As I get older I’m taking special pleasure in dealing with young people in the service industry. I get to act/be ignorant about technical things, and ask dumb, obnoxious questions, trying the patience of the most saintly young salesperson, and thus confirming their budding belief that people - and older ones in particular - are idiots.
I’ve done this a number of times, so Mrs. Jaybee is used to it. So I now resort to taking the kids along. I consider the possibility of an embarrassing public display, which kids just love, icing on the cake.
Well, try as I might, I couldn’t shake the composure of the young lady trying to sell me a Nook. Actually, that’s not true. She was standing behind the counter at Barnes and Noble, minding her own business, when the Jaybee family approached.
I more or less accosted her, and although the device was displayed behind a glass case, I would say things like “How dare you thrust this new fangled (I love saying newfangled now.) contraption (another favorite) in my face?”
I proceeded to use sentences beginning with the tried and true:
• When I was your age…
• In my time…
• What, real books aren’t good enough for you?
• You’re just trying to lure me in, and then you’ve got me hooked…
• It’s just a device for brainwashing* people…
Having just read “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown, I may have hinted at a plot by the Masons.
And generally acted like the very existence of a Barnes and Noble in that location was somehow an imposition on me.
Now some of you may wonder why I would do such a thing. But, c’mon! Get with the program, baby boomers! You and I are now on the wrong end of our life span, while these young people are at their peak physically, mentally, emotionally. They can take it! And don’t you consider it your duty to suck as much life out of them as possible?
And when you finally buy the thing (and you always intended to anyway) act like you’ve somehow been wronged and that they owe you a favor. Try to get the sales person’s cell number and address with a promise/threat of a call or visit if the slightest “problem” occurs.
So, if you’ve harbored a secret ambition to make young people old prematurely, here are some tips for making the biggest Pain In The Ass (I call it the PITA list.) of yourself:
1. When they hand you the device, hold it upside down.
2. When they correct you, hold it back to front.
3. No matter how visible the On button is, always loudly ask “How do you turn this darned thing on?”
4. Repeat step 3 for the Off button.
5. Always say that it’s too small.
6. Then say it’s too big.
7. Ask if it comes with HBO, even if it’s a toaster.
Somewhere, there’s a naïve hipster standing behind a sales counter, ready to do his best at work, and someday join the Peace Corps. It’s your job to get him to start drinking heavily and work at the post office.
So let's get out there and do this!
Oh, by the way, the Nook is pretty cool.
But don’t tell them I said so.