Condescension from Above

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this type of thing before.

And I’m sure we’ve all been there.

You’re in a store, minding your own business, when overhead blares an announcement that you are CERTAIN is directed at you.  Sometimes it’s a live person relaying a code (“Security, Code 14 in Zone 8. Code 14 in Zone 8, please.”), and you are positive that the grocery overlords have spotted you looking in vain for the oyster crackers, swearing and sweating, and are sending men in white coats to take you someplace “safe”.

Other times, it is a recording, and there is no doubt in your mind that someone pushed a red button on some dusty reel-to-reel in some hidden backroom because they spotted you wandering around aimlessly in ladies action wear; in reality, you can’t find your wife, but they don’t know that. (“Ladies and gentlemen, here at Gimbels, we take loitering seriously, and reserve the right to ask you to move along.”)

Well, this weekend occurred another such incident, at a home improvement store.  While it is possible that the actual event, as I recall it, was skewed at the time by my severe thermal-driven fatigue, or has been enhanced in the time since by my heightened paranoia and/or my propensity for exaggeration, I don’t think so.

As I’m loading a truly irresponsible number of retaining wall stones onto a flatbed cart, sweat and hopes for a restful Saturday dripping from my pores, I hear something like the following:

<Professional Announcer Man> “Did you know that Home Depot offers same-day contractor services for all of your outdoor landscaping needs? So, why toil away the precious weekend hours, losing vital moments of your already dwindling time on this earth to try and build a fire pit that, let’s face it, will end up looking more like a haunted 18th century Dutch well?  Plus, you don’t look so good, and we mean that with all due concern. Are you staying hydrated? Home Depot: More Saving, More Doing.”

I just don’t know anymore.

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