My Christmas quest was simple enough: buy toy cowboy guns for my boys. Caleb and Eli have boots and hats, bandanas and sheriff's badges. But they don't have holsters and guns. Without those critical components, however, you've really just got yourself a Village People costume. We've made do until now with two wooden pistols that were originally designed to shoot rubber bands. But I wanted to get them shiny cowboy guns, the kind that make a little boy's heart race, that turn a bad guy's legs to jelly, and that give a damsel that funny climbing-the-rope-in-gym-class feeling when she sees them strapped around your waist.
So I got up early one recent Saturday, and set out to catch Toys R Us right when they opened. This is advisable if like me you find yourself drawing hysterical conclusions about the future of civilization based on your experiences shopping in malls and driving behind school buses. If you can't find anything nice to say about your fellow man, I like to think, then best just to avoid him.
So I walked inside the Toy Mecca in vain hopes of quickly completing my mission. In this I was working against teams of psychologists and store design specialists all bent on exactly the opposite goal, which is to keep the hapless shopper in the store for as long as there are dollars left in his wallet. I winded my way past rows of video games and Barbie paraphernalia (I think boys might benefit from owning a Barbie doll; every young man should understand what an expensive proposition it is to cohabitate with a narcissistic woman built like a stripper), past noisy electronic gizmos and remote-controlled devices.
But I couldn't find guns. I wandered up and down aisles until I spotted a salesman. "Excuse me," I said, "where can I find cowboy guns?"
"Oh. We don't sell those." He looked at me as if I had just asked him for nipple clamps, or perhaps a Bible. His voice was tinged with the self-righteousness of people who announce to others that they recycle, or that their children attend Eugene V. Debs Elementary because they believe in supporting the public schools.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Well, Shoot, Son
Here's a nicely written story (via Instapundit). It begins thusly: