Monday, December 13, 2010

The Target Effect

There seems to be a plague of epic proportions sweeping this country. It is commonly known as the “Target Effect,” or as the experts refer to it, “TE.” TE is a disease that primarily affects women of all ages and race and causes them to lose consciousness with the real world for a few moments when the word “Target” is mentioned. This trance-like state typically persists for around five minutes, but has been shown to last 10 minutes or longer in seriously affected individuals.

Signs and symptoms that you or a loved one may be suffering from TE may include any of the following:
-Daydreaming episodes that cannot be broken for five minutes or longer (victim appears to be in a zombie-like trance)
-An uncontrollable desire to shop
-Incoherent speech, also referred to as “babbling,” on and on and on
-Loss of movement in one or all of the major appendages
-Excessive and uncontrollable bouts of drooling
-Sudden loss of words

Please note that for sufferers of TE, these symptoms present themselves almost immediately upon hearing the words “Target,” “Super Target,” or “Target Greatland.”

Although there are no known long-term effects to victims suffering from TE, it is still a serious problem and should be addressed by a qualified medical professional.

If by chance you are a male suffering from these symptoms, please don’t worry. It just means you’re gay.

However, there is still much about this disease that is not known, and many women may not realize that they suffer from TE, or are in denial about it. The use of such phraseology as, “I don’t know what the big deal is, it’s just like Kmart or WalMart,” “I love Target, but I don’t think it has any effect on me,” or the classic, “Target is nice, but I would still rather shop at (insert any store name here),” is a sure sign that you or your loved one is in TE denial.

“It is the people in denial that we need to worry about,” says Dr. Dwight Dewey who runs the Target Effect Research Center. He goes on to say, “It is impossible to help those who don’t think they have a problem. Therein lies the real tragedy of TE.”

Dr. Dewey’s TE studies over the last five years have greatly advanced not only the identification of this debilitating disease, but also the treatment options which have already helped millions of women.

“For the longest time I didn’t think there was any help for me and my problem, but thanks to Dr. Dewey and his group, I have been able to find answers and am learning to manage it. I have my good days and bad days, but overall it is getting better,” says Samantha Cole of Long Beach, CA.

Dr. Dewey couldn’t agree more with Samantha. “By identifying this disease we have been able to help women come to grips with its effects, and although we have yet to find a cure, we are helping women manage and cope with it in their daily lives. It is something that we’ll all have to live with for now, but my hope is that someday we will be able to find a cure.”

So strong are his feelings that he has partnered with Target, Inc., who themselves are donating a penny of every 100 dollars they make to the cause. “Every little bit helps,” assured Dr. Dewey.

The amazing thing about TE is that is was once believed to only affect women who have shopped at Target at least once in their lifetime. But recent literature suggests that TE is becoming a global phenomenon, even affecting women who have never actually shopped at the big box retailer. “We had hoped that we would be able to contain this outbreak to the United States, but we have recently found that its reach is far greater than we had anticipated,” says Dr. Dewey. He believes that Target commercials are partly to blame for the rampant spread of TE that has now pushed well beyond the borders of actual store locations. One such case has been reported as far south as Antarctica in a small research hut on the world’s largest ice flow.

“We have seen an especially increased incidence of TE in areas anticipating the construction of a new Target store,” adds Dr. Dewey, citing the alarming rate of TE currently being reported in such areas. “However,” he points out, “even in areas where no Target store is scheduled for construction, TE cases are still significantly higher than they were ten years ago.”

And while many men may be worried about the effects of their spouse’s TE on their lives, Dr. Dewey is quick to point out that in some ways TE can be a blessing in disguise.

“Think about what this really means to you, men” continued Dr. Dewey. “It means at least five minutes of uninterrupted sports highlights. Or five minutes to fall asleep at night before having to worry about any sort of cuddle time. Five minutes to get away from an argument. Or just five minutes of peace and quiet.”

Indeed, the “Target Effect” may be man’s greatest discovery since the remote control and TV dinners. Although TE is manageable, there is still no cure, and men all over the world can still depend on the satisfaction of at least five minutes to get away with anything they want.

Remember, if you or anyone you know may be suffering from TE, please call 1-800-I-HAVE-TE. Help is out there and is only a phone call away. You don't have to suffer through this alone.

Only 11 More Days

The time has gone much too quickly. It feels like Thanksgiving was only yesterday. If only I could slow down feels as if it is zooming right past me and the day will be here before I can truly enjoy this season.

But alas the day is almost here where as parents we'll have to come up with something else besides the "Santa is watching" excuse for keeping our kids in line. We'll have to make good use of it every day between now and Christmas I guess. Oh, how quickly the window for this parenting tool comes and goes.

What is Cool?

It is my belief that the coolest people in this world are those people who have a personal alien encounter story. Seriously, does it get any cooler than that? And if it's a story of actually being abducted by aliens....well then, you are the coolest of cool people.

What do you guys think...what makes a person cool?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winter Olympics

With the winter Olympics halfway over I find myself wondering one thing. How in the world is curling a sport? Don’t get me wrong because I actually enjoy watching curling. I’m amazed at the skill of the players in making shots I didn’t even think possible. They perfect the use of angles and lines better than any engineer I know. The way they glide around one footed on the ice is truly masterful. The camaraderie and teamwork of the players is nothing short of inspiring. But to be called a sport is just downright hypocritical.

In what other sport can you have a middle age man considered in the prime of his sport? For example Team Canada’s captain, at age 43, is playing some of his best curling ever. Hello, 43? Doesn’t anyone else see the irony in this? At 43 this man is out competing men half his age, men in the prime of their life. Men who don’t even know what backaches are or how good a nap can be. Men who really only have two things on their minds…sports and sex…and not particularly in that order. I mean think of it this way, Brett Farve could actually retire from the NFL and have a successful career in curling. That’s right, Brett Farve who has about reached the end of the line in his NFL career because of his age would be able to retire but still could potentially become a top player in the so called sport of curling. Step aside Revlon, Curling is the one that’s truly age defying.

I’ve always felt for a sport to truly be considered a sport that some sort of physical exertion needs to be spent. You know, something that elevates your heart rate a little, maybe causes you to sweat, possibly even cause a muscle pull if not properly stretched and warmed up before hand. I don’t think any of those are even possible in curling. In fact I would argue that ping pong is more of a sport than curling. At least in ping pong there is a lot of moving and the chance for an elevated heart rate. We don’t consider poker a sport do we? Yet poker has about as much physical exertion as curling. And before anyone tries to say otherwise I would suggest you try sitting in a chair for a couple of hours straight with nothing but a poker face on. It’s not as easy as you would think…try lifting the cards so only you can see what you have without letting the camera, your opponents, or the audience see.

Shoot, I would go as far as to say that texting could be considered more of a sport than curling because with texting at least there is a chance of an injury. Ever have a sprained finger? It’s not very fun.

I would probably have to put the game of curling up at the same level as bowling. Please don’t tell me that you consider bowling a sport. I mean in what other sport can the person be fat, out of shape, and drinking a beer while eating a plate full of nachos between turns. And this is no slam on nachos because I love nachos. I’m just saying bowling is not a sport. Just as curling is not a sport.

Shuffleboard is another game that, while I quite enjoy it (mainly because if I’m playing it probably means I’m on a cruise), I would not consider it a sport. In fact, I think that is how curling came about…a dash of bowling, a pinch of shuffleboard... throw into some ice just for kicks and viola, you have curling. But just as two wrongs don’t make a right, two non sports don’t make a sport.

That being said, I think that I would really enjoy playing a game of curling. It looks like a lot of fun.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sample Saturday

Don't you just love Costco? Who doesn't, right? Especially on sample Saturday. So many wonderful and delicious samples to try. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Sample Saturday almost makes it worth the masses of people you have to fight through in order to get from one aisle to another.

What is it about the samples that cause people to swarm? We're like moths circling the blue glow of the electric lights and then...zap! You can always tell when someone got too close.

The problem that I see is that there are no rules when it comes to sampling. No formal etiquette. We all just kind of stand around waiting for the samples to finish cooking. Everyone just hangs around, all of us pretending to be shopping or looking at an item right next to the sample table, when in fact we have no real interest in anything but the sample. Nobody makes eye contact with one another because we don't want our cover blown. We're just trying to act as normal as a shopper can, occasionally even lifting an item from the shelf to examine it when...DING! The sample is done and everyone swarms. Children are pushed aside. Old people are trampled. It's every man for himself.

There are no rules like those on a sinking ship...women, children and the elderly first. No way. Absolutely not. I waited just like everyone else and want my sample and I'll be damned if I let someone else in before me. It's free and I'm hungry.

I also find it fascinating that we feel the need to create idle conversation with the employee behind the sample table.

"So how long should I cook this for?"

"It's on the box."

"Oh, you mean the box it comes in?"


"You don't say. Very interesting."

In our tiny little consumer minds we think our acting skills might actually convince the employee behind the table that we're actually interested and considering buying the sample. When in fact we have no intention of buying it at all. And even if we were, the employee could care less. It's not like they work on commission, so then why in the world would they care? Still, we all find ourselves in these awkward conversations and it never really occurs to us that the employee has probably heard the exact same conversation 500 times already that day.

Just once I wish someone would say what we are all really thinking.

"Look I really have no plans of buying this. I'm just hear for the free samples. So I won't bore you with any small chit chat pretending I'm interested in buying it. Really, it's better this way...for both of us. Please don't take it the wrong way because you really are doing an incredible job of handing out these samples. It's not you, it's me. It's just that I'm cheap and really only wanted to try it because it's free and I'm hungry since I didn't eat breakfast or lunch today."
I would say it myself if I wasn't afraid they might kick me out of the store.

Another thing about sample Saturday that bugs me is how uncomfortable I feel about taking a second sample from the same table. We have to act all sneaky about it by grabbing it quickly when the employee behind the table is distracted by someone else creating idle conversation. I have even come in from behind the table and grabbed the sample without even looking back so that the employee wouldn't be able to identify me. Sometimes we try to explain, thinking the person recognizes us and realizes we're taking a second sample.

"I'm just getting one for my wife. She didn't get one the first time. It looked so good she just had to try it. Really it's not for me. How long did you say to cook these for?"

I have yet to see someone reprimanded for taking more than one and yet we are afraid to do so thinking we might be the first.

"Sorry sir, only one sample per person. It's clearly written on the sign when you walk into the store. I'm going to have to ask you to hand that back please and leave the store immediately. You really should be ashamed of yourself. Taking seconds when there are starving people in China."

I have noticed a few crusty stares from other customers when doing so but I'm sure it's just because they're jealous because they wish they could have done the same but didn't have the courage to do so.

Yep, you gotta love Costco. It's really what the American dream is all about.

Life is just too funny to be taken so seriously