Dr. Mrs. Ghostal was out of town over the weekend, so Saturday I hung out with Poesters PrfktTear and Ed Lee. We watched Green Lantern: First Flight (I thought it was fairly good, but not as good as Wonder Woman, and also, we’d just seen this story in an episode of Brave and the Bold) and played Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled, which I’m forced to admit has neither the play nor nostalgia value of the original game or even the XBLA release of the first TMNT arcade game.
In the evening, PrfktTear had to head out (though he had an encounter of his own later–perhaps he’ll post about it below) so Ed and I hit a couple of the local stores to see if there was anything interesting.
We hit Target first. I find big box stores like Target and Wal-mart less uncomfortable to peruse than Toy ‘R Us. As a 30-year-old guy with no kids in tow (as of yet, anyway), you have no excuse for being at TRU other than looking for toys; when cornered, your only real option is to say you’re looking for something for your nephew or whatever. (I usually go with “nephew” rather than “son,” for two reasons: I’m in the boys’ toys aisle, and people are much less likely to wonder why your nephew isn’t with you than your own kid.)
At Target, though, there’s so much other stuff for sale, you could have come in for anything–say, a power drill, or an HDTV–and ended up wandering through the toy aisle out of some mild nostalgia for your boyhood (a boyhood you’ve forgotten, no doubt, due to the numerous building projects, sporting events, drunken binges and sex-having you engage in as a “normal” adult male). But this particular day, Ed and I ran into someone who wasn’t interested in keeping up appearances.
He was a very tall, bearded fellow in a ratty black T-shirt and jeans, probably in his early-to-mid thirties. We’ll call him Target Smitty. Now, you’re probably already thinking scalper, but when I noticed the store had the big Revenge of the Fallen Devastator in stock, he turned to me and said I should probably get if I wanted it because it was being sold for a huge mark-up online. He then also pointed out that the Fallen himself was in stock.
So, nice guy, right? Sure, although in this day and age, voluntarily speaking to someone you don’t know in a public setting without being prompted–especially when you’re a bearded, disheveled guy in his thirties and the setting is a toy aisle in a department store–is a great way way to proclaim to the world that you are, unquestionably, a weirdo.
There’s more, though. See, Target Smitty was there with his mom. And they were slowly going through and looking at all the action figures. The mom seemed to be looking a bit more purposefully than the guy, so maybe she was trying to find a gift or something, but it made Target Smitty look for all the world like a ten-year-old just tagging along with his mom at the store while she shops for a birthday present for his cousin.
To be fair, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a mom indulging her son’s interest in his hobby, no matter how old he is–heck, Mumma Ghostal posts here all the time. But she and I haven’t gone toy shopping together in about twenty years.
Anyway, Ed and I left Target and went to, yes, Toys ‘R Us, where our freak flags would have to fly for all to see. There wasn’t much there (I’d picked up all the Ghostbusters Minimates there a week earlier, and now all that was left was a couple of sad, lonely Winstons).
As we were leaving Toys ‘R Us, we saw Target Smitty and his mom looking through the G.I. Joe movie display. What holy grail were you searching for with your mom, Target Smitty? Whatever it is, I hope you found it.