Rev-Up: Retail Therapy

December 14, 2006 2:01pm | by:
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev-Up. I try really hard to keep the glass half full and take the good with the bad, but for some reason, this time of year - and this week in particular - always channels in droves of the bad. It just seems like the middle of December is the perfect recipe for bitter stew. The weather sucks, college students are out of their minds from ingesting every stimulant in the galaxy cramming for finals, and that damn music on all of the radio stations and in every business in town has me wearing a scowl Dr. 90210 himself couldn’t budge. ‘Tis the season, huh? For what, I ask? Let’s talk a little about this time of year and how maybe we all need to remove the fake smile and realize the world isn’t all roses and daisies.

I guess I started being all when I went and watched Blood Diamond, which was a really moving flick. It made my heart burn to take in the reality that associates itself with the event horizon of some poor bastard throwing down three months’ salary as a token of his love. Nothing says “I love you” like 200,000 child soldiers in West Africa, right? What is wrong with us? Why is our wiring so badly skewed? Our priorities need a serious trip through the spin cycle.
Which leads me to some really frustrating events I experienced this week. One of my friends had finished her finals and went out and deftly drank herself into oblivion. Being the educated and responsible girl she is, she took a look at her car, with one squinted eye, and decided it would be in everyone’s best interest if she contributed to Yellow Cab’s gift-giving capabilities. What did she get for a reward? Thirty dollars worth of parking tickets and her car moved across the street to Vick’s towing lot. In her retrieval efforts she was met with a $150 bill for towing her car 200 feet! Apparently, they would prefer you to drive home shitfaced.
And therein lies the most puzzling thing I believe to occur on God’s green earth. Did you ever stop and notice what is behind every bar in the world? A giant parking lot. Now, when said parking lot is full, where are the drivers and what are they doing in the bar? Drinking responsibly and chatting up their designated drivers? Please. The other day I watched a guy stumble out of the bar and miss the keyhole on his Chevy step-side, like, seven times before finally gaining entry. All I could do was shake my head like Lee Trevino in Happy Gilmore.

Then there is the ‘net. About two years ago I wrote a column called “OK Computer.” It was about the internet and motocross message boards and how powerful and dangerous they became in such a short amount of time. While it has gotten better, there is still way too strong a contingent of pirates that spew rubbish from their trap doors without consideration for consequence. I simply do not get it. Why does something that the entire world (or anyone with $30 and a keyboard) offer the chance for a complete anomaly to say anything they choose? That is not how the world works, or at least how it should. You should speak as if you were face to face with your target. And 90 percent of the stuff I read on there would be half-sentences because they would have been interrupted by a right cross to the chin. Therefore I mostly stay away; I pick and chose my battles and instead sit back and contemplate whom I have more apathy for: the spineless idiots with no lives that strive to conjure up bad noise, or the people that take the bait.
And what in the heck are we doing with our kids? Do you know there is a new clinical diagnosis called Chronic Rejection of Authority? Basically, kids that refuse the word no. They can actually be medicated for this condition. Those kids just need more love and attention, and maybe bent over a knee a time or two. And what is it with these minicycle riders dropping out of grade school and their parents instead spending the money on sports psychologists and physical trainers? My dad would make me run around the track in my gear if I didn’t try hard enough. RC had to clean the toilet—he didn’t get sent to a couch doctor! 
I think the real problem lies with us. Nobody takes responsibility for his or her actions anymore. When things go bad or get tough, we fail to place the blame where it rightfully belongs, and it’s usually staring back in the mirror. We seem to have a pill to counterbalance every behavior flaw imaginable. I have read a lot about “The Greatest Generation.” It is shameful to imagine what those folks would do if they saw us now. I am sure they would grab most of us by the shoulders and shake the hell out of us (especially cats like “One Punch”).
It all just consumes me this time of year. Everyone is stomping around the mall like cattle, spending huge amounts of money buying their boss, spouse, or friends something to help out the relationship. What happened to a simple, random act of kindness? Why do you have to buy something? A well-worded e-mail or face-to-face conversation does way more for me than anything you can get at the mall. But it is what we do. I even tried some retail therapy by going and buying something to make me happy. I’ve been toting around a past-haggard cell phone for way too long, so I decided to break bread and buy one of those trendy new thin jobs. I plopped down over $200 and managed to bring a smile to my previously stone-faced appearance. It was short-lived. As soon I got to my girlfriend’s house to show off my new phone, she looked at me with the most heart-quivering puppy-dog eyes you can imagine and slumped. I asked her what was wrong and she reached in her gym bag and pulled out a box that said “Sprint” on it. My Christmas present. Damn it!
I hate this time of year. The trees are dead, there isn’t much racing going on, and everyone has the flu. Springtime, miniskirts, and outdoor nationals are not going to get here soon enough.
     Thanks for reading, see you next week.