Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, January 19, 2021

I stopped by the grocery store on the way home tonight. My intention was to buy only a loaf of crusty French bread, to have for dinner with a bit of the Canadian brie I bought yesterday.

When I got to the bakery section, I found they were all out of bread. The counter worker told me it would be 15 minutes before the next batch was out.

Great.

Instead of leaving empty-handed, I decided to stroll the aisles to kill time. This was the first time I can remember ever being in a grocery store without having much of a purpose, and truthfully, I wasn’t feeling all that comfortable. Browsing in other types of stores is more of a natural activity; in a food store, it’s somehow weirder.

Then, while wandering down the snackfood aisle and admiring the many varieties of mixed nuts, I reminded myself of the old maxim about supermarkets being prime cruising terrain for the opposite sex. In fact, over the years, friends of mine have commented about how many hot chicks they’d seen at this particular store.

It occured to me that I might be giving off the vibe of such a cruiser. I doubt that I was, because I wasn’t pushing a cart or carrying a basket, which would be de rigueur for someone on the make in the frozen foods section. But still, my general loitering made me feel more conspicuous than I really was, and led to this thinking.

So, I figured since I might be suspected of the conduct anyway, I might as well indulge myself.

It was a bit disappointing. Of all the women I saw, about half had boyfriends/husbands accompanying them. Of the remainder, half of them had little tykes in tow (which, married or not, is just as unappealing to me at 33 as it was at 23). That left a rather thin selection.

I did run across a woman who looked vaguely familiar. She triggered memories of a girl I knew years ago, but haven’t thought of in ages. It’s eerie: I can remember what she looked like very well, can almost remember the name (Katie?), but otherwise can’t recall anything at all about the context or circumstances under which I knew her. I doubt this woman in the grocery store was the same girl; but the visual clue she provided was enough.

Other than that, I didn’t see much else of note. Maybe I was there on an off night. Or maybe the grocery scene ain’t all that.

Anyway, eventually, they brought out the bread, and I grabbed my loaf. In the meantime, I actually picked up a few items that I remembered I needed, and would up spending $15 versus the original buck I would have dropped on just the bread. So the store wound up being the big winner.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/19/2005 11:40pm
Category: Society, Women
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I suppose I’m just a sucker for gimmicky ad placements in publications. I’ve come to expect it in my Sunday newspaper, and now I think I should expect it in just about any day’s edition.

Like today. In the weekly Food section, there was a heavy-stock paper flyer insert for Tazo Tea (Starbucks‘ bid to dominate every hot caffeinated beverage niche on Earth). Pretty to look at, but otherwise not particularly noticable.

But there was a special treat included with this ad bill: Pasted inside the bi-fold was a sample bag of black tea (named, pompously enough, “Awake”).

Impressive. It certainly gets your attention, whether you’re a tea drinker or not (and I happen to be a chronic tea guzzler). And the vehicle of delivery is perfect: With thousand of people opening their papers first thing in the morning, what better opportunity to toss a free cup of new brew under someone’s nose?

What compounded the ad interaction for me was that I had happened to buy some tea just the day before, and in fact, I almost bought a box of Tazo. I’ve never bought it before, and the main reason I didn’t this time was because I didn’t see a flavor on the shelf that I liked (I would up getting a box of mint tea and something called “Four Red Fruits” — with strawberry, cherry, raspberry, and redcurrant flavors — all chock full of caffeine). I guess the ad was a day late for me!

I’m looking forward to seeing more examples of this break-through-the-clutter strategy in traditional media. Like any guy, I have a fondness for little knick-knacks — even (especially?) when they’re calculated to sell me something.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/19/2005 10:58pm
Category: Advert./Mktg.
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In the spirit of hack-writer’s aide Plotto, it’s the Sitcom-O-Generator, an easy step-by-step guide to network television nirvana.

Blow allowance not included.

Since the blog author is supposed to be a bona-fide television writer, I won’t challenge the variables as presented. I know it takes a lot of assembly line-like homogenization to force the creative process into bland mass-market packaging. Still, I’ve jotted a couple of ideas on the subject of sitcom writing success, and so I humbly propose adding the following factors:

- Ensembles with hot chickies and metrosexilicious men!
- Monkeys, monkeys, and more monkeys! That solve crimes!
- Going for youth market-straight to the womb!

The monkeys, in particular, are a sure-fire goldmine. Who doesn’t like a show with monkeys?

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/19/2005 10:21pm
Category: Comedy, Creative, TV
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