For those of you who think that consumers are still wallowing in the murk of an insecure economic future, refusing to engage in that great American pastime known as shopping, spend a few moments n the sidewalk outside of an IKEA store on a Sunday afternoon. Today, I made a grave error in judgment (I'm quite the expert of such things) and drove to IKEA late in the afternoon, thinking I would take a look at their unobtrusive strip lighting. I am trying to convert a low-ceiling basement room into a studio of sorts. Obviously, I need light down there, but as the ceiling is low, too low, the light has to be low-profile and non-glaring. LEDs, I thought, might do the trick.
I knew I'd made a mistake the minute I stepped onto the parking lot and saw the hard-working green-shirted men maneuvering trains of 50+ shopping carts back to the store -- one hanging on to the motorized tow-engine while the other made sure that the snaking cart-train did not careen out of control and take out a parked car or, worse yet, a shopper or two. The slithering metal dragon pictured above was one of three such beasts returning to the lair, but as these returned to sleep, just as many (or more) carts were spit like discarded teeth onto the crowded floor of the parking garage.
Folks were leaving the store in droves, pushing carts piled high with purchases -- rolled mattresses, silk plants, and, of course, the ubiquitous flat cardboard boxes of unassembled furniture. If not for the palm trees and the the balmy weather, I might have mistaken this particular strip of concrete for the sidewalk outside any over-size shopping mall on the week before Christmas. Such crowds of bustling triumphant shoppers. Such exuberance. So much stuff. Too much stuff. Total frantic chaos.
As you might imagine, I didn't buy the electrics I needed. I couldn't get close to a cash register, and I couldn't (wouldn't) stand for hours listening to the tinniest drum beats on the planet, watching as the glittery world of shopping swirled about me. I didn't have the stomach for it.
So, I went to the park and saw another kind of gathered train, moving at a different speed.
Baby Geese, newly hatched.