bows on them.  Golly, what great gifts!  Let me ask a question here—who in the fuck are they advertising to?  Certainly no one in my neighborhood.  I don’t know of anyone who just runs out and impulse buys two automotive vehicles, then has them parked in the driveway on Christmas morning.

Now to be fair, I did once get a 1967 mercury cougar for my birthday (valued around $800) that was held together with bungee cords (literally) and it was presented to me in the driveway.  But that is where the similarity ends.  I guess my point in all of this is that Christmas has been so denigrated with a constant need for retail sales success that there is no sentiment left to the once heart-warming holiday.  It was a time of year where everyone seemed a little more tolerant of each other and there was good cheer.  But that has all melted away in a sea of technocratic Gen Xers and Millennials who have to have the latest cell phone or self-driving car.

Gone are the dreams of that magical night of a sleigh guided by a glowing red light and the jolly old elf coming down your chimney (or flue pipe).  Instead, what we have are vehicles being delivered to the homes of the upper 9% of wealth earners who have never done a hard day’s work in their lives but can afford the latest high-tech bull shit.  With all of their shopping accomplished on cell phones or other handheld devices leaving more time for clubbing or rave-partying.  Forget about the fact that there are few small shops left offering hand grafted gifts with at least a little sentiment to them.  They have all been replaced by warehouse stores that have all the warmth of a weapons arsenal.

Yes, the spirit of Christmas has finally been destroyed by the gluttonous fantasies of the upper wealth, accommodated by the greedy corporate purveyors of a new millennial niche.  This all leaves me pining for the days of gifts that were heartfelt and not of status or social standing.  I guess this is what we are left with after years of corporate rule, a Christmas that has become monetized and mechanized.  As always, this just my opinion.

Talk to Ya Later

The Grumpy Old Fart Customer @2019 All Rights Reserved

Halloween Takes A Holiday

candle creepy dark decoration

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have talked about this many times before, during my childhood, I believed that Halloween was the greatest holiday of all.  It was the coolest concept for kids ever, just cut two eye holes in one of your mothers’ old bedsheets, grab a pillowcase and go door to door begging for candy—easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.  There was something that seemed magical about that night, most usually, during that time of year, the weather was excellent. It was a clear, crisp, moonlit night, the temperature usually in the 60s to maybe low 70s.  It just seemed magical, like there was a true meaning to the All Hallows’ Eve.

I realize that things change and seem different after you grow into adulthood, but I tell you this—the holiday has drastically changed.  Even when I took my own children out trick-or-treating 25 years ago there still seemed to be some magic left in the old holiday.  But today there is a completely different air about the once magical night of boo!  First of all, lighting and decorations in the yard more resemble a laser light show at a planetarium than the simple old carved pumpkin with a candle burning down to a mass of waxy goo.  Also, it seems that more and more churches, businesses and community organizations are doing something called “trunk or treat” where the kids go to these specified locations to procure their candy, completely avoiding the friendly confines of the neighborhoods.

This has greatly reduced the number of kids coming to your door looking for those goodies that are dropped in their carrying device (bags, plastic pumpkins, etc.).  Three years ago, I had around 250 kids stop by the house and display their Halloween artistic ability via their costumes.  In some cases, you had to guess what they were actually dressed up to be, no easy feat for me these days as I do not watch the newer generation of “horror-nee-slasher-zombie movies and I am about as pop-culture- dysfunctional as a human can be.  But it was still fun just seeing some kids still have the imagination and enjoyment of what this holiday used to be.

It also seems like the stores do not give Halloween the treatment they once did, candy is only manufactured by a couple of different companies, packaged as a variety mix, most of it is the same 3 or 4 candy types in every bag sold.  Back in the day, there were a million different types of candy offered, like the wax soda bottles and the sugary delight in a straw.  Also, there are hardly any of the old cheap costumes left anymore (maybe it is because they had a low flash point which could really put a damper on things).  And it seems the stores today have little regard for Halloween anymore as most of that shelf space is now reserved for Christmas items.  I’ve written recently that they keep bringing Christmas stuff out earlier and earlier every year, soon they will have all that crap out in early June or for that matter they may never put it away.  I know there was a scare some years ago of idiots who were putting needles and pins in candy, seemed like we had finally rid ourselves of those ass wipes but now something new is snuffing out my beloved holiday—corporate retail raiders.

Some people that I’ve talked with recently say that parents today are more concerned with going to the adult parties than being bothered with having to run their children all around the neighborhood to fill their bags with that sugary goodness.  I am not sure if this is the case or not and I truly hope that it isn’t.  If this is true, then parents are not wanting to go the extra mile for their children which has reduced Halloween to a vapid event that we are obligated to service.  There seems to be a lot less parenting going on these days than there used to be, it’s rather depressing to think that Halloween will become one of their victims.  However, in retrospect, my parents didn’t take me out trick- or- treating after age 10—I went on my own.

I continue to believe however that a lot of the blame for the death of Halloween (if you will) belongs to the retail establishments and corporations.  Halloween has been pushed off the shelves in favor of the promotion of Christmas which brings in much more money at the end of the retail year.  As we all know, money is much more important than happiness, and corporations are all about money.  Halloween has become a holiday where we impatiently stand by and wait for it to pass and quickly move on to the holiday that brings more corporate joy in the form of greed.

The truck or treats crowd is stealing some of the corporate retail-recipe and I don’t mean this in a bad way but many of these organizations use the holiday to attract families for self-promotion.  Tradition is slowly dying and giving way to more marketable promotions and Halloween has become their biggest victim.  I don’t believe that we will ever see Halloween return to its glory days of being a holiday that was more about fun and lore with the reward of tasty candy.  But instead, like everything else in our country it will become corporatized and will simply be a date on the calendar.  If you don’t believe me, then next Halloween, head to your nearest super-store and observe how the holiday is poorly represented.  As always this is just my opinion.

Talk to Ya Later

The Grumpy Old Fart Customer @2019 All Rights Reserved

Et Tu Farmer’s Market?

agriculture basket beets bokeh
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There is always an air of freshness, pastries just out of the oven, ethnic foods wafting their enticing allure throughout the market-like building with its many stands.  Fresh flowers fragrance the air with sweet smells, freshly brewed coffee with its hypnotically scented spell cast over many a half-awake patron.  What makes these pleasing sensory delights at a farmer’s market even better is a visit in the fall when the air gets just enough chill to make the air refreshingly alive.  This is an October visit to the farmers market in the city with your sights set on a menu’s worth of goodies to be procured.

The market near my home has always been a throwback to the golden age of old horse-drawn wagons and spoked wheel trucks rolling into town with their locally grown fresh produce, poultry, beef, and dairy products.  Each vendor’s stand is a downward sloping wooden shelve that is usually stuffed to the max with products.  The buildings are from the 1920s and still hold the old charm of their original construction.  Today the market includes freshly cooked food and coffees from other lands adding an international flavor to the market.  If you plan your meals out, you should be able to come away with enough fresh goods to make some pretty hearty and delicious meals.

My recent trip to the market was a purely investigative one to see what fresh goods were being marketed during this fall season, I did not have a planned menu.  There were some late-blooming summer regulars including tomatoes, peppers and green onions.  Some late season specials like carrots, beets, and muskmelons were all perfectly presented on the display shelves.  But what catches my eye is a sign promoting late-season strawberries on sale by the skid load, 8-quart size packages for just $4.  By now you are aware that I am one of those types of customer who believes that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.  But these berries looked very fresh and had a good mildly sweet taste upon testing them.  The lady selling them assured me that they were fresh and only one day old.

So, I take the plunge, one skid of those bright red gems now belongs to me.  Just add a can of extra creamy whip to the equation and you have the makings of a perfect after-dinner treat that won’t blow your diet (too badly).  I also purchased some tomatoes from an Amish farmer who knew his way around the beautiful fruit, although I had some reservations about tomatoes grown this late in the season, the farmer looked honest and the goods looked fresh.  Nothing else really grabbed my attention this day so it was time to take the 45-minute ride home.

During the ride home I could visualize those berries covered with that lightly sweetened cream and just waiting to meet their delectable end.  Once at home I put some of the berries in the refrigerator and left a couple of packages out since they were only a day old.  Unfortunately, I had forgotten about a previous engagement for the evening and did not have any of the fresh strawberries that night, however–tomorrow is another day!  Yes, the morning brought on another day and with it came shock and dismay as the strawberries that I had left out overnight had molded badly.  The ones that had been refrigerated had not fared much better.

I stared at the packages of moldy strawberries with an incredible sense of disgust and disbelief, after all, the lady at the stand had assured me that the berries were only one day old.  I quickly figured out that the strawberries in the packages had been frozen and quickly began to rot in the fresh, above-freezing air.  The sample I had tried was probably a hothouse version that was only—one day old!  The refrigerated berries had already begun to wilt and mold themselves, leading me to believe that these berries had been frozen for a while.

I have come to expect this kind of con job, bullshit misrepresentation from large, corporation run stores, but I never dreamed of getting so screwed at a farmer’s market.  These were places where good local farmers and folks came not only to sell their harvest but also to show off their farming and growing skills.  But in this age of growing thievery and deception (anything to make a buck),  I suppose con men/women, snake oil salespeople, and thieves have invaded the last bastion of honest free trade.  The farmers market has lowered its standards to that of a swap meet, where you are trading for secondhand goods.

The days of trust and your handshake being your bond is forever lost to a world of shady crooks who can’t earn honest money anymore because there are very few jobs available where you can do so. Don’t get me wrong here, there have always been dishonest people who would cheat you out of your money.  But it used to be easy to identify where those people did their dishonest deeds and business.  However, today they are everywhere, trust in a business deal has become a thing only lawyers can produce for you.

Our communities need to invest in food co-ops and all of us participate in the cultivation of these community farms to produce our own fresh food.  And we need to set other standards in our communities to weed out shady, petty thieves who have no dignity or conscience.  With food shortages becoming a reality it would make sense for our communities to produce more of the food they consume.  By the way, the tomatoes were good!  As always this is just my opinion.

Talk to Ya Later

The Grumpy Old Fart Customer @2019 All Rights Reserved

Bad Advice From The Home Garden Department Expert

black spider graphic
Photo by Ali Müftüoğulları on Pexels.com

So, fall has arrived again and with it comes many splendorous things, blue skies, changing colors of the leaves and of course—the golden luster of Oktoberfest beer!  But also, with these cooler days, there are some undesirable events such as creepy crawlers looking for winter harborage.  These skin-crawling creatures tend to come into your home knowing that the furnace will soon be warming the air inside your residence.  Recently, you have noticed one of the more dangerous of these invaders, a brown recluse spider crawling across your floor and are quickly motivated to find a solution to this danger.

So, in anticipation of more of these invasive devils making their way into your warm, cozy home, you go to your local, family-owned garden store for advice.  Once there, a friendly family member associate can give you well-informed recommendations on how to prevent the unwanted invasion of your pad.  Oh crap, I forgot, those places no longer exist, they have been replaced by corporate behemoths who could give a furry rats ass less (pardon the reference to rodents) about your problems or needs.  I guess you can do the internet tango to find the answer and buy online or opt for the more costly method of your friendly pest control guy who arrives at your house with their space-age backpack, doing their best “Ghost Buster” impersonation.

No, not you, you are a man/woman of the new millennium and you are going to handle this yourself no matter how many times you jump in a chair at the mere sight of one of these gnarly beasts.  So, it is off to one of the now-famous home improvement/hardware/garden center meccas that now rule our world.  Your choice of home gardening stores includes the one with orange colors and the one with blue colors.  For this adventure, you chose the one with blue colors dominating its sterile unattractive decor.  You make your way through the massive superstructure to the garden/pest department where there is an aisle that has a shelf loaded with cancer-causing, bug-killing chemicals just waiting to be sprayed on your living space.  Today, you are in luck there is an associate in the home garden department who is eager to impress you with their vast knowledge of all the chemical solutions on the shelves.

After explaining your situation, the “expert” quickly diagnoses the situation and without so much as a moment of pause, a very expensive spray is their recommendation.  However, your luck is getting even better, the costly solution comes complete with its own sprayer device and a glued-on instruction booklet—what could possibly go wrong—right?  The store expert goes on to explain how to apply the magically lethal solution to the perimeter of your house and garden thus eliminating those scary and potentially dangerous pests.  With the expert’s guarantee to solve your predicament you trundle off to swipe your magic payment device and hurry home to wreak havoc on these home invaders.

Recently, I discussed this situation and the store expert’s solution with a friend of mine who is a retired pest control company manager, after a brief chuckle he looked at me and said— “doesn’t surprise me”.  “Pesticides are very over-used and very profitable in the business of pest control”.  He also explained to me that the brown recluse spider cannot be easily killed with pesticides of any variety.  Because they do not have the mucous membrane that other insects and spiders have on their legs (feet), they do not absorb the poison into their bodies.  In fact, most pesticides can leave a trail of food in the form of insect carcasses for the recluses to munch on (brown recluse spiders are scavengers).  The only methods of stopping any pests from entering your home are A.–seal any access places that are in the foundation, garage or doors of your home or B.–place sticky traps near the access locations.  Since it is very difficult and sometimes costly to block all crevices in a home, especially in the attic where the recluse normally enters the home, the sticky traps are the most effective method.  Sticky traps are very affordable–$2-3 per box versus $20+ for the sprays.  This may be considered an opinion and some may disagree, but my research has confirmed the advice given.

Here is my point to all of this, again we have another glaring example of how these large corporate behemoths have no interest in helping the customer with the best affordable option.  Their goal is to simply sell the most expensive, less effective product that they possibly can.  Their mission, despite what would best to help a customer is to priority-sell the high-priced product of their corporate brethren vendors who could care less about how many people they harm with dangerous chemicals or other substances.  Having worked with large corporations (communications) I have experience with the mission of selling the “top product” even if it isn’t necessarily the right solution.

Let me also say that I don’t blame the department associate, that poor person is working 3 jobs just to buy food and pay rent.  They are only as good as the training that they receive and, in some cases, may receive spiffs or bonuses for selling a particular product over another.  Store associates are often pressured to sell products that are more profitable or from a preferred vendor ahead of others.  I guess it really is imperative to do your own diligence when shopping for a solution or product, especially in the age of digital information.  But it just seems so ridiculous to me that you go to a store and you can’t rely on people there to be knowledgeable enough to help you find a reasonable and affordable solution.

Sometimes people stop at stores after work or some other function and do not have the time to research something and have to rely on the expertise of the store personnel.  Just so you know, this was based on a true story, the names were changed to protect the guilty, I was the witness to the whole event.  And, as always this is just my opinion.

Talk To Ya Later

The Grumpy Old Fart Customer @2019 All Rights Reserved

God! –Rest Ye Merry Retailers!

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Seems like you just barely get your Christmas decorations put away and its already time (at least according to retailers) to start shopping for this year’s holiday enhancements.  This insanity seems to happen earlier every year as I guess the retail corporations of American are not happy without “White Christmas” blaring across their instore piped in music channel.  Or perhaps it is the perpetual spirit of giving that keeps hapless shoppers spending endless amounts of money that they don’t have, on gifts that no one wants.  Or, maybe I am judging them a little harshly, as after all it is just the decorations that are on display—or is it?  It seems that there are more sales specials of every other product when those mesmerizing, LED decorations come out.

The stores of which I speak are two of the kings of retail, one the home upgrade store, the other, the brick and mortar king of discount retailers.  We had just barely gotten past Labor Day, in fact, the barbeque stains had not even dried yet when the Halloween decorations hit the shelves.  Now, I can almost accept the Halloween décor since it is only 2 months way by September 1 but two weeks later (somewhere around September 15th), the Christmas décor of Santa was sitting next to the Wicked Witch.  By now I am totally confused, did I miss Halloween and am I in a fog marching towards the holiest of days.  For Christ sakes (literally), I no longer know when Christmas comes and goes, maybe it is true what has been said in holiday stories—you should carry the spirit of Christmas throughout the year (or something like that).

As a child, I lived for the holiday seasons, the cartoons, the lights, the days off from school and oh yea—the presents!  As I became an adult my feelings for the holidays begin to wain as I was sucked into the vortex of the malls, credit cards and the endless agony of figuring out what the hell to buy for all.  My depression usually didn’t set in until November, but once again corporate retailers have figured a way to fuck that up for me.  For pity sakes, all I wanted was a pair of gardening gloves for the fall clean up now I have the indelible image of sugar plums dancing in my head for the next 3 months.  The sounds of Bing Crosby crooning his Christmas greatest hits for next 90 depression filled days.

Seriously, I guess I get it, retail stores are failing, retail sales are sagging and the online store with the smiling-penis logo is taking over the entire shooting match.  But why can’t we focus on the splendor of fall events for a while, maybe with displays about raking leaves or fire pits on special?  What the hell, maybe celebrate October Fest with some seasonal beers and bratwurst.  I can even live with the Halloween decorations two months ahead of the holiday, hell, I have always loved that holiday!  But bringing Christmas decorations out two weeks before the official end of summer has to be sacrilege and a pitiful cry for help by the retail corporations who once ruled our world.

And for those who have kids today, this has to a special fresh hell for them as the little tikes are already nagging them about what toys they want.  We have barely gotten the little darlings back in school and they are already looking forward to the holiday vacation.  I have previously written that I feel that the Christmas decay had begun back in my childhood with the never-ending parade of advertisements that commercialized the once special holiday.  Now, the retail world is doubling down on its efforts to make Christmas the flea market of holidays, becoming as mundane as putting mulch out in the springtime.  By the time Christmas actually arrives we are already depressed or maybe desensitized from the three months of constant exposure to the decorations.  Maybe next week they will put the Easter decorations out and I will have something else to distract me from the constant marketing of yuletide.

It has become nonsensical in the retail world where they constantly compete to see who can get the customer’s noel flowing first.  All of this would be ok if I lived in a town named Christmas or Santa’s Village instead of the Retail Village of the Damned.  I know that we are supposed to carry the spirit of the holidays with us always, but it is a difficult concept to grasp when it is 100 degrees out and road rage is running rampant.  Maybe I can put a second shot of rum in my fall eggnog and everything will be dandy.  If corporate retailers are really that desperate maybe they should just leave the shit out all year where we will become totally numbed to Christmas like we have to most everything else.  As always—just my opinion!

Talk to Ya Later

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