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Brianna Goes People Watching

It’s 11:30 AM. I’m sitting in the Toys R Us parking lot, stakeout style, watching people go in and out. It’s only been two minutes, but I already know this is by far one of the creepiest things I’ve ever done.

Example: old couple parked next to me and hesitated to get out of their car…

Cars. Cars everywhere.

Cars. Cars everywhere.

First of all, this place is BUSY. Not surprising. Christmas is just around the corner. A majority of the cars in the lot are fairly new models, so I’m led to believe that these people have money to spend on toys, or I hope they do. There are a lot of young parents with their children. Interesting. Even at 11:30… I would think toy shopping wouldn’t be on the table until at least noon. But it’s obvious shoppers are getting a leg up on the Christmas shopping. Two women just came out with 4 big bags of what seemed to be Legos, which they put in the back of their GIGANTIC black van. That’s not suspicious…

About half of the shoppers are young parents (or people who happen to be accompanied by children) and half are in the grandparent age range. There’s the occasional middle aged mom, or dad, and one random 30-ish-year-old dude with long hair carrying a brown package INTO the store (but came out empty-handed??). Hm. One thing is for sure. There aren’t any other college students people watching. I’d say I’m a minority in this case.

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One thing I’ve noticed: There are only 4 handicapped parking spaces in this lot. Weird. With such a high percentage of elderly customers, you’d think there would be more. I took a somewhat close spot, and now I feel like a jerk watching all the older people walk clear across the parking lot. And yes, as you’ve noticed, I did take a few pictures. Sue me. (but I’m not entirely sure if what I’m doing is legal, so that’s just a joke. Ha… ha…….)

The customer turnover is pretty efficient. For the most part, people are in and out in 15-25 minutes, depending on what they buy. Most of them aren’t exactly in a hurry, especially since they’re toy shopping at lunch time. I’m guessing they don’t have overly pressing matters to attend to in the near future. But that’s good! All of these people see a need for toys in someone’s life!

A delightful old man in a trench coat....... Okay, this is getting creepy.

A delightful old man in a trench coat……. Okay, this is getting creepy.

Okay, I need to stop taking pictures now because people are starting to notice. This has been an interesting experience to say the least. Now I am compelled to go buy something so I have some sort of excuse if someone calls the cops.

All in all, I’m excited to show up big toy companies. This place is so bland and boring. Where’s the color?? It’s just a toy Wal-Mart! Boring, boring, and boring. Let’s make life a little brighter and a little more fun. It’s harmless. Well, that’s all for this level 99 creeper. Over and out.

Today’s Adventure

I’ve been punched in the face with a few hardcore ideas today. It all started this morning, when I woke up and discovered someone waiting for me behind the bathroom door…
picture269No worries, it’s not possessed or anything. My brother Michael planted this before he left for school. I love a good Furby, but this really freaked me out. In a good way. Kind of. As revenge I hid it for Michael to discover when he least expects it… Mwahahahaha! But this got me thinking…. This could be a game! Find the Furby! When he finds it, it’s his turn to hide it and then I hide it next and so it would go until the Furby either breaks or the hider forgets where HE hid it. But what if I connected this game to the toy store? Every day, hide it somewhere in the store and whomever finds it will get a discount or something! Noting big, maybe a 3% discount? This percentage could also increase if no one finds it for a while (similar to the lottery…….) and it would be a cool promotional thing. Maybe it would encourage people to bring their kids in everyday and search the place from top to bottom? Business is always appreciated. AND IT WOULD BE FUN. Fun is also appreciated…

BEHOLD. WALTER THE DOG.

picture283Excuse the hyperactive creature in the background. I’m here to talk about the dog that the creature is holding. Walter. We met in the toy section of Wal-Mart earlier this afternoon. In an attempt to avoid doing homework, I set off on a quest to study the toy department of this monstrous monopoly to see what was and wasn’t working with the overall set up and toy selection. The first few aisles were standard: Hot Wheels, Nerf weaponry, superhero EVERYTHING. (Seriously, I found a remote control flying Iron Man thing for $70. I thought, “Please. Tony Stark wouldn’t even use this thing as a kite…”) I stumbled upon the stuffed animals. It’s a good thing I spent 20 minutes or more studying each aisle closely or I would have missed the animals completely. They were hidden and they were hidden well. Like Furby.

A small area on a shelf was set aside for stuffed animals. A SMALL AREA. Like Rick Moranis could go all “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” on you and it would still seem dinky. All 20 of the animals were piled on top of each other, thrown carelessly all over the place. And they were $5. What kind of impression does this give off? Are there toys not good enough for you, Wal-Mart? They aren’t even worth arranging? Somebody just threw them on the shelf, tucked away on a shelf below eye level. And they were super cheap. It was so sad… Five minutes later I had the animals arranged neatly, seated upright. Then I got a little OCD and arranged a few more things and put misplaced toys back in their proper spots. Like come on, where’s the respect for the toys being sold? The grocery aisles don’t look like a tornado whipped through! Now, it might just be the Wal-Mart here in Kendallville, but still. Dude. These are toys. What kind of evil person could be mean to a pile of stuffed animals with soft fur and cute little smiles?

Then I found Walter. He was separated from the others, further down the aisle, abandoned, cast aside, left behind when Billy’s mom said, “No. You don’t need any more toys.” (I imagine Billy’s mom is one of those people who smoke cigarettes in the car with their kid sitting in the backseat) I picked him up, but didn’t have the heart to put him in the display I created. So I carried him around as I continued my studying. My findings infuriated me, but I’d rather not get into it today. I could never write a blog long enough to rant it all out….

Long story short, I bought Walter. He is a symbol of my toy store motives. (WALter. WAL-Mart. Get it?) He has this look in his marble eyes that says, “You can do it, Brianna! I believe in you!” At this point, he’s kind of the toy store mascot in my mind. If you ever wander into my toy store, I can guarantee Walter will be next to the cash register. Maybe kids will even know him by name and treat him like a celebrity. There could be more toys like him, perhaps some of my favorites! (but not Nanner…. RIP) Is that a weird thought? I really like toys, guys, so I honestly don’t know.

Today was a good day for the toy store. I got some fresh inspiration, which is good because I’ve been super unmotivated lately. Browsing the toys gave me faith in my ideas, myself, and the possibility of people one day using the tag #FindtheFurby on Twitter.

The Great Doh-bate

 

I discover the difference between the new Play-Doh Plus and the original! Spoiler alert: I compare taste also…

 

(Sorry about the poor quality! I had some technical difficulties… I promise to do better next time!)

Is going to Wal-Mart a magical experience?

Riddle me this. Is going to Wal-Mart a magical experience?

If you answered “Yes” you need a hobby.

If you answered “No” you’re right.

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe buying/browsing toys should be a fun and memorable event. There should be whimsy and laughter and…

puppies-rainbows-kittens

Yeah.

 

Toys are too special to be stacked on monopolistic shelves by the thousands in a colorless and low-priced environment.  Nothing against Wal-Mart. I’m an American, I shop there all the time.  But it’s sad to think that some children will grow up associating “looking at toys” with a handful of aisles. Toys deserve a whole building! I believe they call that a…. toy store? Toy shopping should be an experience, a magical, wonderful experience. Like playing a video game. Or living inside a toy box.

Not to mention, a toy store is filled with toy experts. Wizards! Are there any wizards at Wal-Mart? Well maybe after dark….

A toy store setting should be filled with colors so everyone inside gets a nostalgic feeling that makes them want to play Hungry, Hungry Hippos and fly a kite. Positive vibes.

In conclusion, toys, wizards, hippos, kites.