GETTING MORE TALE #837: Freestylin’ 7 – Into Best Buy
I hadn’t set foot inside a store since March 15. Three months later on Jun 13, I broke this long streak and went into Best Buy.
We’ve been trying to stick to essential trips, and Mrs. LeBrain was doing the groceries and other essential shopping while I worked. Ontario entered “Phase 2” of re-opening on June 12 so it felt like a good time to see how shopping had changed.
There was no lineup, but there were clear and nicely marked spaces for you to wait outside. At the front was a gentleman in a mask. Even with the mask I recognized him from a previous Best Buy excursion, back before the shit hit the fan. He asked what I was looking for that day, and I said “laptop speakers”. He instructed me to follow the arrows on the floor until I got to the computer monitors. You can still walk around and browse, but they are trying to keep things efficient.
Most customers wore masks but they were not mandatory. I have chosen to wear a mask in public. To coin a phrase from our Prime Minister, I don’t want to speak “moistly” on people. I tend to do that. Of course as soon as I walked in, a maskless guy was meandering against the arrows talking on his cell phone. Of course.
Best Buy have this re-opening well in hand. They were organized, friendly and asked us to use hand sanitizer on our way in. After a squirt and a quick walk around, I found the exact laptop speakers I was looking for. $27. Cheap and simple. Looked around a bit more, and headed for the cash registers. No line there either. Mission accomplished with no fuss and no muss.
New speakers in action. Uncle Meat made fun of my porch music choice.
The Covid world definitely looks different from the pre-Covid world but I think we can deal with this. It’s going to take patience and a willingness to play ball. There was a story on the weekend of a man entering a mall in Guelph where masks are mandatory. When he refused to wear one, he coughed on the mall employee and fled. This kind of behavior is disgusting. Retail workers have it bad enough. I’ve had people throw things at me but never had bodily fluids fired in my direction during a pandemic. If you think wearing a mask is infringing upon your freedom, then take a stand and don’t shop at those places. Vote with your wallet. Don’t cough or spit, and don’t give a retail workers a hard time. You’re the asshole if you do. In the meantime, I will wear my mask. I wear it to protect you from my flying spittle when I talk. I’m not afraid. I care. You’re welcome. I don’t care if you think I look stupid or not.
I look stupid on my best days anyway.
After Best Buy, we took a drive. Streets were busy like a normal Saturday in the summer. You couldn’t tell anything was amiss from the roads. Restaurants, not so much. Meals are permitted on patios. Places with open patios looked comfortably full to the new Covid standards. Establishments without had empty parking lots. Elsewhere, we saw a lineup at the Nike store that went around the building. Must have had a sale. I don’t need shoes that badly!
I did need shoes, actually, but then I ordered some online. It was actually better than shopping in store. No picking through boxes looking for my size in a style I liked. I simply clicked the shoes I wanted, clicked the colour, and picked my size. They fit perfectly when they arrived a few days later. Most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned, actually. I could get used to this. In fact, why should I buy shoes in a store again when there is a better selection online? I hate shopping for shoes!
Yes, the world has changed. It will continue to change, and our old world is gone. Look at music. Doro Pesch played a concert to a drive-in audience, and it looked cool. Artists are constantly live streaming chats and performances now. We adapt. Some restaurants, businesses and rock bands will not survive. The economy is still being ravaged. Most bands will not return to the concert stage until 2021.
In the meantime, people are hungry for entertainment. Bands and record labels would be wise to release stuff from the vaults during this time. Unreleased live recordings? Put ‘em out. B-sides and outtakes? Release them. There has never been a better time for a band to put out of a box set of rarities. Record stores are opening and need the business.
Unless our collective mistakes cause another surge and another lockdown, I am optimistic. We have made it through three months of this. While in some respects we are looking at a lost summer ahead of us, I think we still have a lot to look forward to.