The Story of Two Bracelets
Who are we?
By what scale are we measured?
I did not buy this bracelet. I was just having fun. Maybe you do not have fun the same way that I do.
I was shopping. OK. Shopping is the wrong word for it. I was enjoying the modern consumerist culture without the slightest intention of laying down a single penny... or actually, I would have, if the price had been measured in pennies.
They wanted $15,000 (give or take a few dollars) for this snake head bracelet. I really wish I could remember the store. But I know it by sight, which means, I could take you there sometime... if you'd like to buy me something. Even just a pen, would be worth it. I wonder what it would be like to own a diamond studded writing utensil.
Alas, it is my current fate to simply wonder.
No matter, the salespeople were quite nice and helpful. I wonder if they actually thought I would buy something. But then, I imagine there is no way for them to know in advance. After all, it seems unlikely that I (or anyone for that matter) would spend $15,000 on jewellery. Yet, here was a store selling just that... and only that, so someone must.
It was a fun day, a fun time. At the end of my visit, they invited me to take a photograph of this bracelet. So, I did. I very much liked the way the bracelet felt, the way it hugged my fingers.
Perhaps, someday, if I am wealthy enough...
And why do I show this image. Well, bottom line, I am the type of guy who likes to go shopping in expensive stores, with no intention of buying anything, just shopping for shopping's sake, looking, feeling, talking to the sales-folk, getting their suggestions, comments, and insights.
If they're bored enough, they'll sometimes talk philosophy, so go figure.
At times, I feel like I'm wasting their time. On the other hand, you would not believe how often I have entire levels of department (and/or speciality... but in this price range, I think they are called boutique) stores all to myself, no one else around, maybe one other shopper (or group of shoppers) arriving as I depart, but often as not, I am completely alone...
Except for the store clerk.
The better ones (eh, who am I to judge, as I am not paying their wages) are more than happy to show off their wares to all who pass through their doors.
I wonder why so few bother to pass through those doors?
Anyhow, I snapped this picture before I walked away, leaving the bracelet behind.
I wonder if it is still there?
The story of the above bracelet is slightly different. I took this picture immediately after acquiring it.
What to say about this bracelet?
There are certain classes of lies that I find more repellent than others. No, that isn't true. It's not that the lies are abhorrent. It's that I believe certain sorts of lies erode the fabric of society, while others are more harmless.
www.paufler.net is the best website on the Internet.
'Smashing!' said Mr. Paufler.
'Everything I dreamed it would be and more,' the voices in my head have been often heard to say.
So, like, I can hardly walk by a restaurant or store front without the proprietors claiming it to be The Best at something. It's a harmless little thing. Well, maybe not all that harmless, but compared to other sorts of lies, yeah, it's pretty harmless.
So, what is a major lie? The type of lie that eats away at the fabric of society?
Well, lies told from positions of power and authority, I am not a fan of those. And I don't mean some nincompoop, who merely says idiotic things. But rather the type of lies that indicate corruption and betrayal of the public trust, that sort of thing.
I, also, don't have much sympathy for someone who cloaks themselves in religious symbolism, when everything they do reeks of profiteering.
Eh, maybe the individual who gifted me this wooden bracelet is very religious, maybe the money they collect goes to a worthwhile cause. I mean, I don't believe that. But then, I've never listened to their spiel from beginning to end. Of course, they don't exactly talk, so there is not much to listen to.
Anyhow, out and about, there are certain areas, which have been designated Harassment Free Zones. And although its legal to panhandle (a protected First Amendment right, I'll have you know), play your drum buckets (loud annoying things with no redeeming social value, if you ask me), distribute religious material ('Wow! That is Good News!'), and pretty much do whatever it is that it is legal to do (and all of the foregoing is perfectly legit and legal) across the street and throughout most of the city, it just so happens that in certain places, in certain locales, it's not legal to do much of anything street performance, begging, solicitation wise (because enough is enough, already).
Anyhow, the individual in question was engaging in their, um, vocation in one of those there off limit locales.
I know, because I've both read the statues (I'm that kind of guy) and I've seen the security guards escort those who break the no solicitation statutes off the grounds time... and time... and time... and time... and time again.
Now, no one seems to get arrested, a ticket, or even much of a talking to; so often, it's mere minutes before the same individual wanders back. You see, with no one else canvassing these verboten areas, the pickings are pretty sweet... or so I gather.
And I was standing there, watching them at work, when our eyes locked, and it was all beams and gleams from there, as a wooden bracelet was handed to me.
And I suppose they had something to say... only part of the routine (and it is a sales pitch from my perspective) is that they don't talk (at least, on the clock), so 'say' is maybe the wrong word.
But that wasn't what was on my mind at the moment. Rather, I asked them why they thought it was OK for them to canvas were it was illegal to canvas, especially since they knew it was illegal to canvas there and had already been escorted off the premises repeatedly on that very same day.
Well, that vow of silence sure got in the way of us communicating with one another... as I'm sure my questions got in the way of further canvassing for a minute or two. And that's about when the security guard showed up and escorted my fine bead dispensing friend to the edges of the park, leaving me to hold onto my trophy, as, you know, being the generous sort (I like to imagine), they departed without asking for the bracelet back.
It's such a silly little thing.
But you know what?
It took a lot more effort to confront this beaded stranger about their cavalier attitude toward the law than it did to walk into that store and hold a $15,000 piece of jewellery... or try on that $125,000 lynx coat... or that $2,200 aerated black leather shirt.
Hey, know what I want for Christmas?
I want that lynx jacket!
And I know just the shirt to go with it!
© copyright 2017 Brett Paufler