Michaels Arts & Crafts, the Cradle of Insanity, A Two Part Story

18 Jan

Where crazy people shop

In Michaels the other day (yeah, the arts and crafts store, men DO go in there) I was standing in line waiting to pay for some poster board when a 50-ish woman pushing a cart approached from my left. I had left some room in front of me for people to move along the row of registers. I’m nice like that. When she saw me and realized that she was about to cross in front of an “in-line” customer, she stopped and said “Oh, sorry” and then backed up a couple of steps.

Obviously, she wasn’t trying to steal my spot in line. I knew she just wanted to move past my line, heading on down somewhere to my right. I smiled and waved her on, but she just looked at me. So I looked at her. My hand moved out in front of me again–the “you can go ahead, don’t worry about it” motion. She didn’t budge. When I realized she wasn’t going to cross in front of me, I took three steps forward and she shuffled across behind me, smiling the whole time.

Where did this woman learn that it’s not okay to cross through a formed queue? Is this something I have missed in my 29 (cough, cough) years? If our positions had been switched and I walked in front of her as she stood admiring her cart full of plastic plants, would she have exploded on my dumb ass?

What the HELL are you doing? Can’t you see I’m in line here! You can’t just traipse through the middle of a line. You go around, buddy! You’re lucky I don’t have a glock, you little shit!

Part II of my Michaels story

It gets better in this place. Two days later I was standing in the exact same spot, again with poster board (maybe I’m the insane one). Watching people is my favorite sport, so I look over to my right and am immediately reminded of why I am fascinated by other humans. I see a young lady facing away from me wearing a black, baggy, hooded sweatshirt with “Scarface” printed vertically in giant letters next to a giant Al Pacino as Tony Montana.

I get that it’s a damn good film, a classic maybe, but I stood there thinking about how much you’d have to pay me to wear that ugly-ass sweatshirt. I have never watched a movie and thought to myself Boy, now I really need a hoodie to show others how much I loved Couples Retreat (though I didn’t love Couples Retreat one bit). What kind of demand can there be for Scarface hoodies? And don’t ask me why I judge people so harshly, it’s so automatic that it’s already a done deal before I know it’s happened.

This one is similar to the one Scarface purchased

I have a lot of time to watch this girl because the guy in front of me, an obvious St. Louis Cardinals fanatic (Cardinals hat AND jersey in January) is returning a mountain of unused Christmas stuff. It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day so I create this story in my mind that his wife (having to work) made her husband (who didn’t) return all this junk to Michaels. I can even imagine they argued about it.

Back to the Scarface fan. I notice that she’s holding a two-foot-long wooden paddle and she’s smiling and looking at this thing, talking to an older woman who was probably her mother. I immediately thought this psychopath is going to go home and beat some poor kid’s ass with that thing. The paddle looked exactly like the one my 7th grade science teacher used to threaten his students with, but his was covered with signatures of those who had failed to heed those threats. The thing was covered with ink.

Now, why is Michaels selling wooden paddles? I pondered that for a minute and all I came up with is that they’re sold over by the wood burning or engraving kits. The paddle handle sported a drilled hole and a piece of rope as if to hang it on a wall, but is it on the wall for easy access to beat ass with or is it on the wall for a, sort of,  look-at-this-funny-paddle-decoration-on-the-wall-that-nobody-will-ever-use-for-any-practical-purpose?

Scarface paid for her paddle and was now standing in front of the registers waiting on her cohort. The Cardinals fanatic chuckled and said “That looks dangerous.” Scarface grinned to show her spotty dental work history and said “I have eight kids at home, two one-year-olds…” My mouth must have been hanging open. Not only did this maniac feel the need to buy a wooden paddle, she seemed proud enough about it to let the whole store know that she was going to go home and beat ass with it.

If she had more teeth in her head (I know, very unfair, but I’m steamed that this “thing” is in charge of eight kids), if she had some paint, stain, sequins, or wood burning shit in her cart, if she had never opened her mouth to talk, and if she wasn’t wearing that damn Scarface hoodie I wouldn’t have given the whole scene much thought, but what the f*!%.

Still flabbergasted, I watched the pair pass in front of me, exit the store, and wander into the parking lot. I watched through the windows until they were out of sight.

I’m tempted to go back for some more poster board this morning for some more writing material.


6 Responses to “Michaels Arts & Crafts, the Cradle of Insanity, A Two Part Story”

  1. 4eternalsunshine January 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    Ha! I can only imagine what you thought about me the first time you heard me yelling like a crazy woman at my kids on the school playground!

    • fightn4it January 18, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

      Oh, now, that’s not true at all. I don’t remember you ever yelling like a crazy woman.

  2. Meg V February 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    Not sure if you know why Michaels sells paddles, but I thought I’d enlighten you…!

    Many sororities buy them and decorate them and give them to their “littles” and “bigs” as gifts. I have an Etsy shop where I actually hand paint them for sorority girls who aren’t crafty (really, I just love to paint). http://www.etsy.com/shop/blknwhitezebrastripe

    Check them out. And no, I don’t know of ANY sorority girls who use them for hazing of any kind (hitting other people, etc). They’re hung on a wall, and too pretty to ruin!

    • fightn4it February 12, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      Oh, I see. That makes sense. Thank you for the information.

      I wish the couple I wrote about were buying for that purpose.

  3. memo April 24, 2012 at 4:23 am #

    people buy paddles for sorority and fraternity gifts! sorority girls number 1 store is michaels!


  1. Questionable Decisions « plum bananas - January 19, 2011

    […] writing about Michaels and domestic corporal punishment, I realized that maybe tons of parents spank their kids and when I […]

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