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January 6th, 2004

The Chick In Line At Target

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Memo to The Chick In Line At Target: YOU ARE DUMB.

I simply don't understand it. You didn't look 50. You looked young. Full of the fruit of life. Ready to take on the world.

You were also inexplicably ringing up everything except organic bug repellent as one order, and the organic bug repellent as a separate order, but that's OK. You have your reasons, and I'm sure that while it looks odd to the casual observer, if you were given the opportunity toexplain your motives, I would nod, say "that makes sense", and "thank you for your time", and "enjoy your organic bug repellent, hope it keeps those bugs off your radiant youthful skin" and other pleasantries. And we would go our separate ways, with me completely unaware that YOU ARE DUMB and you completely unaware that you would be identified as DUMB on the Internet.

But something happened to change all of that. Technically, something happened to change half of that, because you are still, and will likely remain, blissfully unaware of your DUMB status.

It's when you went to pay for your organic bug repellent. With a credit card. And the credit card came up "invalid number". And you asked, in all seriousness, at Target, "You don't take Diner's Club?"

What is someone, in 2004, under 50, even DOING with a Diner's Club card in the first place, much less expecting it to work at Target? It is not 1976. The Diner's Club is now roughly equivalent to the Players' Club, except without the gravitas provided by having the late Telly Savalas as a spokesman.

Why not just whip out your library card and try to rent the organic bug repellent? Or attempt to trade a goat for it? At least that way, the poor cashier wouildn't have to call for backup to figure out how to respond, because everyone's heard of libraries, and everyone'sfamiliar with the barter system. Diner's Club, however, remains a puzzler, because it lies in a vague nebulous zone along with Datsun and Bankamericard, the land of abandoned brands.

For your poor grasp of appropriate tender in discount stores, I'm afraid that YOU ARE DUMB.