Monday, December 07, 2009

Bed Bath & Beyond, and Beyond

We went to Bed Bath and Beyond Saturday for specific minor home goods needs. Actually, I went to discover what could be comprised in the term beyond. It sounds post-modern, with implications of a vast new possibility. The 4th dimension of home, hmm…

We used to go to Linens ‘n Things but that store, locally at least, has gone to that great thing in the sky. You will notice that Bed Bath & Beyond employs an ampersand whilst Linen ‘n Things goes with elision to express its commercial nature koan style. This must mean something. It must! I am still working on what a bed bath is.

I did not think I had ever been in BB&B but on entering, I had to wonder. It was set up just like Linen ‘n Things, which was located in the next strip mall over. Both strip malls are within hailing distance of our great, legendary shopping mall yclept Burlington Mall. Yes, that is the commercial turbine within which we spin.

So BB&B looks just like Linen did. Once thru the door you enter a counter-clockwise flow that lets you peruse every single piece of available merchandise. Ikea does this on a much broader scale. A circumnavigational aisle offers inlets of interest as well as stuff right there in the aisle. Need a radio in the shower? No prob! Pots and pans? No sweat. Bedding? Of course. I recognized most everything that I saw, so I do not know what was beyond. I do know that hearing Golden Earring play “Twilight Zone” was a surprise and a wonder.

Beth found what she needed. I saw a men’s grooming tool. I guess tool is the wrong word. A grooming aid for men. It is for trimming hair under the arm and in the area of naughty bits. Nice! The package showed an illustration of a man. This was necessary because no words indicated on what sections of a men’s body this item might be applied. Instead, there were red circles around the armpits and groin. No naughty bit was suggested in the illustration, so one might wonder just how efficient this grooming aid might be. One just might.

I neglected to mench that the store was extremely busy, with quite a crowd trying to pass by the cashiers. I ended up waiting in line while Beth made a second run thru for an item that she needed. This gave me the opportunity to look at a Wonder of Wonders, Grater Division. It is a re-envisioning of the common kitchen grater. Instead of being a metal item with a rough surface, it was a ceramic item with a rough surface. It also comes with a small ceramic dish, which I have to admit is something my present graters lack, at least in the sense of being a set. Here, then, is some real beyond thinking.

This grater’s brand was called The Pitchmen. Pictured on the package were our late friend Billy Mays, and Anthony Sullivan. Sullivan is another familiar sayer of No Wait There’s More!!! Why their being pitchmen implies product quality is something one could ponder. Without wishing ill of the man or being a dick, I also wonder why Mays’ death touched people as it did. I mean, I never felt much relationship with him. I am puzzled why he chose to yell at me as he did, but other than that, I did not feel that we grokked.

The next day we entered Whole Foods to the distinctive sound of—can you guess?—“Radar Love” by Golden Earring. Two Golden Earring moments in two days. The stars have aligned! Fun Fact: Golden Earring has been around since 1961. Holy Crap!

Today I did the mall solo. Beth was meeting a friend at Barnes & Noble across the way. Erin had his own mall mission, so I decided I would just wander thru the mall without Beth’s insight and perspective. We arrived at the mall at 10:00, which, we discovered, is one hour before most stores open on Sunday. Well!

I think the mall itself opened at 9:30, but the only stores exploiting this opportunity were Dunkin Donuts and Au Bon Pain. DD had an extensive line, which I had no intention of joining (I like my coffee to taste like coffee). Erin and I walked thru the mall together for a while. All the kiosks and carts were covered, stores were dark or, if not, then doors were snugly closed. The Apple Store had a red rope across the door, and a red shirt to pleasantly (I assume) bar you from entering.

Despite these discouraging tidings there were quite a few people wandering the halls of commerce. The escalators were not moving, the ubiquitous televisions were dark and quiet, and the string quartet was just tuning up. Eventually Erin split off for his mission. I made maybe 4 circuits of the place, upstairs and down. Few insights to report but I did get nail clippers at CVS. No prob with CVS but what’s a common store like that doing at the mall? Tone, people, tone!

Before stores opened, I saw Santa Claus in mufti. He carried a valise. Once the mall got into gear, the Santa Trap filled quickly with parents and their primped up children. Santa also regularly appears on the tvs, with essential news about his website. I have noticed that Santa tends to speak with a drawl. I do not know how to account for that.

So, does Santa ever visit Superman at the Fortress of Solitude, or Superman come visit Santa at the Workshop? I suppose Santa is busy churning out toys and Superman’s busy being alone, so alone.

We finished this excursion by gathering at the food court. There is quickie Thai, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine available. By my experience, if these are indicative, the 3 regions produce exactly the same stuff, with a highlight on starchy sweet and sour. Right now (because purveyors come and go quite a bit), these are the Food Court Choices:

  • Some new place combining cupcakes and ice cream. Is the ice cream inside, or just on top? I dunno.
  • A place offering toasted subs and philly cheese steaks.
  • A place offering crepes, panini, and movies of bread making on their tv (cool)
  • A Chinese place with someone generally out front offering samples. Samples are typically offered at the crepe place, as well.
  • An Indian choice, and pretty darn good. We got rice pudding once that clearly had sour milk, but our complaints were passed aside, so our enthusiasm has considerably waned.
  • Pizzaria Regina, once of the North End (Boston’s Italian neighbourhood), now serving the world, and Fenway Park. I would rather pay 2 here than 7 there at Fenway.
  • Thai food, very eager to serve you.
  • Quiznos. just Quiznos.
  • Chick-Fil-A. See, the A is long, you eventually discover, as in Chick Filet, but it just does not work for me.
  • Japanese food

After our repast, we got a Christmas tree at the farm where we have gotten them every year we have been together.