Saturday, February 12, 2011

Present Tense for the Tense Present

Location, location, location...

Dave sits on a bench at the mall near his house, and watches people wander by, unimpressed with their questionable path-finding AI. As usual, the largest groups of meandering mall-haunters are: Overly-preened Teens; the Grey-haired Brigade; and a label-less group comprised of "well-dressed women over 40 on their way to or from Nordstrom's." They all have their unique set of quirks, yet none of the members of these major groups of mall-striders (or even most of the other subgroups) bother Dave much anymore. He has finally achieved an age where he realizes that people are just people.

There remains, however, a sub-group that still causes an eyebrow to arch on Dave's forehead; namely, those who have decided, for whatever reason, to insert discs or hoops into various parts of their face, to create unsightly, gaping holes in their flesh. Usually the loops are wedged into the ear lobes, but occasionally the feature of choice is the nose, or even the cheek or lower lip. Large collections of "regular" earrings don't phase Dave anymore. Neither does seeing people covered in tattoos. But the bizarre facial hoops are still a mystery to him. Not being a dentist, seeing someone's lower gumline is disconcerting to Dave. And adding additional nostrils to one's face is pure confusion - what message could possibly be conveyed by such an act of exhibition?

Dave shrugs it off and turns his attention back to the passing human flotsam - knowing that when he finally decides to stand up to leave, he will become another piece floating by. Dave embraces his membership in the mall subgroup called "Those out of whom life has beaten the sense of superiority, who now shuffle along, happy to be alive and in reasonably good health."

The number of stores Dave's likes to go into at the mall has shrunk recently, from three (the Game store, the Apple store, and Starbucks) down to two (bye bye, game store!). In an effort to find something else to look at while wandering, Dave goes into the pet store. The sign in the window notifies Dave that the store is under new management... inside, Dave finds...

A Monorail Cat

A Raccoon Comedian 

A Phlegmatic Retriever

A Difficult Bear

A Suspicious Husky

And a couple of Overly-Attentive Terriers

Needless to say, Dave is impressed with the pet store, and its new management. Dave's list of mall stores he will frequent has now been raised back up to three. Of course, he cannot afford a new pet, but there's no harm in looking, Dave tells himself.

Dave wanders into Sears to look at the latest flatscreen TV's - another item he cannot currently afford to buy. But again, Dave gets his browse on... Most of the TV's lining the aisles have the same thing playing upon them:  a repeating highlight video of high-definition shots of nature, designed to show off the picture quality of each set. While impressive, it does not hold Dave's interest for long. For squirreled away in the clearance section of the far aisle is a small TV playing more interesting clips...

A Crazy Norwegian 

A Quick Joke Pitch

An Incredible Stunt Bicyclist

And a German beer commercial that skirts the line of Good Taste...

Dave's cellphone rings. He answers. It is his wife, notifying him that she and their daughters are finished shopping, and are cleared for departure. Dave smiles. He pockets his cellphone and heads for the exit.


Paula Titus said...

Oh my gosh oh my gosh! ! ! Best post everrrr!

--(or even most of the other subgroups)

--And adding additional nostrils to one's face is pure confusion
(freakin busted a gut at the "I'm high on drugs" drawing)

--Dave embraces his membership in the mall subgroup called "Those out of whom life has beaten the sense of superiority, who now shuffle along, happy to be alive and in reasonably good health."

And of course the pet store was hilarious!

Insightful, intriguing, a hoot. Fabuloso!

Rug Warrior said...

One of the 40-something well-dressed women walking from Nordstrom group snorts as she laughs at this.

Very funny.... =) Twisted but funny...


David Wagner said...

Paula: Glad you liked it. It was fun to write. Every now and then, I earn my keep 'round here... gotta give y'all yer money's worth...

Lisa: Sometimes, twisted is the best I got...

Abbie Josephsen said...

lol Dave, great post :) glad you now have three stores, but bummed you lost your game one. Not the Game Stop is it? I liked that store too :(

havah said...

Dave, you so rock the blog world! I've missed you, buddy. Glad to have you back. :-)

logankstewart said...

Logan reclines in his less-than-comfy office chair and thinks about how to respond. Outside his window the sun is shining bright and a faint promise of warmer weather whispers on the wind. He takes his hat off and wipes his brow. Just six and a half more hours to go, he thinks.

His eyes flick back to the screen. The embedded videos have loaded. He watches a few, mildly interested. His mind's elsewhere. But then, perhaps it's perverse, he chuckles at the German beer commercial. That guy was peeing! A wry smile spreads across his face.

Dave, he types. I'm sure glad to see the light's back on over in your little corner of the blogosphere. Excellent post, buddy.

He tabs down and types the CAPTCHA--"recric." Satisfied with his comment, Logan clicks "Publish Your Comment" and watches as the screen transitions to nothingness.

David Wagner said...

Abbie: The game store is still there, I just have no need to go in anymore. I get all my games online now! And I don't play console games.

Havah: You = the Bestest. The world needs a little rockin' now and then...

Logan: I'll try to find better videos next time... sorry, bro. Thanks for the creative comment!