'Tis the season

sucking thumb

To take to my bed

Over the years it has become painfully obvious that I am meant to pull the covers over my head and assume a fetal position from Halloween to Three Kings Day.

On Saturday, I decided to drive to Palm Desert to get a new keyboard at Best Buy. Actually, this was the second time in as many weeks that I decided to drive to Palm Desert to get a new keyboard at Best Buy.

The first time, I needed a new keyboard because I spilled coffee on my old one and certain letters stopped working, letters vital to writing in the English language.

spill-resistant design

I bought a Microsoft Internet Keyboard that promised "Affordable Quality with Easy Access to the Internet, E-mail, and More." Not only that, it touted a "spill-resistant design" — a feature clearly meant for me.

Well don't you believe it! Not for a minute!

The reason I had to go to Palm Desert to buy another keyboard at Best Buy was because I spilled a glass of red wine on my brand-new spill-resistant Microsoft Internet Keyboard. Oh, it's true that the "integrated water channels" did drain the red vinous liquid away. But after a few days, the keys became stickkkkkkkkkkky, rennnnnnnnndering some of my sssssspellingsssssss mossssst unussssssual .

keyboard box

I bought the new keyboard, but not before being forced to point out that the cattle shute Best Buy had erected in front of the registers was nothing more than an obstacle course, since I was the sole customer in line to check out, and not before being forced to intimidate the twit behind the cash register who insisted that "for security" I should show my picture ID despite the fact that my credit card had been scanned and approved!

Since I was already in Palm Desert, I thought this would be a good moment to go across the street to Lenscrafters to get my glasses replaced. They had suffered severe scratching during my face-plant in Yosemite, and the glasses were warranteed against scratching or breaking.

I knew it was a mistake when I had to circle the parking lot twice before finding a vacant spot. My conclusion was confirmed when I got inside and discovered that something awful has happened: The mall provides "courtesy" strollers to parents in the shape of choo-choo trains and other outsized conveyances. They are the pedestrian equivalent of Hummers and stretch limos!

When I arrived at Lenscrafters the same incompetent who had misfitted my glasses months ago stepped forward to "help" me again. I strove to contain my disgruntlement. Another young twit attempted to cheer me up by offering to smile at me. It didn't work.

After interminable keyboard clicking, I was assured that my glasses would be ready in "about an hour." In the meantime, I went to check out the new Sears store recently opened in the mall and buy some new underwear. Again a young "associate" thought I should show my credit card and two forms of photo ID to charge less than $20 of goods. Again I was forced to refuse to play this stupid game.

Then I went to Macy's. Big mistake. I actually saw a set of dishes that I wanted. My current everyday dishes are at least 20 years old, and I've long wanted to replace them. Macy's had a set that would do just fine. Except — there was only the display set and no visible stock. And there was not one "associate" to be found anywhere in the Housewares department.

I stationed myself at the "customer service" desk, vacant at the time. Although several "associates" walked by, none of them deigned to offer assistance. It's not that the dishes were that great — it was now the principle of the thing! Eventually an older "associate" bustled by, engrossed in two boxes of knives. Hello?!?! Is Macy's interested in making a sale, or not?

Finally a sacrificial "associate" from another department was conscripted to help me. He trotted off to the storeroom, retrieved a box of the sought-after dishes, and rang them up. Meanwhile another woman arrived at the service desk, ready to hand over her money, if there had been an "associate" to take it. What is ironic is that the cash register has a sign on the front of it that reads, "Have I been OUTSTANDING today?" No!

From there it was back to Lenscrafters where — you guessed it! — my glasses were not ready in about an hour. I twiddled my thumbs, a trick taught me by my momma, until they were ready.

It's not even Thanksgiving yet, and already the madness has begun.

Wake me when Three Kings is over.