Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Three things that vexed me today, one with slight mitigation.

1. Vanity plate, MANOWAR. Being a progressive pacifist pinko, I probably would have just stuck to my initial thought--"Like, a giant jellyfish?"--and been on my way...but for the big clipped-to-the-window American flag also flying from the automobile. Then I was given to wonder. Man-o-war as in your car is an armed naval vessel? Man-o-war as in you're a veteran? Or...Man-o-war 'cause you just think war is...kind of awesome? There was some sort of pro-Dubya, God Bless the USA, bomb-Eye-Raq-now vibe hovering over the whole thing that unsettled me, war as a spectator sport. CNN, ESPN, quelle difference?

Though there were not any visible Bush stickers or magnetic ribbons. Perhaps he is just a proud patriot who also happens to be fond of the 80s metal band.

2. Safeway. They were piping in innocuous lite hits, as you do...but as I patrolled the aisles in search of my Fat Club-approved lean proteins and frozen blueberries, I gradually became aware that the song playing overhead was...the theme to the Mickey Mouse Club.

First, buh? That doesn't turn up on your average Time-Life compilation. If there was some sort of promotional tie-in going on, I missed it. Second? I'd never thought about it before, but that song consists primarily of CHILDREN YELLING. At ten o'clock in the freaking morning; what gives, Safeway?

3. Here at NerdCo we are subject to a perpetual onslaught of internal marketing. Lavish banners and posters appear in the night, urging us to check out this or that new Awesome Product TM; glossy fliers are thrust into our thousands of mailboxes. I've never understood this because nine times out of ten, I have been looking at/working on Awesome Product TM all damn day and I KNOW ALREADY, NerdCo! Just who are they trying to reach?

Anyway. New poster in the hall this week, touting something or other, with the bold, bright headline: More Firepower. Less Firedrills.

No, no, NO! Wrong! Bad! FEWER. "Less" goes with numbered items, "fewer" with abstract quantities. (Yes, I am one of those people who wigs out in the grammatically incorrect express checkout lane.) Perhaps they could have spent less dollars on posters, and tapped one of the HUNDREDS of NerdCo editors before this thing rolled off the presses, maybe?

So. Grumpy, I marched back out there with my red pen to correct/vandalize corporate property. Imagine my delight to find that someone else had beaten me to the punch! Editors--we are everywhere, bub, look out.


Brooke said...

I knew I'd made a mistake when I stuck a "Another American for Peace" sticker on the back of my car.

The only thing wrong with that sentiment is that now, when I pass people in a self-righteous huff because they are going 32 in a 35, I can no longer flip them off.

WordzGuy said...

re: Safeway-keteers. When you let the employees run around without a lot of parental supervision, some interesting things can happen. I just really want to think that you were not hearing a tape loop produced at Safeway World Headquarters in a lab by psychologists who study which Hits of Your Childhood make you buy the most expensive branded products. And that instead, some employee was enjoying a bout of nostalgia, or of irony, or was seeing that the little shoppers would do in the maze when they played the Club Theme.

-- Mike

Kim said...

Brooke--well, you're for *peace.* You're not necessarily for lame driving and other stupidities. Bird away, I say!

Gael said...

Heh, I almost did the same thing with that "Firedrills" sign. Also, it's "fire drills." Aargh!

danny chen said...

Found your blog from a link from Mike Pope's... Good luck with the program, my wife started it at the beginning of the year and it's been quite rewarding.

Since it looks like you're into week 3 or 4, one tip if I may. We found shopping at Safeway to be really difficult which is unfortunate becuase it's 5 minutes from our house and the next closest grocery store is 20. Try going to Larry's, Top, and QFC (in that order), it's much easier to find variety and quantities of "Fat Camp Approved" foods.

Kim said...

Hello and thanks, Danny!

Yeah, I too am closest to a Safeway. But I've developed a great love for the Ballard Market, not too much further from my house. Good blend of fancy organic foods and plain old Kraft dinner. :)

Good luck to your wife as well!