Thursday, June 22, 2006

astor place k-mart: the most special place on earth

This afternoon I swung by the Astor Place K-Mart to get a new computer chair, as my old one (which I'd also purchased at the Big K) broke when I sat on it a couple days ago. I entered the building and noted that the escalators were not running. (Last time I was there and bought my heavy yet incredibly flimsy desk it was the elevators.) So I made it up to the furniture section and there was nary an employee to be found. I went into the shoe department and encountered a portly, gruff lady who informed me that she'd page someone. Ok. I went back over to the display area and sat in the floor model of my soon to be new chair. After about ten minutes and no helpful K-mart employees in sight, I searched out another red-smocked person and he said he'd page someone. Uh huh. I returned to my chair and swiveled around listening to OK Computer, enjoying the double dizziness of the swiveling and the cold medicine (my chronic consumption has flared up again), for the entirety of the album. There were a couple of kids also waiting to get some sort of shelf thing who were totally missing the joy of slipping in and out of consciousness to the crooning of Thom Yorke and the swiveling of a poorly constructed desk chair, and they were sly enough to stop a khaki-shirted manager. He went to the storeroom to check on our items and returned empty handed. He told the kids he didn't have the shelf. They left, dejected. About to walk away, I asked, "and what about this here chair?" and he said, "No." But, oh! They do have the kind without armrests. That was fine and dandy with me, I said. So I waited another ten minutes and walked off with my brand new chair in a box on my shoulders. It is the same brand as the folding chair I had that just broke, but it was only $30, compared to $60 for the exact same model with the armrests in which I'd been swiveling. I'd think the "pneumatic height adjustment" and "easy care upholstery" would contribute more to the cost of the product than armrests, but what the hell do I know? My checkout process was as smooth as my prior service. I made the sly decision to switch lanes when the lady in front of me at the first register got into a bitch fight with the cashier over whether or not the shorts she was trying to purchase for her toddler were, in fact, to be sold separately or only as a set. Lane 2 informed me upon arrival at the register, my $31 and change at the ready, that "no cash!" would be accepted. Third time was a charm, and I carried my new baby the five blocks back to my house. Time to assemble this motherfucker and pray it lasts more than a week.

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