A View of the Economy from My Car WindowPosted: December 7, 2008
I had some time yesterday, so I took a ride over to Target to get a few things. I had had to rush out the door yesterday, so I was running around with no coffee in me, and that’s not a good thing, right?
At Target, my only option was Starbucks. In the past, I have eschewed Starbucks, feeling that it tastes like a heady brew of battery acid run through ground monkey balls, but I was desperate, and desperate times call for…you know what. Standing in line, waiting for those in front of me to get their venti lattes and grande mochachinos made by the one barista on duty, I told myself Just the House blend. Maybe it’s not as bad as I remember.
My turn finally came. I ordered and took the thing over to the mixing bar. When I took off the lid, I looked down into the black tar in the cup. This was going to be quite a chemistry project. I poured some of it out, added artificial sweetner and filled the thing with milk. It barely changed color. Not a good sign.
I tried again with more milk and more sweetner, took a sip, and chucked the whole thing in the trash. A failure of chemistry. How do people drink that stuff?
Last night Manfrengensen and I had a sitter. We went out to dinner and then…no movies out there at all. We’ve seen the James Bond. What else is worth shelling out for? We ended up doing some Christmas shopping.
It’s pretty sad out there. We drove up the main shopping corridor in our town. The first thing I noticed was this Mom&Pop hobby store that had been there since I was a kid: Out of Business. The place was dark, and the windows were empty. I can remember going in there as a kid (and as an adult) and being totally blown away by the selection of Lionel trains and other stuff they had in there.
We drove further, and I noticed that the oriental rug place that always advertised they were going out of business (and we always joked about that sales tactic — for years!), well, they actually have gone out of business now.
La-Z-Boy had two signs out front. One said: GOING OUT OF BUSINESS/DOORS CLOSING. The other one said: STORE FOR RENT.
We went to Best Buy, where there were more cashiers than people waiting in line. We went to the mall, and the place was empty. I stopped in KB Toys for a stocking stuffer, and on a Friday night, at 8 p.m. in December, I walked right up to the counter and paid. Even Target was empty. No wait in line at all. Nobody’s really buying. It’s pretty weird to see.