Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gum and Shoes

I went into The Warehouse with Esky yesterday in search of a few items for one of my current projects. I ran into my project buddy, funnily enough, while there.

We chatted behind our trolleys for a bit (I get one whether I need a notebook or a tray of plants - because they have a seat for the babe), before I began creeping my way to the check-out.

En route, we came across a man holding samples. The samples looked dodgey - you know, the way lots of energy drinks have dark (if not black) branding and bright writing? Well, these colour combinations somehow represents the appearance of night clubs, party pills, or caffeinated "stuff" to me. Well, the Sampler Man appeared to be holding something stick form.

The Sampler Man spoke; "Would you like to try some gum, ladies?"

I eyed the tray jutting out from his midriff, which had a strap stemming from it on both sides, running up to encircle his neck. Very American-baseball-standesque. I pursed my lips, "Why does it look that?" I waved my finger over the flashy goods.

"It's new gum."

Jasmine was laughing...and I think, a tad embarrassed. This fueled me.

"So it doesn't have caffeine or some sort of added extra in it?"

"Nope, it's just Wrigleys' new gum. Would you like a piece?"

I'm ashamed to admit the brandname had me. "What are the flavours?"

I chose Tropical. Jasmine went with one of the mints.

My eyes were still on Sampler Man's tray. My gum tasted good. And Sampler Man seemed friendly. "What about my husband? Can I take a piece for him? How about 3?" I raised my eyebrows.

Jasmine was definitely embarrassed.

"I'll tell ya what, how about you have a pack?" He passed me a shiny, silver pack of spearmint Electro. (See, the name reinforces the possibly "enhanced", energy-gum concept, to me.)

"What about her husband?" I nodded my head in the embarrassed chicky's direction.

Presto - another pack.

Before I commenced listing everyone I know, and seeing Sampler Girl approaching - apparently for a Sampler Folk meeting - I decided to quit with my dignity.

I angled the trolley towards the checkout, and began the rounding-up chat with my project-lovin' gum pal. That was, until we were interrupted by a lady in her late 50s / early 60s, "Excuse me?" I looked to the woman's hand on my arm, and then to her face. I quickly did a mental check that I wasn't wearing the store uniform colour - nope, she wasn't going to ask me for directions. The lady continued, "Where did you get your shoes?"

I took stock of what I'd donned that morning, and smiled, "Here!" I exclaimed. I was quite chuffed that they'd drawn some attention - even if by someone a little older. After all, I'd thought them very trendy, and a steal at $12.00. Well, I thought them trendy now. They look exactly like a pair of shoes I was offered by a sales clerk for $120 more than a year ago. I had declined, saying, "They look like nana shoes, to me". The sales-girl, surprised by my assertion, had defended the loafers, "They're really very in right now". Apparently I'm already unaccustomed to what is "in". I shrugged in reply, "They're still nana shoes to me." I went on to buy something more in with me. Flashforward one year. Apparently the shoes had been popular...because they were suspended from The Warehouse hooks with the usual cheap imitation delay wait-time. For $12.00 I was prepared to buy what was "in". They looked comfy.

Back in the present again, I observed the interruptor-lady's crunchy, died hair and smiled. Was that all? Had I satisfied her? Or did she want the logic behind my purchase? I could share the last paragraph aloud...was she up for it?

Crunchy-hair 59er smiled back, "It's just that they look just like something my mother needs."

My smile froze on my face. I twisted my head back to Jasmine like a porcelain carny clown.

Apparently I missed the trendy boat and skipped straight to nana-ville. That is what I get for ignoring my instincts.

They are really comfy.

I know you're dying to take a gander and pass your own verdict.

Oh no. Take a look at the generic brandname.

I still like them.

Bet you thought this post would be about gum sticking to shoes. Didn't ya? Didn't ya?
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