72.6 F

Davis, California

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Target etiquette

Sometimes when I feel like getting a little wild on weekends, I buckle myself into my minivan and drive my crazy self right on over to Target. I love walking through the Dollar Days section while being tempted by a million little trinkets that I don’t really need. But come on, those bird-shaped chip clips were a pretty awesome find. It seems that whenever I venture into Target, I can’t help but instigate quite awkward situations. A few of my favorites are recounted here.

The best one I can think of is the great fart putty incident of ’13. I had perused the Dollar Days aisle and found some “noise putty.” I thought this would be a helpful stress management tool. I could play with putty while working on papers to calm down. I purchased it, justifying the expense by saying it was just $1.

The next day, as I was playing with it, I realized why it was called “noise putty.” No sooner had I put my hand in the thing than it let out a loud, realistic farting noise. I squashed it again and realized that no matter what I did, this baby was going to make loud farting noises every time. I have roommates, who clearly were thinking that I had some serious Taco Bell for lunch that day. Much love to the Silo Taco Bell Express.

The putty couldn’t stay. After a few days I went back to Target and walked up to the return counter. The gentleman there made the mistake of asking me if there was anything wrong with the product.

I replied, “No, it’s just that I didn’t realize it was noise putty. I brought it home and it started making really loud farting noises and well, my roommates thought things. So I’d like to return it for some non-farting putty.” He looked at me, rather bewildered, and said, “OK.” I asked if he heard stories like that often. He replied with a simple “No.”

The next incident occurred a few months later. It was evening, and I stood in the Target parking next to my seafoam green minivan. I had smelled burning during my drive, which is actually quite typical, so I opened up the hood and was examining the oil level.

Just then a small car came driving at lightning speed through the Target parking lot. The driver chose to place his vehicle in the spot directly next to mine even though there was a shopping cart in that space. I was instantly cautious.

What did this man think he was doing, parking next to me? And in a spot with a cart in it, no less! As a safety measure, I got my pink pepper spray out and clicked off safety mode. This was getting serious fast. As the man stepped out of his car, I carefully monitored his movements. I held my pepper spray ready as I stood next to my open hood. The man looked at me and said, “Can I help you?”

Well, that wasn’t going down. I stared at him and said, “No, thank you.” He looked at me rather strangely. It was only then that I realized that some innocent man, who was likely just trying to go grab a few groceries, was being stared down by a chick who clearly was holding up a pink pepper spray can pointed directly at him.

The awkward saga continued when I had the entire Target team attempting to find temporary tattoos for me. I had two different associates helping me in person before they finally just radioed the entire Target team to ask where the temporary tattoos could be found. I told one of the guys who was helping me that I would prefer some with ponies or princesses or something.

The associate clearly thought it was a little strange for someone in their 20s without a child to ask for something juvenile. I felt the need to explain myself, so I said, “I need these because I want to put them on my roommate while she is sleeping.” He gave me a puzzled look, which of course must have been sheer bewilderment at my ingenuity.

MARCI MONTANARI is looking for companions who are interested in hitting up Target awkward style, until the associates finally stop letting her into the store. If interested, email mcmontanari@ucdavis.edu.



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