So I walk into the Apple Store this afternoon and, of course, the place is packed. There are about two dozen “geniuses” having their brilliance tested by roughly four times as many customers. I want to get in and out as quickly as possible so I approach one of the red-shirts (I suspect it’s a seasonal thing) and tell him I’d like to purchase some iTunes gift certificates. “Should I just grab them off the wall?”I ask, pointing to the display across the room. “No, just line up over there,”he says, motioning over to the daunting customer service queue behind me. “It won’t be long.”
This, it turns out, is the first of two lies he tells me on this day.
And so, I line up. And wait. And wait. The people ahead of me seem to be in a hurry – up until it’s their turn at the till, at which point they’re like some kid who has finally reached the spinning tea cup ride. They giggle and laugh and joke with the staff, considering this, pondering over that. It is clearly THEIR moment and, after waiting twenty minutes for service, they’ll be damned if they don’t make the most of this opportunity. Eventually, the guy in front of me finishes regaling us all with the meandering tale of his net-savvy nephew. Dictionary.com provides the following two definitions for the word “anecdote”: 1. a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature. 2. a short, obscure historical or biographical account. In this case, it was the latter.
And, finally, it was my turn. I stepped up and requested an iTunes gift card. The genius pointed to the display across the room (something, I needn’t remind you, I’d done some twenty minutes earlier) and informed me that I would have to go over there and select one before returning to pay for my purchase. “That’s what I initially assumed,”I said, “but that genius over there told me to come here instead.”
“No,”she said, presumably correcting me when, in reality, it was her fellow genius she was correcting. “This is just for in-store gift cards. iTune gift cards are over there.”
Sure, I could have argued the point but, instead, I sighed and threw my hands up in mock surrender. She was still yammering on when I walked out of the store.
There will be no iTune gift cards under the tree this year.
THE AMAZING RACE
I remember back when my buddy Carl used to refer to this show as “the fastest hour on television”. This season, however, it’s been a ponderous affair, chock full o the most unlikable and annoying participants to ever race. The teams in this weekend’s two hour finale come down to: 1. the thieves, 2. the other thieves, 3. the backstabbing pretty boys, and 4. the idiot goat farmers. Who are you rooting for? The two sisters or the country bumpkin and his girlfriend who stole money from two other contestants, one of who was grieving for his sick father? The lunkheads who targeted their supposed “friends” with a U-Turn, effectively eliminating a team that was running well behind them? Or the simple goat farmers, one of who complains at length about his twisted ankle – and then volunteers for the ensuing tennis challenge where he spends a significant portion of the time sitting on his ass, complaining about – guess what? – his twisted ankle!
Sitting through yet another season of this show is like seeing a magician’s act one too many time. After a while, you can’t help but see through the facade. It’s gotten to the point where I can correctly predict when those supposedly random “non-elimination legs” will magically appear (hint: contestants the production clearly find more interesting seem to luck out with a disproportionate amount of reprieves).
Perhaps most annoying of all is The U-Turn which allows one of the lead teams to force a trailing team to go back and complete a second task, all but eliminating them from contention. In a competition that appears to put everyone on equal footing (and appearances can be deceiving), it’s an annoying and palpably unfair disadvantage.
This entire season has simply left a bad taste in my mouth.
“Maybe next year, we don’t watch,”suggested Akemi.
Reruns of Modern Family, here we come!
Stop me if you’ve heard this before…
Oh, you have! Never mind then.