So have you seen the construction going on down at the Washington Monument? Yeah, last I checked, they had scaffolding up to about the halfway point of the 555-foot reminder of the “Father of Our Country” (although Thomas Jefferson has been giving ol’ George a run for his money, considering the results of recent DNA tests .).
Sure, it’s sad to see the demolition of a national symbol like the Monument, but it’s about time they got another CVS in that neighborhood. People simply cannot be expected to walk more than two city blocks for a tube of toothpaste. They just won’t do it. They’d sooner brush their teeth with peanut butter than trudge more than 90 feet.
Answer me this: How long do you think it’ll be until we each have our own personal store? Not long, my friend, not long.
You do realize I’m kidding, right? I mean, they are not going to replace the most visible part of the D.C. skyline with a drugstore. No, the Monument needs restoration. For the next two years, the overtly sexual structure (c’mon folks .) will be sheathed in latex.
Whoops. Did I say latex? I mean scaffolding and fabric so that the latest pharmaceutical miracle – Viagra – can do its magic and resolve any “structural problems” the Monument has been having lately.
Back to the real problem plaguing our nation’s capital – those confounded CVS drug stores. And it’s not just the sheer number of these junk emporiums, it’s the fact that they continue to multiply like a Gremlin in a swimming pool. The most telling sign of this is that a CVS is now located in my hometown of Cumberland, Md.
Now, if you are not from Cumberland, this probably does not seem like a big deal. But if you are from that sleepy little western Maryland town and have been at school in Washington, D.C. for a few years, it is a HUGE shock to go home to find a CVS.
Cumberland is, to put it in the friendliest terminology, “the worst place in the universe.” No, that’s not true. But it’s fun to see it in print. Cumberland is an idyllic lil’ town whose citizens, the majority of whom are 65 or older, have not been exposed to many of the modern shopping experiences that we take for granted. No Gap. No Starbucks. (Yet we somehow manage to survive). They simply have not reached my town yet.
But then again, the public schools still teach alchemy.
Soon I’ll be returning home to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday and who knows what I’ll find. Maybe we’ll have a Metro? Or at least something more reliable than the horse ‘n buggy public transit (motto: “Uncomfortable and inconvenient since 1989”).
But I’m sure I’ll stop by the newly installed CVS and peruse the aisles. And I’ll see the cases of insanely cheap CVS-brand cola (“Mmm, gritty”), as well as the CVS dandruff shampoo (“More dandruff or your money back”).
And no doubt, something else will catch my eye. I refer to it as the melting together of the seasons. As I recall, there used to be three important seasons during the last three months of the year: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Somewhere around Sept. 15, the local drug stores and department stores begin putting out the Halloween decorations and merchandise. And then, at the appropriate time, say Sept. 16, there will be a fresh batch of Thanksgiving items next to the Halloween junk.
Following that (about an hour later), the red and the green of Christmas will appear next to the orange and brown and black and yellow of the other two holidays.
You can now leisurely sashay down the aisle, bathed in relaxing fluorescent lighting and soaking up the latest Muzak version of your favorite Bryan Adams tune and pick up a beautiful “hand-crafted” nativity scene that plays “Away in the Manger” for under the tree, some pilgrim-shaped salt and pepper shakers for the end-of-November feast, and a mask that will allow you to adopt the persona of one of the original members of KISS.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
“Merry and/or Happy Thanksweenmas.”
This article appeared in the November 16, 1998 issue of the Hatchet.