Every morning at work the team/department I'm a part of has a meeting. Issues are discussed, project statuses are updated, general company info is disseminated -- pretty standard corporate stuff. It's the one time of day when the team is guaranteed to see each other and interact -- but for the most part it's also the only time during the day when I see any of them at all.
After the meeting ended today one of the engineers comes up to me and says, "So, did you have fun at Toys 'R Us last night?"
At first I was a little creeped out, because how would he have known I was there at all? ..But then I sort of did the mental math and realized he must have been there too. Dude laughed it off like it was nothing, but apparently he waved, said my name, and even repeated it when I didn't initially respond. All of which made me feel like a complete heel, because I didn't hear shit.
My son is generally pretty cool about Christmas. He wants things like every other kid, and I've done my share of spoiling him over the years.. but when it comes to the season he almost always focuses on one or two things and if he gets those he's super happy.
This year though, he discovered a programmable robot by French scientists developed to further the study of robotics called a Nao robot. It does super cool robot things, features a child-like artificial intelligence, and can even dance.
The boy has always dug robots and instantly became sort of obsessed with these things, and naturally asked for one for Christmas. But it's not really something that you can just go and buy. The company that makes them sells them to schools for study projects, for a cool $20,000 a shot.
To be fair, I also saw one on eBay for $9000 -- but still, there's pretty much no way this thing is happening for Christmas.
My son had a backup choice in place, something a little more feasible (no spoilers, sorry). Things have been tight this year, but if I juggle a few things it seemed like I could probably swing it. Anyways, I spent the early part of last weekend scouting out this item, which I was able to find pretty easily. I couldn't get it yet until a check cleared, but since it was at several stores there wasn't going to be a problem.
Smash cut to last night, and NONE of those places have it anymore.
Since my financial situation in recent years has left me in a place where I've had to last-last minute shop before, I was somewhat prepared for this problem -- hence the scouting a few days before. So last night was spent largely in the process of running down the string of places where I'd scouted out to see if they had it. But of course as more and more of them didn't, my mood shifted from one of confidence to one of heightened urgency -- which is probably about the point I went storming through Toys 'R Us like a Terminator looking for Sarah Connor and completely blew off my coworker.
But you know what, buddy? In this season of peace and joy it's getting down to GO TIME and I don't really have the time to wave and smile and say "How 'bout them Tebows?"
I'm on a 'friggin mission here to make an 11 year-old smile, and your casual waving your hand and calling my name-itude is interfering with my general kick all other shoppers to the side and claim that thing my kid said he would like to have if Santa for some reason couldn't find a way to negotiate a dancing robot that makes Star Wars references out of those nerds in France!!
And you'll look back at me in shock and probably a little anger, and you'll probably say something like, "Are you crazy, Goddammit? Don't you think that's a little risky just for some toy?" -- at which point I'll look right back into your eyes and say,
Christmas don't surf!!