Flintstones Aren’t Just for Kids Anymore

Saturday, January 8, 2005

It is cold and rainy. As far as I’ve ascertained, it’s not supposed to be cold and rainy. I understand cold and rainy in Seattle—hell, Seattle invented cold and rainy, and I accepted that when I moved there. But here in the land of Disney (the other land of Disney), there should be no cold and rain. I’m going to write a very stern letter to the mayor when I return home requesting an apology and a coupon book.

We slept in and had an early lunch and/or late breakfast (I refuse to use the term ‘brunch’ because brunches involve buffets and cheap champagne mixed with orange juice, of which there were neither). After eating, we went to the nearby grocery store to buy Doolies water and vitamins. Doolies waits for my visits for the water purchase because she needs my large muscles to carry the water bottles from her car to apartment. As we searched for the perfect vitamin, we realized something. Flintstone vitamins, the chewable, yummy multi-colored children’s vitamins, contain the same or more of all essential vitamins and minerals than the standard adult one-a-day vitamin. Here I was, foolishly swallowing green pills, when I could be happily chewing a Flintstone vitamin. Flintstone vitamins should start advertising to adults. Knowing Doolies’s pill swallowing aversion (you remember she’s a doctor), we bought Doolies the Flintstone vitamins and a supplemental chocolate calcium one (you can’t expect Flintstones to cover everything).

After our successful vitamin shopping adventure, we braved an outdoor mall because, well, because what else is there to do in Newport Beach but eat and shop (and hold Doolies)? Our thinking was sound: it was cold and rainy (have I mentioned that yet?), and nobody would be there because it’s an outdoor mall. What we forgot to take into account were umbrellas. Mall-goers, all smarter than us, walked around with these new-fangled instruments that they held over their heads to protect them from the rain in the outdoor parts. We looked into purchasing such a device, but its push-button mechanism intimidated our caveman sensibilities.

While looking through Barnes and Nobles Bookstores, I managed to knock down a display of five books, none of which looked interesting. Being the kind-hearted individual that I am, I looked down at the books, looked at Doolies, and started whistling with my hands behind my back, walking away from the mess I created. A more polite and worldly man near the rack bent down to pick up the fallen books. When I looked back, his eyes shot dagger at me. I kept whistling and walking down the bookshelves with a clear conscious. I figure, if they’re going to overcharge me for books, they should allow me to knock down those same books where I see fit. It’s quid-pro-quo.

Even though parts of the mall were in the outdoors, by the end of our shopping adventures, our brains were oxygen deficient. I’m not sure I’ve shared with you my theory on the oxygen level in shopping malls—if I did, I’m going to do so again since that’s what I do: repeat myself incessantly—but I believe shopping mall managers purposefully lower the amount of oxygen in shopping malls. Their goal, and it’s a good one from their perspective, is to decrease shoppers’ inhibitions by lowering the amount of oxygen supplied to their brains. The less oxygen in their brain, the easier it is to convince shoppers to buy something they don’t need for prices they can’t afford. “I might enjoy that sequin dress,” a shopper might say in an oxygen-sufficient mall, “but look at that price tag.” When that same shopper visits an oxygen-deficient mall, she says, “Oh, look, shiny, must buy.” I bow to their genius, and wish to subscribe to their newsletter (Homer Simpson). How they lowered the oxygen level in an outdoor mall is beyond even my keen powers of explanation, but after we walked through the mall for an hour, we were drained. Instead of going to the movies (our original plan), we drove home and napped. Doolies is still in there napping, trying to shake off her oxygen-deprived shopping experience, and her sleep debt created by working too many hours over the past seven days, including New Years. Poor girl.

We had planned, after finishing the shopping adventures and watching our movie, to go to the Banana Bread coffee house for a few hours of David Writing Time. Thanks to the nap, DWT is taking place on Doolies’s recliner on a dark and rainy night, with only the streaming of water through the fish tank’s filter and the orange-hot light of the fish tank’s heater keeping me company. It seems the tropical fish aren’t used to the cold and rainy either.

My wrists have been hurting lately, probably caused by too much typing in awkward positions. Typing on the plane yesterday certainly didn’t help things. My wrists were near my chest as I tried to get those sentences out. I did want to get started on another story today, but I’m going to put it off for another day. It’s been easier for me to write diary entries than stories. I need to get away from that.