That's the only explanation I can come up with for the following five weird things that happened to me this past week.
As I walked up and down a mall in Indianapolis and peered in the store windows, I realized that mannequins no longer have heads. I asked a sales clerk about it.
"That's right, Sir," she asserted. "We have several without arms, as well. Very minimalist!"
"But don't you want people to imagine themselves in your clothing, so they'll be more apt to make a purchase?"
"Sir, we don't think it's necessary to have a head on the mannequin simply to visualize how the attire will look on you. Now, how may I assist you?"
"I'd like to buy a hat."
At the supermarket last week, I saw a new sign at one of the express lanes: "About 15 items."
This was a change from the universal "15 Items or Less." Apparently, people in line were counting things in other shoppers' carts, so management felt that new guidelines would offer customers a little wiggle room.
I noticed two people at the checkout having a heated exchange. The man in front had 30 items; the woman behind him had just a loaf of bread.
She was not happy and told him so.
He snapped back, "Listen, Lady, my 30 items are as 'about' 15 as your one item is 'about' 15."
I believe that rules at a supermarket should be unambiguous. But I'd sure like to find a way to park in the 'Mothers with Small Children' space
I called a restaurant last weekend and asked to make a reservation.
"Of course, Sir. On what date?"
"A week from Saturday."
"I'm sorry, Sir, I can't make a reservation unless you know the exact date."
"I do know. A week from Saturday. I just don't have a calendar in front of me."
"Sir, if you don't know the exact date, we can't hold the table."
I called back an hour later and provided the required information.
"Sorry," she said, we're booked that evening. I wish you had called earlier."
I was talking to a friend about his smart phone. He flipped on his device and showed me the application he used to purchase a ticket online for entry to a state park. His phone then calculated his route, kept track of the miles walked, monitored his blood pressure and identified the flora and fauna he encountered along the trail.
"Which park did you visit?" I asked.
"Not a clue," he told me. "But I had a great hike, all 17,653.5 steps."
My wife and son share the same birthday, and I decided to surprise them with a Black Forest cake. I asked the bakery to decorate it with a special inscription. When I presented the dessert, Mary Ellen asked, "What does that mean, 'Happy 103rd'?"
"Don't you see?" I beamed, "I added your age to Brett's and wished you a combined happy birthday!"
"Dick, you added 59 to 23 and got 103?"
I did. What was I thinking? My wife had a theory. "When you went into the bakery, there was a cake for a 103-year-old woman. But she died that day so you got the cake for half price."
The rest of the night I tried to figure how I added 59 and 23 and got 103. No matter how I did the numbers, there was an extra 21 left over. My son suggested I may have inadvertently added in my math SAT score. He thought that was funny and asked me if I would add that joke to my column this week. I said no.
You can't have your cake and edit, too.