Some Observations I Observed During My Trip to Target Today in the Midst of These Pandemic Times

Illustration for article titled Some Observations I Observed During My Trip to Target Today in the Midst of These Pandemic Times
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I went to Target today. Actually, I went to PetSmart and Target today because one of our fish went to be with his ancestors and one of my kids was despondent over this fact. Now, we told him that because he was sick that Petco came to pick him up when the UPS guy stopped by a few days ago. We thought we were sparing him the “he’s dead” convo. My kid didn’t care. My wife pretended that Shark Tank—my kid named his fish Shark Tank...it’s a good show—had come back from Petco. My kid was like, “Naw, Shark Tank is dead. This is Mounts.” From the mouths of babes, yo.

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Anyway, since we’ve been in the house pretty much quarantined for the past six months or so...wait, it’s been three days? Fuck. It feels like forever. Well, either way, I was happy to take a trip to Target because Target is my happy place. Thing is, I was also curious about what it was like going to Target during these pandemic times. I’m a people observer and I wondered if people were observing requests for social distancing, etc. Basically, what is outside like right about now. I made some observations. Wrote a song about it.

Like to hear it? Here it go.

There weren’t nearly as many people practicing any type of self-protection as I imagined there’d be.

So, when I pulled up to the parking lot I decided to look in my car’s first-aid kit to see if I had some latex gloves. It turns out that I actually have a whole box of latex gloves that have been in my car for years. Awesome. I put them on and walked into the store. Thank goodness I did because I could count on ONE hand the number of people with them on. Most folks were grabbing carts, not wiping them down, and going about their business. The folks like myself, most of THEM had on face masks, too. In my head, the whole Target was about to look like a scene from a Netflix movie about an outbreak. It looked like a light morning at Target, like a Sunday morning in the South while everybody was at church. Also, my whole soul was disgusted as I literally—and this is no joke—watched a woman sneeze in her hand and then grab her shopping cart handle with bare hands. My guitar gently weeps for the people folks AREN’T thinking about out here.

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Speaking of which, there were a lot more people there than I expected.

I was half expecting to show up and see a sign that said “Target Is Closed. You Know Why.” But that didn’t happen. I ain’t saying Target’s 2nd quarter revenue projections are on track, but they ain’t selling $40 round trip tickets to Los Angeles for tomorrow, either.

Toilet paper still manages to be a hot commodity.

At the Target I went to, which is in Alexandria, Va., there were several packs of “ultra-soft” toilet paper. But several might actually understate how bare most of the toilet paper shelves were. Even when I went in, I only bought a pack because there was a pseudo-line of folks waiting for it and I know we’re down to what I hope would be a week’s worth of toilet paper left. But if somebody catches the trots, that supply is much smaller. Wow, what a tangent. My guess is that if I went to Target at say, 5 p.m., there’d be no toilet paper.

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Some people are TRASH at social distancing.

Let me paint you a picture: My son’s 5th birthday is on Monday. Unfortunately, a big ass birthday is out of the question, but gifts? Oh, buddy is about to catch some gifts. He’s really into Bakugan right now. He basically watched the cartoon like it’s a kid soap opera; I swear this 4-year-old cares about plotlines. Anyway, I walked into the aisle that has Bakugan—toy aisles look fully stocked, by the way—and as I’m in there checkin’ out some fine purchasables, a woman just walks like a foot away from me and stops next to me. I looked at her and quickly assessed that her “fucks given” level was much lower than mine and I damn near Usain Bolt’d out of that aisle and watched until she was gone. She then walked TOWARDS me. I started to yell “SECURITY” but I felt like that might go wrong and when viruses are trying to kill us I’d hate to go out on a misunderstanding. I thought she might be a lone wolf sickness spreader but I saw way too many people standing way too close to one another. Not in motion, but stationary. People suck.

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Um, when did Target start selling Levis?

Doesn’t really have much to do with anything but seriously, they have whole-ass displays and sections selling Levis now. On the low, Target’s clothing sections have some good shit.

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Somebody must have let one of the black folks run the playlist while I was there.

I was walking through the bathroom aisles looking at some very colorful towels—I’m a sucker for colorful towels despite the very neutral-colored and ragtag collection of towels in my home—when my ears perked up. Was that what I think it was? Was that….Eric B. and Rakim’s “I Ain’t No Joke” playing through the store? Yes, it was. Wait...was there THEN Rihanna’s “We Ride”????? I actually took video of myself dancing to these songs while in the store. It will be up on my Instagram stories today. Why? Because I’m black and this pandemic has me up in big-box retailers afraid of people but enjoying Eric B. and Rakim in the Target. You’re welcome.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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DISCUSSION

thedarkone508
The Dark One 508

i’ve always had a problem sharing an aisle with anyone. i’ll literally go to the next aisle over and check to see if they leave. if im cutting across a store, i dont like to go down aisle with people in it either. i just hate it. but on the other hand, if i really want to look at something and someone is just in the way and i’ve waited, im going to be as obvious as possible that i want to look at something and they’re in the way.

that woman that went right to you is exactly why.