MORNING BUZZ: Christmas Time is Here

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Good Morning.
After a long five day weekend I was refreshed and ready to come back this morning. Megan will be with us on the desk for Today in Iowa all week and Brooke takes some well deserved time off.

I actually volunteered to do our Christmas shopping for the boys on SATURDAY of all days.
Now, we did most of the boys shopping, to this point, online. I always thought the depiction of parents shopping a crowded toy store was Hollywood exaggeration. Empty shelves, fighting for toys, crashing carts into people… it’s all real. It was Lord of the Flies out there!.
Parking was a nightmare. How did they think a property with 50 spaces was going to be enough for a store that holds a crowd roughly the size of the population of Connecticut? There are no good lanes in our out either so a lot of us spent quality time gridlocked into an aisle waiting to get in or just stalking the front door to get a spot.
Once inside, Mothers and Fathers were roaming the aisles of Toys R Us aimlessly with zombie-like stares on their faces. People would just stand there in the middle of the aisle looking around as if the perfect toy would just appear. Then, there were the people who actually brought their kids with them to shop! How does that work? The screaming…both from the kids and at them was un-nerving. “Shut-up” screamed at the top of your lungs is not helping me keep my Christmas cheer.
And the joke is on us! You know where I got the best “finds” for my kids? Inger-Dahl’s and The Science Center of Iowa, where I was the lone shopper in the place.
I got out of the Mall and the Toy Store…I mostly got what I needed but it was an education. I will never make fun of anyone who wants to shop before Thanksgiving ever again. I used to shop on Christmas eve…or at least a little closer to the date. There is a certain code among those shoppers…a comradery…a feeling that we are all slackers who waited way too long and will pay way too much for a gift. No one argues…there are just subtle nods of the head acknowledging a shared feeling of being totally screwed.

Then there are the drivers from out-of-town. Thank you, first of all for bringing your dollars to Central Iowa. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
Unless, that is, you are trying to merge from I-235 westbound on to I-35 Southbound. They shouldn’t call this a mix-master…it should be declared a FEMA Disaster area. I am still baffled by the number of people who fly around the curve at the start of the ramp, only to come to a dead stop just as they are supposed to merge. With their left turn signal on, they give the impression they could jerk the wheel into traffic at anytime…but instead they just sit waiting for an opening the size of the Grand Canyon to gently pull out into traffic. You’re going to kill us all. There is a very well maintained network of side roads that will also get you out to Jordan Creek. Please feel free to use it.
We could all use a nice Peppermint Mocha with two pumps of Valium. Merry Christmas.

Have a good one!


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