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    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    Things You Don't Expect To See

    I stopped at Target yesterday morning, after I dropped Ethan off at daycare. It was right after they had opened, and hardly any customers were in the store.

    I was looking for a die cast Mater, from the movie Cars. Ethan already has one, but it’s disappeared someplace, and though we spent a good fifteen minutes last night looking for it, we couldn’t find it. I figured it would be much easier to buy a replacement, cause you really need two anyway, then spend more time tonight looking. You might call it laziness, but I call it a good use of $3.44. I also call it lazy.

    So I headed back to toys, but before looking for the Cars cars, decided to look at action figures first. I did this because I always like to see what Toy Story toys are in stock. They are always coming out with new Buzz stuff, but hardly ever any new Woody toys. It’s Ethan’s favorite movie, but although he likes his Buzz Lightyears (of which he has, oh, ten or so different Buzz toys), he likes his Woody better.


    So I like to go to the action figure aisle for that reason, and not to check out the Marvel Legends line of toys, and certainly not to see if they had the Marvel Legends Planet Hulk figure, which they did, and which was TEH AWESUM!!!!!

    I’m standing there looking at Toy Story toys, and not, as I hope I made clear, TEH ABSOLUTELY AWESUM!!!!! Marvel Legends Planet Hulk figure, when I hear conversation coming from the next aisle. Because of the early hour, I assumed it was employees, until I caught this snippet of conversation.

    Man One: So, what are you looking for?

    Man Two: Hot Wheels 66 Camaro.

    Man One: I thought you already had the ’66 Camaro?

    Man Two: There’s a new paint variant.

    Now, I know what the words “new paint variant” mean. It means there’s a new version of the collectable (toy) and for the true collector, new versions must be obtained. Kinda like the new Marvel Legends Planet Hulk action figure, but obviously not as AWESUM!!!!!

    The conversation registers with me, but I don’t think twice about it. I’m a big time comic book collecting geek myself, and I am understanding and accepting of other people’s collecting geek natures. And face it, I’ve used the comic version of “paint variant” in serious conversation before.

    I move out of the action figure aisle and start looking for the aisle where the Cars die cast cars are located. Coincidentally enough, or maybe obviously enough, they were in the same aisle as the Hot Wheels die cast cars, which just so happened to be the aisle from which the voices were emanating.

    I turn down that aisle, and there, discussing Hot Wheels paint variants, were two men who can only be described as old and grizzly. They were straight out of a central casting prospector casting call. Mid-sixties, white hair and beards, ball caps, workman coats. These were the men talking about Hot Wheels paint variants.

    But that’s not the good part. This is the good part.

    I see several racks of Cars die cast cars. One of the old men has just set several packages of Hot Wheels on the shelf right in front of the Cars cars. When he sees me heading towards the racks, he immediately assumes I am making a move on his Hot Wheels, rushes to them, and snaps at me “These are mine!”

    Yep. I got snarled at by a grizzled old man who was worried I was trying to take his toys. Is there any better way to start your day?

    The other man laughs, dismissively says “He’s just looking at those movie cars”, and then laughs again. I say nothing, looking solely at the movie cars long enough to figure out they didn’t have what I wanted, then head out. But not before I hear one ask the other “You going to Wal-Mart next or getting breakfast?” and ascertaining that they do this every day new stock is put on the shelves which I completely understand, since every Wednesday much lunch time is taken up going down to Daydreams to pick up new comics.

    So rock on, Hot Wheels collecting old man. Rock on.

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