Sunday at the Mall with daughter. Heading down the escalators to the Apple Store. We see them at the same time.

Oh no, she said. Don’t make eye contact. It was the Barbizon Girls, standing around looking model perfect, waylaying any parents with daughters toenlist them in a chance to win a trip to New York! Maybe you’ll get a contract to be a model!

We headed off at the sharpest angle possible but one of them saw us and beamed and started to open her mouth, and I said “thanks! But she’s already signed with Tom Ford.”

Watching confusion bloom in her smile was deeply gratifying. I don’t know why. I was in a mood. This mood continued in the Apple Store, where we were taking advantage of the peculiar economics that somehow turn expensive pieces of marvelous technology into slightly less expensive pieces, due to “upgrade eligibility.” I was borrowing my wife’s upgrade eligibility to replace my iPhone, which I hated because it wasn’t the most recent and so BOOO. First step: appall daughter by pointing to one of the Apple sales people and saying “YOU.”

But she could tell we knew each other. I swear she sold me my first iPhone. (She likes this site.) So we began the process of switching out this and that, moving my phone down to daughter. At one point I was trying to enter my AppleID, and every time I entered it incorrectly. “I was in a car accident yesterday,” I said.

Daughter, who yesterday was concerned I might have died, now says “You’re going to milk this all weekend, aren't you.”

Turns out it was a wifi-connection problem, easily solved, but there was the possibility of a running joke here, and so periodically I would mention that I had been in a car accident the previous day, as if unaware that I’d said it before, and reset certain elements of the conversation. The clerk was clever and played along, which assured Daughter that she should not be mortified. Indeed, this is how things should be. Fun. But you can’t run the bit into the ground; you have to develop it, which we did, thanks to the new Apple Store decision not to give their staff name tags. This brought a manager into the fun, who played right along with the new corporate policy of assigning IARU numbers, or Interchangeable Apple Retail Unit numbers, to their staff of drones. When it was all done we had a conversation about new products in the pipeline, and what I would surely want next, and when it was all done I smiled and said “enough of that! I’d like to get a new phone.”

And this is where you get the kind reminder that you just did and there’s the door and hope the concussion thing works out for you.

Concussion! Odd you mention that, I had a car accident -

“Dad,” says daughter, and we leave. We found a Starbucks and set about restoring our phones with free wi-fi for as long as it took to drink coffee. The miracles of the 21st century. Back in the car to hit the highway and go to IKEA, because daughter wanted sheets. I approached the intersection where I had the accident, looking, looking, scanning, careful, careful -


Parked in the gas station lot, hopped out, walked through the snow to the island that had the light the driver had blown through, picked it up and held it aloft in triumph.


Off to IKEA. Daughter loves it. Me: meh. I’m not 27 furnishing an apartment. But we bought knives, because the old IKEA knives were falling apart, and some sheets, and some batteries. There was a huge banner that advertised hot dogs for 50 cents, and the fine print said “not actual size.” Please, please be a joke. We had a hot dog, and then I thought that it would be silly not to buy Swedish Meatballs and sauce and lingonberry jam and potato pancakes for supper, so we did. But wait! Since IKEA was deficient in the patterned-sheets department, let’s hit Target.

Remember: I did errands on Friday so I didn’t have to go back to the nexus of weekend duties on Saturday and Sunday. Went there Friday, Saturday, Sunday. We found sheets, and I made a command decision to upgrade the pillows as well, since each had taken on the characteristic of a compressed pile of old newspapers. Then we went home.

Only when I got home did I recall that I hadn’t been to Cub for breakfast sausage, which was the goal on Saturday that led to the accident (well, that and Maker’s Mark) but it was okay, because I had two week’s worth in the fridge, and now I had a new pillow. And a phone. And meatballs.

This was the most random weekend I have had in years. Felt like a sail, billowing in the breeze of unexpected mistrals, tacking left and right.



Missing was missing yesterday, because it was long. This is short:

Elect? Was that her name? Electra? Electrola?

You wonder if Eddie would have left for Boston if the times had been that good.



Well, look who's back.

I've removed the title so you can guess what Elmer's yelling about. Not that it matters. It's the same old domestic difficulties, cheerfully born by Elsie. Another row in public.



And another wince-worthy pronouncement: Elmer thinks they're living on his hard-earned money.

Oh, dear. As I've said before, I suspect Borden set him up with a phony make-work job downtown just to keep him busy.

  Of course he has to yell about his virility as well, so no one overhearing thinks he feels emasculated by his wife's fame and material fortunes.

  Wonder what the Pippin Roll tasted like. Or why they called it that.



From Pippin Roll to Pepperell - in this case, the alarming Pepperell Fine Print Girls:


An interminable company history is here. Granted, the site is called "" and hence seems concerned with corporate management and financing, but there's little about towels and sheets, and a lot about junk bonds and leveraged buyouts and the like.

Nothing about the Pepperell Fine Print Girls. I'm sure their torsos contained a guarantee.


A simple A&P ad from the 40s- late 40s, as you might guess - indicates the pleasures of meat in greater supply:



The basket tels you it's an A&P ad, thanks to casually-strewn-yet-carefully-placed bags of house-brand coffee and bread.

Why was Red Circle brand sold in a yellow bag, and Eight O'Clock sold in a red bag?

My guess: Eight O'Clock came first, and was strongly identified with the color. The "Red Circle" was part of the A&P logo, so people understood the connection.


Had your share of difficult-to-serve Liver Loaf? Wished that all your Loafs could slide from the can with greased ease? A time of wonders, this was:

Veal loaf? Someone made the poor creature live in a small pen just to be turned into loaf?

"Tongue Loaf" should be slang for taciturn behavior.

You have your orders:

They're living the American way now that the liver loaf is served with ease! And the can grease works great as hair-slick, too!

That's it for today - except, of course, five Classic Covers to enjoy. If that's the word. See you around!



blog comments powered by Disqus