Friday Frivolity

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Do carnivores prey before they eat?

Eat.  That’s one of my happiest pastimes.  Especially dessert.  What a treat it was when my granddaughter, Tara, got a job at the Great American Cookie Company.  The thought of Tara fixing a special cookie for me was akin to the Cookie Monster hearing that Sesame Street was to have a ribbon-cutting for a Great American Cookie store.

Great American Cookie —   You know…it’s one of those mall stores you don’t have to walk inside to shop.  As you stroll by, they entice you with a large array of the usual four-bite confectioneries plus a delectable variety of HUGE, cake-like decorated sugar disks.

I generally am not tempted by cookie-store offerings, but the thought of sharing one of my granddaughter’s artistic masterpieces with our friends was alluring.  And when we got to the store, I must admit they looked quite tantalizing.  “I think I’d like to buy that one,” I mentioned, pointing to the two-footer Tara had iced that afternoon.

“You can’t buy that one, Grandpa,”  Tara said. “It’s made of rubber.”

“What?  Rubber?”

“Yeah.”

“Rubber!  I can’t believe it.  That cookie’s actually made of rubber?”

“What did you think it was made of?”

Looking up at the sign, “Let’s see… GREAT AMERICAN COOKIE… how about sugar!”

“Gee, Grandpa, if they were made of cookie dough, we couldn’t re-use them.”

“You don’t re-use cookies.  You eat them!”

Pacing along the display, I mumbled my disappointment…if not some skepticism of the forthrightness of my granddaughter. “Rubber cookies.  I’m shocked.  I’m appalled.  My own granddaughter, perpetrating a hoax on the public.”  My murmuring intensified to intelligible clarity.  “The public should be made aware of this deception.  You should change your sign to Great American Rubber.”

“Grandpa, they’re just for display.  Nobody buys these showcase cookies.”

“It’s no wonder; they’re rubber.  And, I’ll bet the unsuspecting public doesn’t know it.”

======================== If you want to read the rest of the story and find out how I “informed” the public, go to ButtonwoodPress.com and buy Laughing while Shopping

Friday Frivolity, July 14

This is the Preface for my newly released book: Laughing while Shopping.  You may order a personalized copy by “Comment” to this post.  ($7.95 + postage)

I am an impulse buyer.  I need no advertisements to tempt me to go shopping.  I am rarely persuaded…in fact, more often I am dissuaded by “celebratty” testimonials.  Product hawkers in a store are no more than a cacophony of gibberish.  In fact, when I do watch ads, studiously read labels and carefully listen to sales pitches, it is generally counterproductive for me to make a purchase.

Yet, the wonderful world of advertising has provided many humorous moments in my shopping experiences.  I don’t see the flashy, colorfully highlighted “NEW and Improved” as persuasive.  Rather, I wonder how anything can be both new AND improved.  It must be one or the other, not both.  Kinda like “Extra Virgin olive oil”—isn’t virgin an unqualified absolute?

Despite my distrust of marketing ploys, I do enjoy shopping.  My wife and I make at least one excursion into the land of retail every week.  We shop to meet the needs for our church’s Open Table weekly meal.  Okay, so Sue shops.  I push the cart, drive the delivery van, and seek out humor on the shelves or attempt to create it during interactions with store personnel.

I have often suggested that my epitaph should be:  I hope our encounter has somehow brought joy to your life.   Though I may not be seated beside you as you read, may my tales fulfill that hope.