Friday, November 28, 2008

A Good Reason to Stay Home from the Store

Shooting in Toy's-R-Us in Palm Desert, California

This headline caught my eye mainly because my brother lives in Palm Desert. Unfortunately, that might say something about how commonplace shootings and killings in large cities have become; I noticed it only because it hit home personally. Although the shooting might have had nothing to do with a fight over merchandise, the fact that two people were killed in a large children's toy store would be reason enough for some justifiable outrage. I have a very hard time understanding how a person's life could be considered less important than a personal turf war, a popular must-have plastic toy or a piece of electronic junk. Do we have absolutely no sense left? Are we that brainwashed? I think we've become so inured with reports of the "collateral damage" in Iraq that murders just get swept aside with a shrug and a "that's too bad."

Despite my best intentions, I did go to Wal-Mart this morning, really the only store in town, but only because I very ambitiously wrote my Christmas letter and wanted to find some Christmas-looking paper to print it on. No luck, however. I bought a few toys for the 10-year-old boy on the Salvation Army gift tag I got from the tree, then rapidly fled the store. Instead of fancy printing paper, I printed the letters on plain white paper and decorated them with inexpensive Christmas stickers I bought at one of the dollar stores. And they turned out just fine.

I spent a quiet afternoon addressing envelopes for the first Christmas cards I've sent in two years, then took them to the Post Office. I've been realizing that this nomadic life style sometimes plays havoc with keeping in touch with old friends, especially the ones who don't use email. Perhaps a New Year's Resolution should be to write more letters and send more cards. It's worth thinking about.

P.S. A friend just sent me this one.

Wal-Mart worker dies after shoppers knock him down

What is WRONG here?

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