Freudian Slips: Jean of Arcadia at the Blue Light Special

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

April 26, 2005

Jean of Arcadia at the Blue Light Special

I love to catch a great sale! While clothes shopping the other day in Kmart, the sale proved more than I could bargain for. Regular readers have no fear. This story comes with no trappings. It will not lead into old women unabashedly asking me to model underwear(see my January 13, 2005 blog posting entitled Brief Moment at Walmart).
Buying clothing out of season is an awesome way to catch discounted merchandise. I found a clearance rack of winter clothing, a blue light special for Kmart history buffs. On the clearance rack hung 40 pair of corduroy jeans in every rainbow of color. What are the chances the rack would turn up a single pair of my size? Slim, unlike the size I hunted for. Guess again. About thirty of the jeans were my exact size in waist and length. Eureka! Archeologists have wasted entire careers coming up with less of a find.
I checked the retail price. $22.99 was slashed to $14.99. But wait there is more. A yellow sticker further marked it down to $4.00. I wondered what the catch is? A pair of Route 66 jeans for $4.00. My woven treasure had to be defective, irregular, used, or all of the above. But no matter what pair of jeans I removed from the rack, I could not find a blemish, moth hole, or skid mark. When it was all said and done, I brought only one pair of jeans to the counter. I was an opportunist by the slimmest of margins.
A hayseed dressed in overalls behind me remarked, "Nice jeans. How much are you getting them for?"
"Four dollars."
"Employee discount?"
"No." I showed him the yellow sticker to settle the score.
"Wow. Are there more jeans back there?"
"Plenty, but only if you are a 38 inch waisted porker like me."
"I'm not there yet. But what are you waiting for?" After he reaffirmed my girth, he offered me a shimmering chance at a new wardrobe. "Go back there and buy six or seven pairs why don't you? You could fill your closet for the cost of one regularly priced pair."
The hayseed was right. He was Jean of Arcadia, a man of the cloth and the voice of reason. He sees me failing to make a move. I see myself failing to make a move out of line. Jean of Arcadia felt the need for twine intervention.
"Do you think you can beat $4.00 for a pair of nice jeans, buddy?"
That is exactly what I was thinking but I buy one pair. Call me frugal. Call me cheap. Call me stupid. Afterwards, Jean of Arcadia's words replayed in my head.
I went home and tried the jeans on for size and pinache. I really like the look of them on me. They felt comfortable and the mirror didn't shatter. The jeans work the miracle of lifting my buttocks into a high heart-shaped postion. It reminded me of a Best Buns contest I almost entered in stonewashed Calvin Klien jeans. I chickened out right before the curtain call because there is always the occasional heckler. I didn't want to be the butt of jokes. In the end, my butt forever remained in the private sector.
I headed back to Kmart the next day. I shuffled back to the same rack. Things look moved around from the day before. Whoa Nellie! The price tags have been slashed from $4.00 to $1.50. This can't be right. Jumping Jean of Arcadia. I jogged two pairs to the register and sure enough I checked out with two pairs of jeans for $3.00. It must be an unadvertised Spring Martha Stewart From Prison sale or the handy work of Jean of Arcadia. Why didn't I buy more than two pairs of jeans at $1.50 each? It is simple to figure out if you know my personality. The following day I try and return the $4.00 pair.
The lady at Customer Service asks, "Is there anything wrong with this pair of jeans?"
"Not that I can find and I have been looking."
"And the reason for your return is..."
I hoped not to trip on my words. "Too expensive." There I said it. Plain and simple.
She stared down the receipt. "Four dollars is too expensive?"
Customer Service 101 should have taught her not to argue with a customer, especially when I was all over this sale like a scatter plot. I speak to her for my own amusement.
"I know I can do better." I say.
Kmart refunded my money. Ten minutes later, the Customer Service lady eyeballed me standing in line with an armful of the same corduroy pants. I took aim at four more pair of jeans for that unheard of price. So that would make it six pair of jeans for $9.00. If any of my friends or family suffered from my same measurements, I would have bought birthday presents from now until 2027.
The Customer Service lady keeps staring at me. I smile and wave to her. I am not doing anything wrong in the eyes of the law but these were her eyes.
"I changed my mind. I couldn't do better than this. I am buying them." I shouted over to her from my spot in line.
The surprised look on her face was worth ten fold the price of the pants. She had me figured as a wingnut but I did not care. I love a bargain when I see one. I love a return when I see one.
I said to the cashier, "Do you know where I can get Perry Ellis button down dress shirts for .25 cents?"
Jean of Arcadia she was not.

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9 Comments:

Blogger PaxRomano said...

Only in South Jersey can one supplement his wardrobe with pants at 1.50. As for your best buns aspirations, best to just keep your lips zipped concerning that...

6:45 AM  
Blogger Lost said...

Holy cow - that is quite the bargain. You won't need new pants for a while now and all under ten bucks. Can it get better than that??

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, your Mom must be very, very proud of you. It is true, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Post by ET

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

joe, we're in a new income bracket now, you no longer have to shop at k-mart. as for the best buns, i'll let you know later, love, the mrs.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Pax,
Kmart pants, Walmart underwear... I think shirts from a thrift shop should complete the ensemble.

Lost,
The only better deal is if I found some money in the parking lot.

ET,
I trained under the best.

Mrs.,
If you want to repackage the buns inother threads, throw me some money, on my pillow will do. I have no shame.

8:20 AM  
Blogger justrose said...

there is nothing better than a good Kmart sale.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone can shop at Macy"s, Strawbridges and the Bananna.
It takes skill, cunning and an ability to recognize your colors to see the blue light specials. Good thing you're not color blind.
Zelda

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WITTY & FUNNY THAT'S WHAT I SAY. MY KIND OF STORY. YOUR BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL STORY BLEW ME AWAY. EMILY

4:43 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Zelda,
You don't give yourself enough credit. Yours comment was witty enough to even make a statue of Lenin smile.

Emily,
See you at Kmart then.

6:03 PM  

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