Shopping Tale of Errors – The Barnes and Nobel Experience

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Well the holiday season is now over. So I would like to tell you a story of a holiday shopping experience I had this year which well caused me a bit of grief. But it is a funny story that people that have heard it seem to like laughing at the situation I had to deal with. So lets get this started.

There are some people that you just don’t know what to get them. So you feel bad for getting them crap but then something hits you. Or in my case it came through on my earbuds. I like to consider myself on the cutting edge of things. Like podcasting when I first of this idea I went and checked out what was out there and I found one podcast that led to another podcast discovery and now I listen to a few of them. But I was walking to work and I was listening to the Pacific Coast Hellway. A guy records his show while driving to work (most of the time) in his car in California. He is a writer and he is a Japanese Jew who has a lot to say. Usually with a lot of laughs. But anyways they had an interview with Chip Rowe the guy who writes the Dear Playboy Adviser Column in the famous Playboy Magazine.

Now I haven’t really took the time to read a playboy but I do recall at the young age of six I did aquire one and then bookmarked all the “good” pages and decided to show all the kids in the neighborhood which worked out to a stereotypical child being curious and I don’t recall anything else. But I have never really picked up the magazine since then to actually see if it had any content worth my while. But hearing this interview with this guy I was intrigued to go pick up his book. But as with the generation I am apart of this idea was forgotten because well I need to write things down or send an e-mail to myself because sometimes something like that I just space.

But one particular article that he was quoting had me laughing while walking to work. Which always seems to come at awkward times and prompts people to look at me funny. I always think the people think I am some sort of nut case or one of those short bus special people. I tried to imagine just now what some jogger in the morning thinks if they are jogging past and hear me chuckle for no reason. Maybe they freak out that I might be laughing at them. Or they might think hmm probably some wack job homeless person in clean clothes with an iPod and a Cell Phone. Well I guess he is not homeless. He seems rather geeky. Maybe he is anti social and only has himself as a friend and the people “upstairs” had a good joke in his head while sipping brandy and talking about something random like where the number zero came from and how it would be funny if someone actually set out to write a calculator that could divide by zero.

Err well maybe a jogger doesn’t think that at all. Dividing by Zero. That is hilarious.

But anyways enough about that. Lets get back track to tell you the story. So I was trying to figure out what to get a family member for the XMAS holiday. I got this person one gift but figured well eh probably should get him something else as a just in case. So I was thinking and pondering something that he would like. Then I had my iPod in the car listening the the Pacific Coast Hellway the Jesus Interview Part 1 and I got to thinking Hey that Dear Playboy Advisor book. So I went out to the book store that is well known by Barnes and Nobel.

Speaking of that I went on this date last August. Well I will discuss that evening at a later time. But I really liked this girl and told her I was into books. But at that time it was books like CCNA and TCP/IP Guide and nothing really that serves a purpose of pleasure. Well I enjoy reading those type of books but they don’t make you appear witty to a woman who reads for pleasure. So part of the date was going to Barnes and Nobel and I bought “When Will Jesus Bring the Porkchops – By George Carlin” nothing really witty in that book except for some good jokes to tell at a cocktail party. But I also picked up the Barnes and Nobel card to impress her so I could save some coin. Which actually was a good thing because well I read way to much now for pleasure and buy way to many books. So thanks to the lovely woman that I had one great date with from Ballard.

So on the quest for this Dear Playboy Advisor I walk into the store and then I begin to ponder where could I acquire this book. So I got to the Self Help Section no luck, Sexuality Section No Luck. I do find it funny they keep that section right next to the door. You always see couples standing over there looking at sex position books and pointing at pictures and either having huge looks of interest on their face or disgust. I tend to think you only live once might as well try everything you can once. But anyways. I go to non fiction and can’t find it anywhere.

The dreaded thought of having to ask a clerk for help dawns on me. So I go to seek out something I do know. A computer terminal the only accessible one I see is in the Music and DVD section. So I walk over there and look at the screen and it had a bit of a foreign interface but eh easy to navigate so I click on books and in store and start to type.

Some young girl probably some holiday help maybe 16 years of age comes up and taps her foot in that typical way girls do “Ummm, Excuse me, Customers are not allowed to touch the computer, OK, Can I help you find something?” so being the nice customer I try to be I say I am looking for a book. She says “Ummm, Ok, Yeah what book are you looking for?” then I have to say the words I didn’t want to say wishing I had ordered this online when I had the time to get it shipped in time for the holiday. But I try to whisper “Dear Playboy Advisor by Chip Rowe” to which this ever growing embarrassing situation this young woman looks at me and then asks for clarification. “Ummm, Ok so you are looking for Dear Playboy Bunnies?” Now not having read playboy I still am aware of what a playboy bunny is and I can just picture this girls inner monologue. Here is a guy who is so pathetic he wants to read letters and responses to and from playboy bunnies just to get some sick twisted fix off. So I had to say “No Dear Playboy Advisor it’s a comedy book” She tells me “Umm, Ok” so she clicks around on the computer a bit and says “It’s in Sexuality not comedy” so I say Okay Thank you and begin to walk away. She comes up and grabs my arm and says “Umm, Ok I need to show you were the book is. It’s part of my job” so I say that’s okay I can find it. She says “Umm, Ok well I don’t think you are allowed I am supposed to offer complete customer satisfaction” now I say ” I am satisfied” she says “Umm, Ok I don’t think so” so she walks me over to the sexuality section. Now being 23 and being in the sexuality section with a 16 year old holiday help girl. I feel like people think I am a total pedophile with this young girl. I can’t locate this book and either can she. I finally move some big book and find it sitting behind that one book. I say “Thank you Kindly” and walk up to check out. I grab some gift cards as well to finish up the last of my shopping.

So I go stand in this long checkout line. My brain then begins to scout to see who has what to purchase and try to figure out the average check out time and relation to how many customers in line to get the approx time I should expect to be waiting. Most people never go to that extreme but my mind gets bored so I do math. lol I feel like geek and nerd sirens are being alerted for making that statement public. I scout the cashiers and see mostly females. One cute girl and she was that cute where she is somewhat conservative in dress doesn’t have a wild look to her. Glasses and just like your all around beautiful smart looking woman. I really didn’t want to get in her line and have her see me buying this book. My turn came up and I get the cute girl I didn’t want to buy this embarrassing book in front of. But I just grin and try to make good of the situation.

Buying this book is almost like the process of buying condoms. It’s like awkward as hell to buy and I am glad they have self check outs now but you know what you are scanning appears on that clerks screen. But I always feel like they pay less attention to purchases and I don’t have to look someone in the face. Usually I just try to order those online.

So I check out and pay my tab and all that fun stuff. All this time my buddy Jason had joined me on my shopping quest and he was laughing about this total experience of what I had to deal with. All and all good times.

I read the book a bit and probably one of the ones that had me laughing.

“Dear Playboy Advisor, One of my favorite ways to get turned on are cover my entire body except for my genetials in bug spray and drag a lazy boy into the woods and just sit there and let the bugs go to work. Is this normal?”

The response “Do you see any other chairs in the woods?”

I found that disturbing and funny at the same time. But anyways smile that shopping experience is over. We shall see what brilliant times happen in the new year.

No Comments


  1. // Reply

    Great story.

    So, having never read Playboy, are these real questions that people are actually sending in or do they make stuff up to be funny? Because your example is both hysterical and highly disturbing!

    If you find other good ones, be sure to post them! 🙂


  2. // Reply

    Great story.

    So, having never read Playboy, are these real questions that people are actually sending in or do they make stuff up to be funny? Because your example is both hysterical and highly disturbing!

    If you find other good ones, be sure to post them! 🙂


  3. // Reply

    As far as I can tell they are real questions. I ordered a copy of the book for myself and it should be on my doorstep when I get home tonight.

    I also picked up a copy of Alchemist: A Fable about Following Your Dream

    So hopefully that is a good one. My friend Ashley recommended it.


  4. // Reply

    Chip Rowe Playboy Advisor Interviews

    http://www.tristanpipo.com/file/podcast/pacificcoasthellway-36084-11-09-2006_pshow_44255.mp3“ rel=”nofollow”>Playboy Advisor Interview – Part 1 27MB MP3 Formathttp://www.tristanpipo.com/file/podcast/pacificcoasthellway-36084-11-09-2006_pshow_44255.mp3“ rel=”nofollow”>

    http://www.tristanpipo.com/file/podcast/pacificcoasthellway-36502-11-10-2006_pshow_44254.mp3“ rel=”nofollow”>Playboy Advisor Interview – Part 2 28MB MP3 Format

    Enjoy =)


  5. // Reply

    As far as I can tell they are real questions. I ordered a copy of the book for myself and it should be on my doorstep when I get home tonight.

    I also picked up a copy of Alchemist: A Fable about Following Your Dream

    So hopefully that is a good one. My friend Ashley recommended it.


  6. // Reply

    Chip Rowe Playboy Advisor Interviews

    http://www.tristanpipo.com/file/podcast/pacificcoasthellway-36084-11-09-2006_pshow_44255.mp3“ rel=”nofollow”>Playboy Advisor Interview – Part 1 27MB MP3 Formathttp://www.tristanpipo.com/file/podcast/pacificcoasthellway-36084-11-09-2006_pshow_44255.mp3“ rel=”nofollow”>

    http://www.tristanpipo.com/file/podcast/pacificcoasthellway-36502-11-10-2006_pshow_44254.mp3“ rel=”nofollow”>Playboy Advisor Interview – Part 2 28MB MP3 Format

    Enjoy =)

  7. michelle
    // Reply

    Too Funny, your expressions and th way you write are really hilarious, I found your blog looking for the M&M site. LOL. Keep on writing I am sure a lot of people enjoy you.

  8. michelle
    // Reply

    Too Funny, your expressions and th way you write are really hilarious, I found your blog looking for the M&M site. LOL. Keep on writing I am sure a lot of people enjoy you.

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