January 31st, 2004

krazy koati

What the heck is a bolster case?

I returned to Tom & Stefanie today, to exchange the King-sized bedsheets for Queen-sized. I hadn't opened the package, and I had the receipt, and so the cashier explained there'd be no problem doing the exchange.

And by ``no problem,'' of course, I mean there would be some problems.

Very petty in this case, at least: I picked out a set of Queen-sized bedsheet, pillow cases, and bolster case; and in a rare moment of aesthetic consistency even of the same pattern that I picked yesterday. But the Queen-sized were three dollars less expensive than the King-sized were, and you will not be surprised to learn that the store does not give refunds. If I could find at least three dollars' worth of things at the store I could get them and the Queen-sized sheets.

Ever go shopping for something conveniently available at the housewares store for close to three dollars without going under?

And as I don't like getting out of sight of the cashiers when I try to exchange things, pick out something from close to the cash register. I ended up looking through the nearby snacks. The best fit I could find was a two-dollar set of chocolate-marshmallow cookies, and a one-dollar can of Coke Light imported from Japan.

I should point out that Coke Light is not rare in Singapore; the F and N bottling corporation produces cans and bottles in sizes from 300 milliLiters to 1.5 Liters. But for some reason the buyers for the Tom & Stefanie chain of ``homes, apparrels (sic) & Accessories'' stores believe it's worth importing from Japan 250 mL bottles which compete for locally produced 300 and 500 mL cans and bottles. The local cans and bottles, of course, go for typically 70 to 80 cents and one dollar, respectively. I don't understand the niche they fill.

Elsewhere in West Mall, a purse store is pandering to the raccoon market. The mannequins, which are dressed as normally as any mannequins are, and which have a variety of purses slung over shoulders and arms, are wrapped, from head-stub to wrist and ankle, in aluminium foil. The hands and feet are bare plastic.

I would like to have been at the meeting in which someone proposed that customer volume might increase if they wrapped foil around all their mannequins; I would like to have seen the look on the face of whichever person was assigned the task of doing this; and I would like to have seen one of that person's friends asking on that auspicious day, ``So what' d you do at work today?'' Alas, I missed these events, and can only imagine them.

Trivia: Commemorating today's final airing of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode on the Sci-Fi Channel -- and, as far as can be forseen, at all on U.S. television -- the first words spoken by Tom Servo with puppeteer Kevin Murphy as his voice -- explained in character as Tom's getting a new voice -- were``Warning! Danger! Danger, Will Robinson! Warning! Danger! Danger''; then after a small adjustment, ``Dai-sy ... Dai-sy ... give me your an-swer do''; and finally, in his familiar modern voice, ``Hello, world! [ Chuckle ] Hap-py birthday!'' Source: Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episode 201, Rocketship X-M.

Currently reading: The Gathering Storm, Winston Churchill. Had the MRT been a little slower I might have finished it today.