Category Archives: shopping

True religion

Some of the most important questions ever posed by humanity involve religion, spirituality, faith and belief. Most people, in every culture, profess to some spirituality, though things get more complicated when it comes to religion. Religion is related to spirituality, and faith, and belief, but you can be spiritual, and have faith, and belief without belonging to a religion.

So what, exactly, is a religious requirement? Apparently there are four of them, at least according to a mail order ministerial ordination company. From the questions, it is clear the company is of the (sort of) Christian variety. Here are the four requirements for being ordained a minister:

  1. Swear a belief in one true God.
  2. Accept Jesus Christ as the savior.
  3. Confess you sin, and ask for forgiveness. (And if you haven’t confessed yet, the form, below, encourages you to do so as part of the application process.)
  4. Pay $139.00. Note that you can “add $25 for optional wallet ID card.”

The form is reproduced below, only with the address and other identifying information blotted out. Some have spent their life working for ordination. Others pay $139. Or optionally $164.

Application for ordination. Yes, this might be crass, vulgar, and more profane than sacred, but they do accept cash or credit.
Application for ordination. Yes, this might be crass, vulgar, and more profane than sacred, but they do accept cash or credit.

Contains fish

Ikea sells furniture. Ikea has a restaurant, and it sells salmon fillets. The fillets contain fish.

Salmon fillet contains fish warning at Ikea.
Salmon fillet contains fish warning at Ikea.

Consider yourself warned.

Adventures in shopping II

Commerce is a human-created ecology, mutating over time to fit niches. Even absurd niches.

Possibly because I don’t like mayonnaise, I see no reason for tiny 1.8 ounce glass jars of mayonnaise, though the Dijon mustard tempted me.

Commercial evolution and miniature mayonnaise and mustard jars are now a reality. Heaven help us all.
Commercial evolution and miniature mayonnaise and mustard jars are now a reality. Heaven help us all.

Janis Ian has a wonderful song, Play Like a Girl, that states emphatically yes, girls should play like girls, and that is just fine.

This shirt, promoting (if commercially) breast cancer awareness month, also points out that girls must fight like girls, too. It is a gender-specific battle, but a battle for humanity.

Sweater shirt promoting breast cancer awareness.
Sweater shirt promoting breast cancer awareness.

On the other hand, purple crab cheese balls are probably banned by several international treaties on cruel and unusual weaponry:

Purple crab cheese balls, a presumably acquired taste that has no sane reason for acquisition.
Purple crab cheese balls, a presumably acquired taste that has no sane reason for acquisition. Nearly a pound and a half of them, in fact.

Back on the clothing front, who can resist this culturally deaf offering from Nordstrom?

Fleece Navidad sweater from Nordstrom. It does not appear to be wool.
Fleece Navidad sweater from Nordstrom. It does not appear to be wool.

Or this limited edition, mass-produced, hermetically sealed, gluten-free, artisan-produced, non-genetically modified organism potato chips made with sunflower oil using a time-honored frying process dating back to 1999:

La Abuela Nieves artisan-produced buzzword heavy potato chips.
La Abuela Nieves artisan-produced buzzword heavy potato chips.

To be honest, the chips (or “crisps,” as Brits might call them) were very good.

Back on the Nordie clothing front, if you can’t get into an Ivy League school, you can have your revenge by wearing a school-style sweatshirt honoring a bitter member of the cabbage family.

Kale, the Ivy League bitter cabbage substitute for lettuce.
Kale, the Ivy League bitter cabbage substitute for lettuce.

Finally, a Christmas tree with a star on the top and a snowman with top hat:

Coke Christmas tree and snowman.
Coke Christmas tree and snowman.

Adventures in shopping

Any trip to a shopping mall will be full of delights, even if you are not shopping. The delights, for me, are usually in the form of absurdities.

For example, where else can you rent a hippo?

Rent a hippo. Probably much less expensive than owning a hippo. All the animal rentals had no tails, for some reason.
Rent a hippo. Probably much less expensive than owning a hippo. All the animal rentals had no tails, for some reason.

In a later visit, I discovered that these animals not only rolled, but were powered. Yes! You can rent a hippo and ride it around the mall (at fairly low speed), because it is an electric hippo!

On the plush toy front, the mall also offered this large space pirate panda raccoon bandit Stormtrooper something. Not entirely sure what it was, except armed with a sniper rifle.

Panda raccoon bandit stormtrooper with sniper rifle and a grin.
Space pirate anda raccoon bandit stormtrooper with sniper rifle and a grin.

And where but a mall could you find a massage chair that not only vibrated and pummeled your body but also had a convenient USB recharger? Another First World Problem, solved!

Relax in the massage chair and recharge your phone or other mobile device -- at the same time!
Relax in the massage chair and recharge your phone or other mobile device — at the same time!

At the risk of making fun of Nordstrom’s again, the most intriguing absurdity was this partial mannikin, which suggests that the human female form consists of sharp, angular pyramids:

Pyramidal breasts come to Nordies.
Pyramidal breasts come to Nordies.

Admittedly, this may be an entirely personal problem. Some large segment of the world population may prefer feminine pyramids over feminine curves. Make note to avoid the pyramidal people.

Humane treatment of vermin

This rather large sign asks for humane treatment of roaches and rodents, selling technology that allegedly annoys the vermin.

"Chase out roaches and rodents with cruelty-free pest repellers." In Spanish and English.
“Chase out roaches and rodents with cruelty-free pest repellers.” In Spanish and English.

Yes, “las cucarachas” means “cockroaches” and “roedores” means “rodents.” Hate to say this, but most humans just want them gone, and treating them humanely is not a major concern. Away, all pests!