Saturday, June 28, 2008

Our Ability to Festoon Ourselves in the Colors of Our Nation for a Nominal Fee Has Not Been Taken Away; We Just Have to Plan Ahead

This post was almost going to be a rant. I visited my friendly local Old Navy store today to buy one of their flag T-shirts to wear on the Fourth--a tradition which dates back to '99, when I wore one atop Rochers de Naye in Switzerland on my trip to the Montreux festival. (I still laugh when I remember how many of the young kids I was teaching at the time--upon hearing that I would be spending my first Fourth outside the USA--asked me if "they had the Fourth of July in Switzerland." I sometimes replied that no, their calendars just went right from the third to the fifth. Of course, some of those same kids also asked me if I had to 'learn to speak Swedish" before the trip. Heh.)

So I was quite surprised to find not a sign of the venerable shirts upon entering the store; they're usually front and center. I searched the entire place, but...nothing. Surely they hadn't stopped the tradition! Was patriotism no longer a priority for the Gap brands? I started to stew inside just a little bit.

Thankfully, a clerk was walking around, and I was able to get the truth (and the wry smile on her face when I asked the question told me that mine wasn't the first of its kind today): The shirts were in stock, but evidently, the sale that started this morning (featuring, among other things, $1 flip-flops) brought in such a cattle stampede that the shirts--which were on sale in the checkout line area--were picked clean. (Memo to self: Make this purchase even earlier next year, and be thankful that the online store wasn't sold out; if shipping follows the low end of the estimate, my 2008 shirt will arrive in time to continue the tradition unabated.)

So I guess playing a song that "really bombed" is out of the question too: Freakonomics Blog reports that, according to the End User License Agreement, you're not allowed to use iTunes software to operate a missile or a nuclear reactor. Who knew?

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