Friday, March 19, 2004

In the name of all humanity -- will SOMEONE please fix the bloody AC unit in the Student Center?

Our air has been out for about three hours now. And, since when the building was constructed they conveniently forgot to incorporate WINDOWS THAT OPEN, it is fast turning into a pressure cooker in here, both from the temperature -and- the temperament of the individuals stuck in here in this stuffy humidity-laden building.



Hokay -- rant of the hour: this is the 21st century. We don't have personalized jet packs, nor do we have rocket cars to propel us to Sirius IX and back, but we do have the ability to utilize little plastic cards (debit/check cards) to pay for items now. So, why, in the name of the sacred Kenyan AA Organic coffee I got this morning, do people STILL...WRITE...CHECKS...IN...PUBLIC?!?!?!??

Case in point: yesterday, I decided to go shopping. This, in and of itself, is nothing new or noteworthy. As far as I am concerned, shopping centers exist for people like me who are clothes, shoes, books, and electronic gizmo junkies. I might not buy anything, but I will visit the same stores again and again.

Anyway, since it is now March in Mississippi [and the start of the nine-hour-long Spring season which then catapults into the 260-day-long Summer season], this means the temperatures will start to climb into the 400's during the course of the day. Those of you who know me well enough also know that my wardrobe can come across as rather monochromatic [black] with a little variation [dark/navy blue, grey, or dark/forest green]. I prefer to wear long sleeved button-down shirts, as -- in my opinion -- short-sleeved button down shirts should be reserved for accountants, used-car salespeople, or others ho happen to look better in them than *I* do.

So, I decide to go trolling for "light" or "summer" colored clothes, to supplement the three (3) non-dark colored shirts that I currently own.

-- now, at this time, I feel the need to add a comment. I am an albino. That guy from POWDER has seen more sun than I have. This is not only the unfortunate side-effect of being in an office an awful lot, but also because it's just now starting to get sunny [ha] outside. Additionally, I feel a little bit...uncomfortable...sitting outside in the sun, clearly for the sole purpose of getting some pigmentation, while my students are frolicking, tanning, and/or making out in the same grass. Part of this can be contributed to body image issues, and part of it can be contributed to the fact that these kids just REALLY don't need to see their AD in a seemingly partially disrobed state.

But I digress [TM 2004 Peter David].

So, I'm in Old Navy, looking for bright, cheery clothing that won't make me look like I'm trying to come across as younger than my already-way-too-freakin'-close-to-mid-thirties self is, or that I'm jaundiced. I decide upon a few bright-ish colored "polo" shirts, and a pair of khaki shorts to match [I can see your eyes getting bigger and that grimace settling across your face. P*ss off -- even *I* have to wear shorts when it's THAT hot outside]. I also grab myself a nice little long-sleeved button-down shirt (on sale at some insane price that I'd be a fool to pass up), and I head to the check-out lane.

And then, I remember why I HATE shopping here.

First, there are the ADHD children running about the line like they just ate a three-foot tall Pixie Stix, stepping on my toes, and bouncing off my legs like we're in some twisted pinball experiment. Then, there are the 67-person-long lines, and it always feels like I'm in line with the in-bred mongoloid manager's cousin trainee running the cash register. EVERY time. Then, there's the fact that the people who shop at said establishment [at least, here in J-town] ARE -- in some ways -- the one trying to recapture their youth by ignoring the fact that they've had 4.3 kids [and all of them are currently engaged in p*ss*ng me off -- see above] and that there is NO WAY they will fit into those capri pants.

And then, on top of it all, JUST to spite me PERSONALLY...they all write checks. All of them. -- okay, there was the one "grand-mamma" in front of me who paid in the change she took out of a plastic Zipoloc bag in her purse, but I forgive her. She's old. She'll die soon. She should get her kicks where she can, and if she pays for $60 worth of clothes for the kids with pennies that smell like Juicy Fruit, well then -- more power to her!

But these people who WRITE CHECKS...and then the check has to be approved...and they NEVER partially pre-fill the amount out...and then they ask to whom the check should be made out to -- as if they've forgotten where it is they're shopping!!!...and then the manager, the associate manager, the Pope, and Mothra all have to come and authorize the check...AND...they have a bloody debit card sitting IN THE PURSE, in the checkbook they just wrote the check out of!!!!!!

Look, I can sort of understand the paranoia of some people who think the guv'mint's gonna track them down through every swipe of the stripe [I was a big X-Files fan, after all], but for the love of all that is sacred and holy...WHY! WHY! WHY!!!!! must you, Soccer Mom, write checks when a perfectly acceptable and FASTER method of payment is staring you in your Mary-Kay-OD'd face? Why?!?!?!?

Save those checks for when they'll be needed -- like, paying for your kid's therapy bills. Or Jenny Craig.


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