Saturday, February 11, 2006

presents kill baby raccoons

I shit you not, I can't even make stuff up like this.

I was about to leave to head into midtown for the Great Vday Gift Search for CRL when my phone rang. Luckily I was still home and had my laptop to do some last minute urgent work for WWSS to send to the tour manager. I didn't even have time to check and recheck my work, just send and pray for the best.

I should note that I have been doing a lot of damn praying lately. Most notably when I almost screwed up royally due to wrong information given to me. I was told to order a bunch of tickets for a certain WWSS show using someone’s credit card. After all tickets were said and done, I fell across an e-mail and followed the e-trail. Someone's assistant had told me to get tickets for the wrong show! So I e-mailed the Someone whose credit card I used to find out which show he wanted - oh yeah, definitely not for the show I purchased. I left messages and e-mails to my contact at the venue to no avail. I thought this was it, thought I was done. Much more money than I could possibly replace may have gone towards the wrong show. I had sat in the hallway and silently prayed for five minutes just asking to get out of this. Everything ended up ok, tickets were able to be credited and I got Someone the correct tickets - though I have been way too busy to pick a religion or a church, but I sure have been praying a lot.

So back to today. I loaded up the iPod with some newly purchased discs and trekked off to Fifth Ave. The city streets were cold and bustling with people. Ahead, I saw a few cop cars, and then armed policemen. This sort of site doesn't really surprise me anymore, especially not in NYC. I get closer and see PETA protestors in full force - video, signs, costumes, flyers, and manpower. Interesting, I hadn't seen this type of protest so close up and I agree with their cause, it sickens me to see women prancing around in carcass fur. But what...what is this...? They are protesting the store I have to freaking enter to pick up this wild search for a gift. I pause and my jaw drops, why why why me?

I look at the protestors, then the store and try to enter. They accosted me and yelled something about killing animals for vanity. Inside the very very very very expensive store I was immediately helped, though a good portion of the staff were eyeing the protestors outside. Do you think my purchase would be easy in, easy out? No, because I am me. They had one of the three items that I had to purchase. They called the other stores in the city - no luck, because these items...are only....available...from the European buyer. What the fuck, I mean seriously.

I had three staff members helping me out and the minute the European buyer is available, there will be a call from the store. Fingers seriously crossed that I can get those suckers overnighted from across the ocean. The other item was the only one left, so I impulsively bought it. I also must point out that this item costs more than two months of my rent. While I was waiting for the staff that were relentlessly searching, I watched the protesters from the other side of the window. I couldn't help but overhear the workers who were next to me discussing the whole charade. Customers were rushed in slightly frightened and the staff didn't want to leave. Someone had shouted something about killing raccoons and a male staff member jokes that they would never carry raccoon. He then proceeded to brush off the leather that adorned his ensemble and said how unique and precious his shirt was. Looking out the window, he said at least those people out there are replaceable. And the surrounding staff laughed. I felt so awkward and so hurt that someone actually uttered those words. Here I am freaking supporting their trade and all I wanted to do was get the heck out of there.

But back to the bags, can we just discuss this for a second? There is a national, worldwide even, ad campaign for this brand. The items in this ad campaign aren't available?!?!? Why market something that you can't sell?!??! Oh wait, to make my life more difficult by trying to get these elusive items for someone who saw them advertised! ARGH!

So the store wrapped up my purchase and put it in its famous pristine packaging. Then, the door. I couldn't look at the protestors so I put on my sunglasses and looked past them as I exited. I was by myself so I was perfect fodder for them. Some guy shouted at me that I was too young and pretty to kill baby animals. Out of instinctive shock I looked up and froze and saw them all and the video and the photos - their chants and yells all blending together. I don't know if I was blocking someone or if a protestor said something, but then a policeman got in between myself and the crowd and escorted me away.

I immediately call my partner in crime because she'd appreciate my trauma, then my mom. I comforted myself with coffee (my third cup of the day and it was barely 3 pm) and a new book. Now I just have to hope that the Europe buyer comes through for me. I'll be sure to keep you posted.


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