Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cultural confusion

Over at a more substantial blog, someone points out that in the US, drugstores of all places are one outlet for Mr McGravitas' comic books.

For me, that's always been one of the eye-opening aspects of travelling. For all the cultural similarities in another country, one's implicit assumptions about the sort of shop where one should buy a given product are sometimes wrong [note to visitors to NZ: "Corner Dairies" are not as lactocentric as the name might suggest]. Hilarity ensues. One has to relearn the scripts.

When I was last in London a few months ago, all the sports bars had signs outside offering "Large Plasmas Inside". So I'd go in and order a large plasma, and suddenly the bar staff would be all "We don't serve your sort here".

42 comments:

Substance McGravitas said...

The drug store is much less popular for superhero stuff these days, although you can still find a very few of those, now some manga in magazine-sized collections, and the ever-present Archie.

When I was growing up in a city of a half-million or so there was one comic-book shop: they were a late innovation. And of course in small towns there was no such place for spotty daydreaming know-it-alls and supermarkets and drug stores had to do.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

For all the cultural similarities in another country, one's implicit assumptions about the sort of shop where one should buy a given product are sometimes wrong

Here in the U.S., an adult theater is not the place in which to catch a Bergman retrospective.

tigris said...

Imagine my surprise to discover chemist's shops were not the place to meet all your beaker and flask needs. Also, plasters? Totally not plaster!

Captcha is arser. I can translate well enough to be a little insulted.

mikey said...

Across the (big) street from where I live now there is a walgreens. Huge. I am fascinated by the overwhelming variety of, well, stuff, and things, and a broad range of other items best categorized broadly as merchandise. And it may be more eclectic than usual, due to it's presence in an almost exclusively Taiwanian neighborhood.

But they're begun to get used to me. Sometimes in the afternoon, if there's nothing else to do, I'll stroll across the street and just wander in the aisles, dumbstruck with wonderment (isn't that the commonly accepted affect of wonderment overdose?) by the amazing things I find. A kind of commerce non sequitor.

Last time I was over there I bought a padlock that uses letters (they rigged it so you can't spell 'fuck', but I was able to set it to open on 'titty'), some detangler for my hair and a telescoping thingie you can use to get the pipe from the coffee table without getting off the couch - er - to get cans off the top shelf of the cabinet...

Another Kiwi said...

a telescoping thingie you can use to get the pipe from the coffee table without getting off the couch
They have Monkey butlers?? I had given up hope of seeing them on sale again.

Substance McGravitas said...

For hundreds of miles, billboards for Wall Drug.

Substance McGravitas said...

they rigged it so you can't spell 'fuck', but I was able to set it to open on 'titty'

It is no wonder that America has conquered the Earth.

Smut Clyde said...

some detangler for my hair
Go ahead, gloat, why don't you.
Mikey is banned.

J— said...

When I was a kid, we used to go to Thrifty for ice cream because it was cheap. My dad tells me Thrifty used to have a tube tester in its stores where you could try out your radio or TV tube. I have no recollection of this. I always went straight to the ice cream counter, which was very close to the entrance.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I went into a place clearly marked "Rest Room", and my sweet repose was interrupted in a most abhorrent fashion.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

SOMEONE!!????

you wound,sir.

Smut Clyde said...

To gin up the number of comments, I will even stoop to "Insulting ZRM by failing to attribute his prior contributions to the field".

Then he gets his revenge by negatively reviewing my next submission to a journal.

Substance McGravitas said...

"Insulting ZRM by failing to attribute his prior contributions to the field".

Also failing to link to them.

THE LINK DEMANDS DEGIBLING!

Smut Clyde said...

SM broke the link! How did he do that?
Also if I credited ZRM properly then I would also have to credit the next contributor to that comment thread, and that would be silly.

Substance McGravitas said...

Here I have added extra doubleplusgoodness to the link.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

What comes after extra tripleplusgoodness?
~

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

What comes after extra tripleplusgoodness?
~

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Doh! I saw that my comment was not published, because I didn't put in the merde verification.

So I retyped it and such as, also.

And now there are two.

P.S. I may delete one of them tomorrow, if I'm feeling ambitious.
~

Anonymous said...

always liked the little booths in francophone africa labled 'depot de pains'
the despots were less fun.

fish said...

Traveling advice:

Bureau de Change is not a place to change your pants. At least that is what the woman told me.

M. Bouffant said...

The Topper Arrives:

Parental Unit & I tested tubes in a drugstore once. (Mere minutes after the earth had cooled.)

Used to occasionally get my comics at a "Smokeshop." This was before & had nothing to do w/ head shops.

And, when I was at the top of my game (not long after the alleged dino-killer impact) I had an electric train on the coffee table to facilitate passing the dutchie. Yes it ran clock-wise.

tigris said...

Well poop, I was going to point out to BBBB that ladies' rest rooms have "changing tables", but they always look exactly the same, but fish pre-stole my thunder. Tomorrow is my birthday and all I wanted was thunder, dammit.

fish said...

I have never met thunder and I am pretty sure he doesn't wear a stole.

Another Kiwi said...

Very hard to get the wrapping paper right for thunder. Brown paper, tied up with string just isn't right.

mikey said...

It is said that if you leave an old wooden bucket full of random, miscellaneous punctuation and Unicode outside your door overnight, Thunder will be helplessly attracted and, with the use of a few well-placed motion sensors, can be photographed, detained or killed, depending upon the malevolence of one's intentions...

Substance McGravitas said...

can be photographed, detained or killed

Or filled with cream.

tigris said...

Stoled, obviously.

So if one were to wrap bee stings and dog bites in brown-paper packages tied up with string, would that be an awesome fake-out, or the awesomest fake-out?

mikey said...

What??

What would Filled with Cream do, Subby???

After some experience with the food network, capcha is flaywari

Smut Clyde said...

Tomorrow is my birthday and all I wanted was thunder, dammit.
Dammit. Here I was with the were-dachshund all packed ready to send.

I am pretty sure he doesn't wear a stole.
I had somehow gained the impression that he prefers to drape baby deer over his shoulders.

Or filled with cream.
Eskimo Pies, incidentally, were the worst disappointment EVAH.

Smut Clyde said...

Upon checking my Memory Palace, I discovered that the cream-colored ponies had eaten the crisp apple streudels and then crapped all through the corridor, and the kittens with whiskers had totally shredded the warm woolen mittens, so perhaps this wasn't such a good idea.

mikey said...

Yeah, not only that but those ain't raindrops on the roses, gnome sane?

Smut Clyde said...

Eskimo Pies, incidentally, were the worst disappointment EVAH.

And for that matter, Maltesers are no longer made with real Maltese. Also. And girl-guide biscuits do not taste like SHUT UP SMUT

M. Bouffant said...

Graffiti on a "Baby Changing Table" (in a men's room, thank you!):

"Change your baby from white to Asian or black."

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

From teh Wiki Waki Woo:

Maltesers were created by Forrest Mars, Sr. in 1936, and originally known as "Energy Balls".

Heh, indeed.

Substance McGravitas said...

Mars Bars: not as fun since they took over the Illuminati.

Smut Clyde said...

"changing tables"
Worst reality TV program evah.

Another Kiwi said...

Energy Balls: dropped from sight

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Happy B-Day, tigris!111!
~

Smut Clyde said...

And when tigris starts HER OWN BLOG we can send the birthday wishes there as well.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

And when tigris starts HER OWN BLOG we can send the birthday wishes there as well.

Peer pressure!

And one by one, we all fall for it.

All S.McBubba's fault, of course.
~

Substance McGravitas said...

All S.McBubba's fault, of course.

Strangely enough one of my ideas upon renaming myself was to invite people to contribute. What put the kibosh on that was that I didn't bother inviting anyone to contribute.

tigris said...

I'm on facebook and livejournal, neither of which I ever do anything with, I don't need yet another intersackbutt site humiliating me with its endlessly unvarying existence.

Thanks, thunder! Air smooches!