The holidays are coming up and we are already bombarded with ads to buy, buy, buy. Many of you may be novices in the art of shopping. So, I thought I’d help you out by sharing all the wisdom I’ve accumulated over the years. These rules for survival might possibly save your life if you heed them.
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
For instance… Shopping at Walmart. Personally, I’m afraid to go in there, but there are those who frequent it on a regular basis and live to talk about it. They walk those long, shadow-filled aisles as though it’s just another discount store and not a minefield of horrific proportions. I’ve seen things there that would make your blood run cold. Body parts hanging out in the open like a drunken plumber’s convention. Halloween horror comes daily to Sam’s oasis of crazy.
“All warfare is based on deception.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
If you intend to take your life into your own hands and shop at Walmart, then you should know how to fit in. As Sun said, it’s all about deception. You must make them believe that you belong there and that you aren’t afraid. No Fear. Say it three times before you enter the doors. Zip up your hoodie, pull on your rubber gloves and grab a cart.
“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Push past the creepy greeter without so much as batting an eye. Once you’re inside, head straight toward your destination aisle. Don’t stop to gape at the clapping, cheering rah rah employees as they rev themselves up for the day, but hurry by like you’ve seen it all before. Paste on a grim smirk of annoyance, and start throwing items into the cart. You want to get in and out as quickly as possible.
“To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
If a large woman comes after you and tries to yank the last on sale flat screen out of your cart, just point your finger at her like a gun and yell, “clean up on aisle six!” then turn and run for check-out as fast as your Nike’s will take you.
“If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Department store shopping is a little less stressful. You may not have a run-in with violent fellow shoppers, but you will learn that part of shopfare is knowing the terrain and what to expect. Bright displays, meant to attract you, constantly draw your eyes away from the truth. They’re trying to sell you crap. Don’t succumb to this bit of trickery. Read the tags. If something says, made with ramie, that does not mean it’s made with the soft underbelly wool of a baby Ram. No. It means it will soothe your skin as well as a nest of fire ants. Ramie comes from an Asian plant in the nettle family. And believe me, unless you’re a monk practicing flagellation, you don’t want to wear nettles.
If clothes have been put on hangers for display, it means the store can’t sell the ugly things, so they marked the price up like a psychological double-cross. Sweaters on hangers are in no way better than the pile of sweaters folded on a table, but the price of viewing them hanging against the wall with blue-tinged lights shining over them, makes them double. Especially, if posed nearby there is an anorexic mannequin modeling one of them. It doesn’t matter if hanger-hung sweaters make you look like you’ve grown horns on the tops of your shoulders. You will be drawn to this display like a moth to a flame.
Don’t be fooled by these shopfare tricks. Your enemy’s shock and awe, glitter and lights displays will make a simple cotton turtleneck look the color of a blue lagoon, but when you get it home you’ll realize it’s actually the color of moldy cheese and makes you look like a dead rat.
“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” ― Sun-Tzu, The Art of War
If you’re like me, and hate fighting crowds, you can take your shopfare online. Shopping alone in a virtual store where the cart doesn’t have a squeaky wheel and nobody asks if they can help you every five seconds, is quite possibly the most redeeming feature of an often-times dismal Internet world of wacky celebrity news or anger-management dropouts trolling discussion forums for fresh victims.
Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Know your limitations. Stop before your credit card starts smoking. Don’t let a part-time, minimum-wage employee talk you into opening yet another store card to get a discount that will no doubt be eaten up by exorbitant interest before you ever make that first payment.
“There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Don’t shop just to shop. Accumulating packages is not the end result you seek. Besides, lugging bags full of booty around is tiring and you end up with shopping elbow and a migraine.
What shopfare rules do you live by when you’ve been deployed to the Mall? Leave a comment and share!