Jewish World Review August 5, 2004 / 18 Menachem-Av, 5764

Abe Novick

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Consumer Reports

Kerry & pre-emptive shopping | This war has done more than divide the country. It's estranged my family.

You see, I don't like to buy things unless I need them. Unless I have to. My wife is just the opposite. She's a pre-emptive shopper. She'll buy things because she wants them.

Listening to John Kerry's speech the other night and especially when he said something about, "not going to war because we want to, but because we have to", may have done more to sever our household, than anything else we've read in the news.

For me, going to the mall is like going to war. It's combat. Who needs it?

From the moment I get there, it's a battle for parking. Then there are those harmless looking kiosks and pow, someone is in my territory offering, spraying, or hawking something. Usually of course, it's always a thing I don't need.

Now, I'm not some peacenik mind you. Shopping is sometimes a necessity. But I'd rather do it from far away. That way nobody gets hurt. I don't see why anyone wouldn't want to order online, from a catalogue or over the phone.

After all, isn't that the way all these modern battles were supposed to be fought now, ever since that stuff in Kosovo and those other hard to pronounce places?

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Actually, I admit, I was caught up with mall shopping — at first anyway. Going along with the rest of the country. But so was every other husband. In a way, I felt I was doing my duty. I was also told there were WSMMs there — wide selections of mass merchandise.

But now I feel, well, a bit lied to. See, she didn't tell me we'd be bringing the kids. I guess I should have known. I had read about this sort of thing when malls first started going up in the late '60s and early '70s. I read somewhere how it was referred to as The Fog of Shopping. Like a lot of other guys these days, I had heard about protests from husbands even back then. But, I suppose each generation has to find out on their own.

Anyway, I'm certainly glad John Kerry gave the speech he did last week. Unfortunately, he has not convinced my wife and she's already looking forward to Back to School now.

I guess it's still a long way until November and anything can happen. I just hope whoever's voted president then, will at least examine all the options before plunking down the old credit card declaring "charge."

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JWR contributor Abe Novick is senior vice president of Eisner Communications in Baltimore. Comment by clicking here.

07/30/04: Yanks, Sox & Dems
06/02/04: Fashioning a convention
03/31/04: Morphing of terrorist image
01/22/04: What the Dems can learn from Yertle The Turtle
11/09/03: Dump Cheney. Bring on Giuliani.
10/17/03: The American crabwalk tempo
08/13/03: Auh-nold and Our Comic Book Nation
07/25/03: "Failing celebrityhood
06/19/03: "Everything that deceives may be said to enchant" is as true as ever
04/09/03: American media becoming embedded with the enemy?

© 2003, Abe Novick