I am not sure I felt it until last night. Sure, people talk about it, and by that I mean, they repeat what they saw on the news like parrots, but in the flesh it's a tad more visceral. As I entered the store, there was an erie (Will Smith in Legend) vibe I couldn't escape. Usually I am shaking off sales people like skeeters on a Southwood ride, but I could have yodeled like an Austrian girl in weird socks, and not raised a single employee. I moved upstream like Sheen looking for Brando, cautious but intent.
I finally wandered over to a perfume counter and asked to return the shirt. Without eye contact the sales girl accompanied me back to the men's department. She explained there were only two people on the entire floor and that the Christmas help had all been let go the previous day.
For the pre-Christmas price of my shirt I got a pair of pretentious designer jeans (my first ever pair, I'm a Levi's guy) a sweater (with a guys name on it) and a long john shirt with a vague saying and tattoo like artwork. I assume it was drawn by a mental patient in a Malaysian sweat shop. I can only imagine the marketing meeting that lead to someone deciding "Infested Waters" would be the perfect thing to have on a shirt. I wonder what phrases lost that battle, and the genius designer conversations that gave birth to this garment.
"Well I like Vodka Dialysis, but I am really feeling the Infested Waters....I don't know it just feels....SURFIE!"
Still, I felt like a lecherous vulture as I went to the counter with my ill gotten gains. I was in retail in 1988 when black Friday hit. I rearranged furniture on the Titanic, as the Mom and Pop store I worked for, bubbled to the inky depths. It's not fun being a sales person in troubled times.
Remarkably, I feel pretty good in my jazzy new duds. If the shit house goes up in smoke, I might as well look my best.