Neon Vincent (darksumomo) wrote,
Neon Vincent

A day out, followed by the stink of retail desperation and punctuated by a wartime slogan

kaligreeneyes and I went out to Ann Arbor today. On the way back home, we drove through our old stomping grounds north of town. I flipped off our former residence as we cruised past it on the freeway; we are beyond glad to see it behind us. Then we dropped off the cable box from that place at Charter's office in Hamburg. It was such a relief to be rid of it. Then we stopped at the mall in Green Oak Township to eat. The coney island where we ate when kaligreeneyes first drove here from Wisconsin more than three years ago and which had closed about a year ago has been reborn as a Kirby's and was having its grand opening, so we got to eat there once again.

None of those were what inspired me to write this entry. Instead, it was what we did after we ate that infected me with the writing bug.

In the Green Oaks mall, there is a HomeGoods store, which was one of our favorite places to shop when we were living in the area--lots of bargains on things we enjoy having in our house. We returned to see if there any good buys. When we entered, one thing struck me immediately--how many items were already on sale for Halloween.

It's too soon--summer isn't even over yet! Labor Day is in a week! The kids aren't even back in school, so back to school sales aren't even over.

That wasn't all. Thanksgiving items were already out, too. Combined, the Halloween and Thanksgiving items covered 15-20% of the display space. I paced off the width and length of the store with the bulk of the items, estimated the dimensions of the store, computed the areas of both, and divided. I also managed to do this without anyone, including my wife, figuring out what I was doing. Yes, I'm a geek.

When I mentioned the Halloween items to the clerk, she said that she had seen stores with Christmas merchandise out already. Oh, brother. Looks like the retailers already think that Christmas will be the only thing that saves them this year, and it's only August.

The holiday goods on sale earlier than I'd ever seen them before weren't the most unnerving things I saw. This was.

Reassuring slogan, right? Not if you know its origin.

Keep Calm and Carry On was a poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of World War II, to raise the morale of the British public in the case of invasion. It was little known and never used. The poster was rediscovered in 2000 and has been re-issued by a number of private sector companies, and used as the decorative theme for a range of other products.
Knowing that history unsettled me. That I'd never seen the slogan on a physical object before just reinforced my unease. That a Google Image search for "keep calm and carry on" found so many items for sale makes me wonder what kind of times would make such a statement fashionable. Interesting ones, no doubt.

Keep calm and carry on.
Tags: economy, keep calm and carry on, may you live in interesting times, rant, real life, shopping

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