Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Like how Darth vader Sounds

The new Target is open now over on Moreland Avenue. I have already managed to convince the store clerks that I’m a little crazy. This wasn’t intentional.

I went into the new Target last night looking for a white noise machine. Before my trip to Target, I thought everyone would know what a white noise machine was. It’s one of those little devices that puts out a sound much like low radio static, and the purpose of this white noise is the blocking out of lots of other noises. It seems now that white noise machines also like to have options where you can listen instead to noises of the ocean, or crickets in the forest, or water bubbling in a creek. In my mother’s family, it is common to put white noise machines in the rooms of very small children, so that they can’t hear you making noise while they are taking a nap.

Anyway, the husband and I walked into the new Target, and up to the Guest Services desk, and asked where we could find a white noise machine.

“A what?” asked the clerk.

“You know, a machine that puts out a low noise…like they have at hotels.”

“Uh, I never heard of that. Hold on.” She motioned to her supervisor. “Have you ever heard of a white noise machine?”

“Do you want the movie White Noise?” asked the manager helpfully.

“No, no, I’m looking for a machine that goes in your bedroom. Sometimes it’s a travel accessory and sometimes it’s in house wares. It’s a machine that makes a noise like this…” and then I cupped my hands in front of my mouth and made a noise much like how one imagines Darth Vader sounds in a deep sleep.

The Target workers stared at me.

I added helpfully: “It cancels out other noises. You probably have one on in this store and don’t realize it.”

They stared at me again. “Um, we’ve never heard of what you’re talking about.” The clerks were trying very hard to be polite, but I could tell that they were convinced I was making it all up. A machine that sounded like radio static? Who would want one of those?

My husband was trying not to giggle. I sighed. “Ok, look, I’ll find one and show you after I’ve bought it.” I knew Target sold white noise machines. I’d seen them there before.

We wandered off down red-striped lanes. “I hate Target” said the husband. He hates all department stores. It’s a thing with him. He hasn’t got the patience for bad service and a store the length of a football field. We shop at Target because I like Target, and despise most of their competitors. Besides, they have loads of things we usually need.

We needed a white noise machine not only for the new house, which is loft style and therefore needs noise dampening, but for the tiny apartment where we live now until the big move this weekend. We need the machine for this week in the current apartment because out friend Daniel has had yet again horrible room mate luck. His last roomie moved out of town in the middle of the night with no warning, taking some of Daniel’s bill money with her. He’s got a new place to move into at the first of the month, but is spending this last week with us. The apartment is small enough that I would feel guilty about the husband and I enjoying married life at night without some sort of noise interference. The husband and I were on a quest.

We eventually found the white noise machines not in travel accessories nor house wares, but in the back of the pharmacy section. We wouldn’t have found the machines (Target has a small selection) at all, except that when on the edge of giving up over by the air purifiers, we ran into one of those huge stock men who know a store like the back of one of their calloused hands. They know their store because they stock it, just as I once did during Christmas a year and a half ago.

“Oh, yeah.” Said the stockman. “Those things. They used to be over here, but they moved ‘em for some reason.” The stockman took us back to where the foot spas were, and there were the white noise machines, now called “Noise Spas”.

We bought two. One for me that has a timer on it – it shuts off after 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour – and one for the husband that he had to have because it was a white noise machine/alarm clock/ radio and it projects the time overhead or onto a wall in glowing blue light. Both machines were les than $15. After we bought them, I stood in line at guest services again to show them to the clerk and manager. They had never seen them before, but both agreed they looked nice. I felt like I was proven to be sane.

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