Can You Save Me From Myself?

It was just a simple trip to pick up a simple 5.99 supply item.  I should have known better.  I was relaxed as I drove over to the strip mall and crossed the parking-lot but the from the moment I entered the portal, and began to breath the estrogen-laden air, I knew I was in trouble.  Michael’s craft store is not a safe place for me.  I know it.  I remind myself of it.  I steel myself against it every time and yet … like the moth to the flame … I make somewhat regular pilgrimages to the place where I usually find that I am the only male within 500 yards, in a domain that is reigned over by crafty women.  Seriously, has anyone ever caught sight of a male employee in the place?  Perhaps haplessly locked away in the store-room but certainly never on the sales floor.  Still I pressed forward, silently reaffirming my resolve to get my 5.99 item and get out before I could take more than threescore breaths of the alien air.

All went well until I approached the bead aisles.  I believe that beads, shiny ones in particular, have a magical, mystical property of resonating at frequencies that vary according to their color and sparkle.  Those frequencies are in a range beyond the perception of the human ear but they have some sort of psychometric properties which mess with ordinary thought processes and disengage rational thought, replacing it with suggestive mind control.  Fortunately, I had remembered to put in place a piece of mental tinfoil under my hat and so I was well fortified against such influence.  I was not, however, prepared for the attractive red signs declaring 50% off ALL strung beads and 70% off the ones on green tags!!!

I saw … I stopped … I looked … I took.

Then, I headed for the aisle where I would find my 5.99 supply item.  On the way I had to pass the clearance display.

I saw … I stopped … I looked … I took.

I made a mental note to stop seeing and to resist stopping … and to get out of there post haste but I was thwarted by the fact that I could not find my 5.99 supply item where I thought it would be.  I went to find one of those crafty women for help.  She was helpful enough and rather chatty as she asked me what I was doing with all the beads in my basket.  I should have told her to mind her own business but being the polite sort of person I told her.  My politeness was all the opening she needed in order to spring her trap as she began to make suggestions and recommendations regarding things I had never ever thought of before!  It was amazing.  In short order she was leading me by the nose to another aisle where

I saw … I stopped … I looked … and I took.

The basket of goodies was getting heavy and I was growing desperate at the realization that I had taken well over my limit of threescore breaths in this place.  With a sense of panic I made my way to the front, passing at least a dozen women who were walking around with glazed eyes and blank stares as they pushed their shopping carts.  I pleaded with the cashier to rescue me by checking me out quickly and letting me get out of there.  She just laughed … and as she took my money (equivalent in dollars to approximately 60% of my weight) she had the unmitigated gall to point out three opportunities to get additional savings on my next visit.  I said to her, as politely as I could, “No thanks Delilah”.  I’m uncertain if she understood but she just laughed again … I could hear her all the way to the door … I can still hear the tinkling melody of her laughter hours later as I sit here in my home.

On the positive side of things, I think I can find a use for most of these things that are now laid out on my counter in my workshop.