Friday

Nov. 21, 2008

A Deer in the Target

by Robert Fanning

I only got a ten-second shot,
grainy footage of the huge deer
caught in the crosshairs
of a ceiling security camera, a scene
of utter chaos in a strip mall store,
shown on the late local news.
The beautiful beast clearly scared
to death in this fluorescent forest,
its once graceful legs giving out
on mopped floors, think Bambi
as a fawn its first time standing.
Seeing the scattering shoppers,
you'd think a demon had barged
into this temple of commerce,
as they sacrificed their merchandise,
stranded full carts and dove for cover.
And when the aisles were emptied
of these bargain hunters, who was left
but an army of brave red-shirted
team members, mobilized by
the store manager over the intercom
to drive this wild animal out.
I wager there's nothing on this
in the How to Approach
an Unsatisfied Shopper

section in the Target employee handbook,
but there they were: the cashiers
and stockers, the Floor Supervisor,
the Assistant Floor Supervisor,
the Store Manager,
the Assistant Store Manager,
the District Associate Manager,
the District Supervisor,
the District Assistant Supervisor
and visiting members from
the Regional Corporate Office,
running after it, it running after
them, bull's eye logos on their red golf shirts,
everyone frenzied and panting: razor hooves
clattering on the mirror-white floor tiles,
nostrils heaving, its rack clearing
off-season clothes from clearance racks.
All of them, in Target,
chasing the almighty buck.

"A Deer In The Target" by Robert Fanning. Reprinted with permission of the author. (buy now)

It was on this day in 1620 that the pilgrims landed in what is now Provincetown, on Cape Cod. The 102 passengers had been onboard the Mayflower for 65 days.

It's the birthday of British diplomat, journalist, and diary-keeper Harold George Nicolson, (books by this author) born in Teheran, Iran (1886). His father was a British ambassador, so Harold had a privileged and cosmopolitan childhood. He went to college at Oxford and graduated near the bottom of his class. But he passed the exam, and got a job in the Foreign Office.

In 1913, he married Vita Sackville-West, a writer. They were both bisexual — and each of them leaned more toward homosexual. Four years into their marriage, they decided to cease sexual relations with each other, and have extramarital affairs. But they remained close, traveled with each other, and worked on renovating a great house together. They wrote to each other whenever they were separated. By the account of their son Nigel, their marriage was a happy one.

Nicolson left his career in politics to focus on writing. He kept a diary, and he wrote many biographies.

Harold Nicolson said, "The great secret of a successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters."

It's the birthday of Voltaire, (books by this author) the man who helped spark the Enlightenment in France, born François-Marie Arouet in Paris (1694). He was a well-known playwright and poet. He spent most of his late life in exile, and he wrote most of his work from England. In the last year of his life, 1778, he was allowed to return home to Paris. More than 300 people came to visit him his first day in the city, including Benjamin Franklin.

Voltaire wrote, "God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."

And, "To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered."

And, "Let us read and let us dance ... two amusements that will never do any harm to the world."

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

 









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