Tag Archives: Society

Attack of the Panther in Polyester

Hello again world…

So here’s where we stand… Yesterday was my birthday. As a rule I try not to make a big deal of it because I didn’t really do anything particularly worth praise or recognition regarding that day. Mom should be the one congratulated for surviving the horror that is passing a football sized human being out her nether-region. I just don’t feel, from the football’s perspective, that I did anything special. Technically everyone does something similar at least once in their life.

Anyway, may I direct you to the point of my story. This way….just follow me….yep that’s it….not to far now….almost there…aaannd, there, go ahead.

Today I went to the mall with my birthday loot, and had laid out the trip in a strict “this is all I’m going to get” fashion. This plan included a nice pair of black dress shoes (for mine have all bit the dust or just don’t match anything), cat litter, potatoes and asparagus. Very exciting list, I know. So off I went on this rather rainy day, on the bus towards the scariest place humanity and civilization has dreamt up since public execution platforms and the alter. The place was noisy and buzzing with people, mostly aged and frail at this time in the morning, huddling around the Tim Hortons. They shuffled down the hall and went about their business at a snails pace, because face it, they had nothing better to be doing, but I needed shoes, so I scurry past them on my youthful legs and then head for the shoe store.

I mentally push past the financial guilt, repeating this mantra in my head “it is my birthday…it’s my birthday dammit”, and as I am thoroughly convinced I need new shoes, I try to hold firmly to a budget that I  imagined for myself. Completely arbitrary of course. I eventually reach said shoe store and with poise and confidence stroll in. The woman who governs this hovel of footwear is on me instantly. but no, I won’t have any bit of pushy sales people today! I am on a very important mission, clearly. I shoo her away with polite niceties and get down to business,

Shoes…

Black…

Heels…

Size 9…nope too big

8 1/2?…Nope too big

8?…alright there we go.

After 20 minutes of ‘hmm’ing and ‘haw’ing, I decide, with will power of steel, that the pair I like are too much money, and technically not exactly what I’m looking for. So with that, I leave. Leave the store FOREVER! (Well no, not really but I thought more drama was needed just there).

I am proud of averting the sale rack, the sales pitches and shining beautiful expensive shoes in the store on the way out. It’s almost one for the record books. I leave disappointed but impressed with myself. No regret will be felt tonight! *Cue dramatic sound effect*

You know that moment in a story, when the main character can either chose one seemingly innocent thing to do, or another, and when they do it all goes to shit? Pay close attention here…

I decide then, that I’ll have a quick look in the bookstore. As I head in that direction I pass several clothing stores. But no, I say to myself, I don’t need anything, nor can I really afford it at this particular juncture. Will power of steel remember? But then when my guard was down due to self praise and basking in my own awesomeness, I saw in the window of a shop, my demise.  THEY HAD WAISTCOATS! (or vests….you might call them vests here, not sure). I was compelled to enter, “just a look” I thought. They were just too fantastic.

The woman of the store was on me before I had entirely committed to seriously looking around. She was like a panther in polyester! And she had her mind set on my blood!

“Hello…how are you today?” she asked with a sly grin…I know she has no business knowing how I am. Even if she did, I also know she doesn’t care even the slightest bit whether I’m feeling elated from having just solved world peace, or a bit like shit because my home planet has just been blown up. I wonder if there is a place to go to learn to be like this?

“Good, just having a look thanks.” …hmm I’ll bet it’s part of the same company that teaches us to respond to social converse with completely benign and uninformative standards.

“OK, well let me tell you about all of the [ridiculous, fanciful, full of lies and false advertising] sales we are having today!” Like there isn’t a different variant of the same thing tomorrow, next week, next month.

I don’t even have time to retort and she is already 300 words into a prepared speech about pants, tops, 70% off this and $5.00 off that, and if you do this small mundane thing you get a small savings but we’ll harass you for the indefinite future.  As she’s rambling I see that the lace cami’s next to me are only $4.95…which I judge as actually a good deal. I do tend to need those….

And that is how they get you. At that moment I was in for it…A cami, a white sweater, a dress shirt, a pashmina and a pair of purple pants later, I come to. The room is still spinning. What just happened??

Upon reflection the cost was reasonable for what I got, but I still feel as though I’ve been had. The woman was so nice, so friendly, so helpful. It was almost like she really cared about whether or not that pashmina brought out my eyes. Do I want my eyes brought out? I kind of like them where they are actually. She says she’ll start a change room for me? How lovely, right? Wrong, now I HAVE to try them on…seriously increasing the likelihood of desire and ultimately purchase.  Oh look, she’s bringing me more things that I didn’t ask for? Great, how sweet and considerate! Except I really didn’t need these things!  She even gave seemingly professional opinions on my selections, yet always encouraging more purchases.

Sure, I felt fantastic and euphoric in the process, pampered, looked after and cared for, but that’s all part of their little scheme. The truth is I bought things I didn’t plan on, and technically don’t need.

Also…I still don’t have shoes….

So world…civilization…humanity, you win this round. Oh well, it is my birthday after all.

-Miss Hailey Jane


Nobody Likes ‘Richard Curtis Fan Fiction’

“What a world we live in, the sad state of modern society makes me want to crawl under an overpass and die! When perfectly decent people won’t get up and read 2000 words of terribly written chicky fan fiction, it’s really just not worth living any more.”

To be entirely honest, it did break my heart a little that the Internet didn’t jump all over my last attempt at clever blogging, but I’m sure I’ll get over it. As of right now, no one has even looked at my blog in the last 12 hours, and I assume this is punishment for littering the walls of the vast and terrifying internet with more useless stories about girly things people have already written about.

Well played internet…well played.

I’ll give you all a bit of justification for the never ending fluff that was the content of my last post, entitled “Richard Curtis Fan Fiction: Notting Hill and Back Again“, but I can’t promise it’s going to be a good excuse.

I’m female…as I’m sure a few of you have deduced with your clever, clever minds, so this means I occasionally think about girly things.  Girly things include (for those of you who are out of the girly things loop): Flowers, kittens, rainbows, sweets and occasional intense bouts of sexual desire for certain male specimens. If the latest literary craze isn’t proof then I don’t know what is [RE: Fifty Shades of whatever seems to get women off these days].  These bouts tend to manifest themselves in the subconscious mind of the women in question, and eventually materialize as dreams.

More to the point of my story… I am traditionally an avid and intense dreamer. One night, one of these manifestations came to me in the depths of regular REM sleep, as one of my favourite…no….my single most favourite deliciously British public figure. The scene also, coincidentally, appeared to be set in the best place pretty much ever. I do love my brain sometimes. So the following morning, I had to do everything I could to write down the experience, and capture the intense feelings with words, so I wouldn’t lose it all forever.

And then no one read the results. Serves me right for sharing.

So a lesson to you all, no matter how many buzz words you put in your blog, which happens to be never ending tome of mundane conversation, people aren’t going to bother reading it.

End of story

Thank you and goodnight!

xx

-Miss Hailey Jane


The Man in the Silver Challenger

It started a few months back when the weather began to improve and the mud and grit of winter disappeared from the streets. Since moving to the big city a year ago, this was her first real spring in the heart of the bustling metropolis. She watched from her balcony as the snow and ice melted, and the people began to come out of wherever they chose to hide throughout the winter months. She watched as ladies in short shorts on rollerblades skated along the riverside, and she wondered if they had a real destination or of they were just skating for the purpose of skating, which in her mind seemed irritatingly circular and irrelevant. And then she figured it was an attention seeking gesture, she hated gratuitous attention seeking gestures, it had to be, no one bothers buying shorts that short without wanting to be stared at.  But judging by the general male reaction to the undulating flesh, there is shallow success to be had.

She watched more and more as the sun began to make the few city plants grow again. She missed the green of the country and found the pathetic attempt at bringing nature to the streets of downtown dismal and ultimately ironic. They had destroyed all the original environment to put all this steel and concrete here, bringing small bits back seemed sort of mean. She saw more and more people taking tiny pets out for walks, riding strange low-riding bicycles and even started to hear the ringing of the ice cream truck. It’s a weird wild and wonderful world she thought. But she didn’t see herself in it; she was watching it like a film, waiting for the plot to become slightly more interesting. And then one unsuspecting day, it did.

Spending afternoons sipping tea or coffee and reading at the cafe downtown was one of her favourite pastimes. It had dark brick walls on which hung beautiful local art, and relaxing music played over the speakers that she found she loved more and more each time she visited. The cafe also had a big open patio that allowed her to look out onto the bustling street through a couple of lonely trees planted in the sidewalk. The dark lighting inside the cafe made the bright strip seem ever more like a screen where the world was being projected for her. She watched the crazy locals walking by, mothers and children, invalids on their motorized scooters, and on Friday afternoons everybody seemed to want to walk up and down the main drag.  Soon she began to notice the cars going by, or more so the people in them, as with the warmer weather people drove happily with the windows down with their music cranked for the world to hear. She always wondered why people did this, as if whatever it was they were listening to was so important and the best thing ever composed, that it took societal precedence over what the people on the street were trying to think about.  She hated having her thoughts interrupted by some young thing with the latest spleen shaking, bass loaded, autotuned disaster they have the nerve to call music, booming out of their car. She wished just once someone would be listening to Wagner or Tchaikovsky, but that was never the case.

One early weekday afternoon as she was reading a book not worth mentioning, and a Silver Challenger with black racing stripes cruised past the cafe, windows down and with the music at what couldn’t possibly have been an audibly pleasing decibel. She mentally “guffawed” at the happening and made note of strange people like that for future conversation. She went back to her book and vanilla nut coffee and that should have been the end of it. Not even several minutes later, she could hear the booming bass of another attention seeking vehicle approaching from the same direction. She paused from her book to mentally curse the driver for interrupting her novel, and as it rolled past and stopped at the light she saw that it was the very same Silver Challenger, with black racing strips. This time round she had a change to see the driver, fully expecting it to be some arrogant self possessed twenty-something looking to pick-up some unsuspecting pretty young thing with the IQ of a potato, but no, this was not the case. Turns out, he appeared to be a middle-to-late aged frumpy man. Now, this is not the first time she has seen a middle-aged man in a mid-life-crisis car, this was not a shock to her nor would it be to anyone, but the music that was coming from inside it was the appalling gut wrenching rap music popular among boys with pants around their knees and hats not quite on right. This man had both the mid life crisis car as well as the tunes. She made her mental note more detailed and then decided he was perhaps just lost and had to circle around twice to get his bearings.

Throughout the next thirty minutes she remained in the cafe, the Silver Challenger circled around another ten times. At which point she had had enough of trying to read and then getting interrupted every three minutes by the booming monstrosity, packed up and left. On the street he passed again, not noticing her, but she got a better look at him from behind her dark sunglasses. He wasn’t anything special to look at, just your average dark haired, medium build,regular height man. His repeated presence bothered her, but she wouldn’t let it ruin her day. She scurried home to the safety of her apartment and tried not to dwell on it too much and get on with her day. “People drive around all the time” she said to herself. “It’s not that abnormal” she repeated. She tried all evening but she could not satisfy her curiosity about the strange socially obscure happening. “Does he not have a job? a family?…Why is he driving around town in the middle of the day?….He’s not going to pick up someone at that hour…better to wait until midnight when they’re all hammered…maybe he’s afraid of the police catching him trying to scam girls at night…maybe he’s a sexual predator…maybe he’s looking for his next victim….”.  She could not quiet her mind, and it kept running all over the place trying to figure out why this one person in such a populated city was causing her so much distress. Maybe she was paranoid, but it didn’t fit with the way people work, and the recognized pattern of how life is supposed to go. Eventually she got to bed and through the miracle of sleep she forgot about it and went on with her days.

Three planetary rotations later, once she had completely got over the Silver Challenger incident and pushed everything to the back of her mind…it happened again. She was on her way to the drug store in the morning and there it was, windows down, music playing same blank look on the drivers face, watching the road. She dove into the closest public establishment she could find and hid in the shop for a while, thoughts running through her head about what he could possibly be doing out again, was this just a coincidence and had he not been out since the last time…or was this a regular thing. Over the next week, every single time she went outside it seemed, her was there…in that Silver Challenger, just driving around…and around and around, never stopping to get out of the car. WHYYYY!?!?! It was starting to drive her crazy. Was this what he wants? To drive poor curious girls absolutely crazy by repeatedly performing a perfectly mundane task obnoxiously with absolutely no purpose! Well it was working!

Over the next month, she kept seeing him, morning, afternoon, evening, and she was sure he was out at night, yet she was too scared to wander the streets at night alone.  She seriously debated asking shop owners who worked on the strip if they knew what was going on, but at the risk of sounding absolutely insane and stalker-y she decided against it. She would think about the reality of the situation…he likely had no idea who she was if he drove around so often…but she, on the other hand, began to panic the second she saw a Silver Challenger anywhere. How is it that you can recognize someone so easily, see them on such a regular basis, yet they have absolutely no idea who you are. Tis the nature of modern society she supposes.

The remainder of her summer was spent on constant lookout for the offensive vehicle, wondering if and when she would see it next.  When she looked left and right to cross the street she was secretly checking to make sure that the Silver Challenger was not there. She could not wait for the cool winter weather to return and force all the leisure vehicles back under their protective winter covers, freeing her fragile mind for a time.

And so for the rest of her life this unsolved mystery would be present in the corners of her mind, every time she saw a Silver Challenger her stomach would jump to her throat, and it would anger her, with thoughts of “WHY!?” because this mystery is never solved. He never leant his head out the window to explain why he was there, never even hollered a hello, just drove around like it was the last day of his life and couldn’t think of anything better to do. This is why life is such a mystery. Because things like this don’t get solved. Because people no longer talk to each other to communicate, just use confusing gestures, accessories and actions to paint a picture of themselves for society to see. He wanted to be seen, he wanted to be noticed, in the flashy car with the loud music, but WHY!  He never stopped to talk to anyone, was never on the phone, just alone with his loud and aggressive musical anachronism. This is the future of society, and through the wonders of societal evolution we all will be left wondering about everyone else, trying to communicate without speaking real words, and most people won’t even notice.

The End

-Miss Hailey Jane