February 06, 2006

This week's column

"Comparison Shopping? What's That?" c. Ryan Rhodes, Feb. 2, 2006

Many moons ago, I asked you, my valued readers, to e-mail in your own
silly anecdotes or column topic suggestions. This, I reasoned, would
serve two purposes. First, it would make this column an interactive
experience between myself and my readers. Second, it would mean that I
could reproduce your e-mails and still say I "wrote" a column.

Well, I waited. And I waited some more. And then I grew a beard. And
then I shaved it off. Daylight savings time came and went. . . twice.
Naturally, I started to wonder if maybe, just maybe, I didn't have any
readers. I started to think that maybe my dream of becoming a
nationally syndicated humor columnist and finally meeting Salma Hayek
was maybe a tad too pie in the sky.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, as I stared forlornly at Internet
pictures of Salma Hayek, I saw that I received an e-mail. FROM A

"I have a seventh grade son currently enrolled in a required FACS
(Family and Consumer Science) class. He has struggled all year and the
area that tripped him up the most is one for which he is not
genetically predisposed – comparison shopping. I thought you could
have some fun with that."

What Lynne fails to realize is that the comparison shopping gene is,
in fact, a result of the melding of two "X" chromosomes. When two "X"
chromosomes come together to form an XX, it produces a human being
capable of comparison shopping. These human beings are often referred
to as "females."

Alternatively, there is the "Y" chromosome which, when it pairs with
an "X" chromosome, only results in bringing to the table half of the
required genetic instructions for producing a comparison shopper.
These "XY" human beings, also known as "males," are basically slightly
disabled when it comes to shopping in general, to say nothing of
comparison shopping.

I know what I'm talking about here because—although this isn't
something I like talking about, because it's painful—for 30 years now
I've carried the dark secret that I, too, am an XY human being. There,
I said it. Cast your stones if you will, people! I can't comparison
shop! I know the sharp sting of shame Lynne's son feels in his
discriminatory FACS class, where not only is the microscope focused
cruelly on his disability, he's actually graded on it!

The comparison shopping disability manifests itself in different ways
for different XY human beings. When I go into a mall to buy a pair of
jeans, for example, I'll walk right into one store, find a pair of
jeans, and buy them. I know, I know. . . most XX human beings can't
believe it either.

"But Ryan," they'll say. "Don't you know the exact same pair of jeans
is on sale on the other end of the mall for $2 less? Think about what
you're doing! Think of the children!"

Okay, that's an approximation of what I think they say, because,
thanks to my disability, what I actually hear is "But Ryan, don't you.
. . man, she's cute. I could sure go for a cheeseburger right now. I
wonder what time it is. I wonder what Salma Hayek is doing right now."

In an attempt to coach myself out of this shameful disability, I
turned, as I often do, to the Internet, where there are roughly 23
gazillion Web sites that advertise they take the challenge out of
comparison shopping. Some sites even claim to comparison shop
completely for you. Or, at least I think that's what some sites claim,
because I'm always distracted by ads telling me I can win an iPod. And
really, who DOESN'T want to win an iPod?

What was I talking about again? Oh, right, comparison shopping Web
pages, which are. . . hey, is that a picture of Salma Hayek? It IS!
She's hot!

At any rate, I'm still hoping beyond hope that other readers, like
Lynne Benedict, take the initiative and send an e-mail my way at
yossarian9@hotmail.com. And I don't care if you're an XX or an XY
human being, either. I don't discriminate.

Posted by Ryan at February 6, 2006 01:58 PM | TrackBack

Ryan, clearly you've never met my dad. He has been known to bring salesmen to tears with his comparision shopping.

Posted by: Strider at February 7, 2006 09:26 AM
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