Retail hell

What an annoying day. I went out to pick up stuff for my Halloween outfit this morning. The first order of business was a gun. I went to Toys ‘R’ Us and KB Toys, neither of which sells toy guns, apparently. I thought kids were all about guns these days? You hear so much hand-wringing about kids being exposed to violence on TV and in video games and toy manufacturers catering to that, but I can’t find a plastic gun no matter how hard I try.

After giving up on that for the day I went out in search of a western apparel shop. I found three in the yellow pages, two pretty close to home. I go to the first one only to find out the address doesn’t exist. Not that the store doesn’t exist at the address listed in the phone book, but the address itself doesn’t exist. That entire block is taken up by the side of the Burbank mall, there are no stores on that side of the street at all. I then called directory assistance and they didn’t have a phone listing for them. Ok, scratch that one.

I pulled into the strip mall the second store should have been in but had a little trouble finding it. The address number in the phone book was actually the address of the entire center, each store having their own suite number, which wasn’t listed in the store’s ad. That’s ok, there’s a big sign with the store’s name on it. The only problem is that there’s no store under the sign, it’s a Cuban restaurant. I look all around the center and can’t find it. So I call 411 again, call the number I was given, and find out the store is closed and the former owner is making clothes out of her house now. I suggested she take down the sign and correct her ad in the yellow pages. Strike two.

On my way to the third one I pass a Blaupunkt dealer I had been meaning to check out, as I still need to replace the stock CD player in my car. I stop in expecting to find a wall of demo units like most places have. Instead they have a glass case filled with antique (ie, circa 1980s) auto cassette players. Sure, tapes are retro and all, but that’s not really what I’m looking for. I ask about CD players and the guy tells me he doesn’t keep any in stock but he can order one for me if I’m ready to buy. Worst store ever. Since I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for yet this is totally useless to me. I informed him of this fact and left.

Most of the annoyance was made up for by the third store on my list, King’s Western Wear in Studio City. This place kicked ass (with big shit-kicking cowboy boots, no doubt). I found exactly what I was looking for and a bunch of other stuff I didn’t even know I wanted. I managed to restrain myself though and only buy what I went there for.

Also, 96 degrees? Isn’t this October?


kar3ning says:

You can’t buy anything like a gun at any toy store.. I needed a prop gun for a student film once, and scoured all the toy stores for a water pistol. Couldn’t come up with anything but Nerf and alien space rays.

Try calling prop houses.. they may be able to rent you something if you tell them you need it for a production of some sort.

hepkitten says:

walmart for toy guns. They have like fifty different kinds, and a bunch are the old style that look real (ie not a bright pink pistol) with just the mandatory orange bit on the end of the barrel that you can saw off.

angeldye says:

I have a cap gun.. a revolver if you wanna use it.. no caps tho.. – you can try the cheeeepy fake 99 cent stores.. THEY usually have crap like that.

kchrist says:

I finally found a fairly decent cap gun at Party City and yeah, I’ll be taking the orange tip off first thing.

The bright pink ones aren’t that bad though once you paint them black. I’ve got a pretty convincing one, you can only see any pink if you look at the crack where it’s a little bit broken. I’d just use that except that I wanted a silver one this year.