Combination Femur Slicer/Shrimp Fork Versus Lingerie

After watching a movie about a hiker who cuts his arm off to escape sure-death in the wilderness, my family and I exited the theater and strolled through the attached shopping center. We shuffled around in a few stores.
outdoor supplies

We eventually browsed through an outdoor supply store, but after a few minutes my wife and daughter ducked out and found an intimate apparel boutique.

I stayed and shopped for gnarly outdoor stuff. My family loves to hike, so I quickly engaged a knowledgeable store employee who proudly introduced himself as an “associate” and “outdoor adventure technician,” although he really looked like an employee.

He chatted about his favorite places to hike but I quickly redirected his smalltalk to my interests and priorities, since I had money and was willing to give some of it to his store owners. We looked at several products that every serious hiker needs on the trail: combination compass-flashlight-cigarette lighter; combination knife-pliers-shrimp fork; combination granola-walnut-raisin-refried bean trail mix; and combination pancho-blanket-tarp-priscilla curtains. Did you ever notice that there’s always one lame feature in every multi-purpose outdoor adventure product?

Rebel Yell Take Three: “Excuse me! What kind of cheese is that?”

Wisconsin dairy productsCoffee conglomerates shove you around on Wednesday, then maybe the Tire Barn on Saturday and the Jewelry Emporium on Monday. Most importantly, don’t let the Piggly Wiggly deli counter push you around on Friday, like mine tried. My wife and I were studying options for cheese, which is a staple in our kitchen since we originally hail from Wisconsin. We purchase cheese because it tastes yummy, it comes from dairy cows and it employs 17 friends and relatives back in our hometown.

When our turn arrived at the counter, the deli clerk flashed a half smile and quickly replaced her disingenuous greeting with a neutral-to-caustic stare. This pending exchange of commerce – our money for their cheese – showed the early warning signs of two bull moose about to lock antlers in battle. I cupped my hand over my mouth and whispered to my wife, “Honey, let me handle this.” Then I took control, like a rebel should.

Rebel Yell Part Two: “A tall is a small?"

I’m continuing my post about the art of exposing the rebel inside you.

For me, I chose to rebel against a company that I’m quite fond of – Starbuck’s. Most Americans are familiar with this coffee company extraordinaire and its quirky beverage sizing jargon: tall, grande and venti, corresponding to the traditional small, medium and large terminology adopted by most other businesses.

I typically arrive at Starbuck’s about 6:20 a.m. to jolt my body with a caffeine wakeup call. When it’s my turn to order, I could adopt a subservient role and use Starbuck’s posted nomenclature. But should I? The morning after, could I wink at myself in the bathroom mirror and celebrate another brand new day, knowing that a corporate coffee marketing executive tricked me into following the “establishment”? Not likely, not a wink today, or tomorrow. My options are severely limited – either hide in shame, or “rebel.”

I choose to rebel!

Rebel Yell

“I’m sick and tired of snot-nosed, sticky-fingered rug rats soiling my red velvet shorts. They can’t keep their hands off me!”

“Honey, there’s not much you can do about it. The company pays you a decent wage and we’ve got good benefits like dental insurance and funeral leave.”

He looks at his girlfriend like she’s rock stupid. “I don’t have any teeth! And our friends and relatives can’t die. They can only be cancelled!”  

“Oh, who’s a grumpy old rodent today?” she chides and pinches him lovingly on his bulbous cheek.

His face turns red, like a freshly waxed fire engine. “I bet that forest bear from Hanna-Barbera gets more respect than me. Do you know that he walks around wearing nothing but a hat and bowtie?  That’s disgusting! Did you ever notice that? Did you? How come the TV censors never noticed, but I did? Kids watch our shows, for god’s sake. Some corporate jack-wad is going to get a piece of my mind on hump day!”

She stares at him like he’s a great big chunk of perfectly aged Cheddar cheese. “I love it when you get all riled up. Take me, big boy!”