Sunday, February 13, 2005


Cash Blenders.

I've mentioned here before my general inability to enjoy gambling.

For one thing, I'm not good at it. Like anything else in life, it's hard to get good at something you don't practice, but I'm sorry, it's just too steep an entrance fee to get good at gambling.

Another thing, it costs money. Life is hard; bills to pay, mortgages to cover. I do fine, never been better, but I've never been in a position to just drop a few hundred bucks at a table, knowing full well that after a few hours-- or more likely after a few minutes-- I'll be walking away from the table all the poorer for it.

On the flip side, I do enjoy casinos, at least nice ones (i.e., those not overrun by bussed-in elderly deathwalkers).

Vegas is people-watching heaven, and even Atlantic City ("Where New York goes to smoke") has its own roguish charm. Even if I'm not gambling, I still enjoy feeding off the energy in the room.

Anyways, the reason I bring this up has absolutely nothing to do with casinos, or gambling; it's to back up a point: I spend money faster shopping in Target than I do gambling in Vegas.

What is it with that store? Every time I walk in, it's as if my pocket get picked.
"Let me grab my wallet. . . hey, I had a hundred in here!"
"Where could it have gone?"
"I dunno. Wait-- over there! You, in the red shirt and khakis! Give me back my cash!"
What's worse is that the newest Target near me has wide, clean aisles, good lighting, and a large grocery section. Thus, not only is it easy enough to spend a lot of time there, I can spend *twice* as much money as in a normal Target.

I guess the Target addiction started early for me. My dear departed mother worked at a Target in the last years of her life, so pretty much everything I got came from a Target. As a family member, I got to make use of her discount, and once I went to college, and ultimately moved out on my own, it was a race between Target, Best Buy and Ikea for the title of "Dave's Box Store of Choice."

What's sad today is, I went to Target this morning to buy myself just two things: a pair of khakis, and a space heater.

By the time I left, my cart held tons of food, diet soda, cleaning supplies, a scrub brush, paper towels, toiletries, *two* pairs of khakis, a t-shirt, sunglasses, batteries, a set of curtains for my bathroom window, a 12-inch Calphalon griddle, and a clock from Target's Michael Graves collection.

Who the hell needs all this stuff?

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate capitalism and all, but the overwhelming psychic pull of mass consumption wears me-- and my bank account-- down after a while.

I swear, if it weren't for the fact that I need high-speed internet and access to decent Thai food, I'd be inclined to sell my house, burn everything it held, and move out to the middle-of-nowhere Alaska and live off the land.

Alas, my Boy Scout skills are in such atrophy, in about six days I'd end up like the kid in Jon Krakauer's Into The Wild.

So, in the meantime, I guess I'm stuck buying more shit at Target.

Hmmm. . . I do think I need a George Foreman grill. . .

Damn straight, you need my grill Dave!


You know what I don't get? Online gambling. Basically, I just give my credit card number to some unregulated entity in the Antilles and start hitting some jackpot.gif, right?

"nope, sorry, you lost."
"nope, sorry, you lost again."
"Woah! you were so close that time!"
"okay, you won a dollar ten that time! Let me play a little .midi file for you."
"nope, you lost."
repeat ad nauseum.

Got a problem? I'm sure you can take it up with the Antilles Gambling Commission who will get on that case like stink on crap.

Granted, you don't have to see a Carrot Top show, and you can gamble in your nightie, so that's something; but there's certainly no buffet, no people-watching, no Tom Jones curly-chested Welsh funk soundtrack, no smoke and no booze besides the room-temp vodka with the "built in pourer" in your cabinet.

Why is this business viable? Who is that dumb? I realize that about half the internet is currently taken up with spam and ads for these things, but is anyone buying?

If I gamble, I at least want to give my money to local organized crime, instead of the transnational conglomerates.
That's an excellent point. Do your patriotic duty: support the American mob versus the Russian mob.

I hate giving my credit card number to *Safeway*, let alone to an internet vendor. If it weren't for Amazon, I don't think I'd do any online shopping whatsoever.

Well, okay; Amazon, and

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