Hair Ball of Day

A Soliloquy on the San Francisco Shopping Experience by British Bear, Daniel Fryer

As we enter our second year of stirring up shit, exposing underground artists, highlighting remarkable acts of kindness, spreading the awareness of LGBTQ issues and hurdles, we will be adding a bunch of new and exciting contributors who will be given their expertise on fashion, art, gay culture, health and much more! Needless to say I am titillated!

To get things rolling I want to introduce, Daniel Fryer, a British Bear, a former journalist and writer, he holds a BA (Hons) in journalism and sociology and an MSc in rational-emotive and cognitive behaviour therapy (RECBT). He also holds a diploma in clinical hypnosis and another (with distinction) in cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy.

Daniel runs a private practice in several South West London locations and also hold clinics at the Royal Brompton Hospital and the occupational health division of Medicentre (where he specializes in RECBT for work-related stress and other conditions).

He is registered with Anxiety UK and the National Smoking Cessation Institute (NSCI).

Daniel is a full member of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH) and a non-accredited member of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

Roll out the virtual red carpet for him folks and enjoy his wonderfully detailed and hilarious Soliloquy below about his shopping experience in San Francisco!

A Soliloquy on the San Francisco Shopping Experience

by Daniel Fryer

I don’t know what it is about the names of the shops and stores in San Francisco that brings out my more philosophical leanings. Maybe it’s because I’m British and we’re like that, maybe it’s because I was taught to question everything, or maybe it’s because my brain is still fried from all that acid I did back in my twenties, but I have ruminated long and hard over the monikers of certain consumer-related places.

Over here in Old Blighty, we have names for shops such as, “Jessop and Son, fine purveyors of cheese since 1739,” and “Travis Perkins, Builders Merchants,” or Harrods.

A little too literal? Possibly. Do they do exactly what they say on the tin? Certainly. But, over there in San Francisco, meanwhile, your shop names have so much more to conjour with.

Take Sports Authority, for instance, it’s a good strong name. Very proactive, deadly serious in one way and almost menacing in another. But, is it?

Is it really an Authority on sport? I would like to walk in and ask of the staff, “excuse me sir/ma’am, but is it that you are an Authority on sport?” And then, question them at length on all things sports-related, including all the results of all the latest games in a variety of disciplines. Do you think they would be able to tell me?

And just how far does that Authority reach, I wonder? (Technically, it’s 45 states, I Googled). But, just how much Authority does it wield and does it vary from state to state?

Alas, poor Sports Basement, my apologies. I am aware of you, I know you exist, and I have both driven and been driven past you, but I am not going in. I am sure your goods are equivalent and your range is as extensive but, really, when it comes purchases, where would I rather go, and by whom would I rather be served? An Authority, or… a basement?

And then, there is Bed, Bath & Beyond! How those very words enflame my senses and set my imagination soaring. Say them Sotto “Buzz Lightyear” Voce, I dare you, and tell me yours does not do the same!

And while you do so, reflect on this: what exactly lies beyond your bed and bath? What feverish antechamber of the imagination could possibly need kitting out, what possible hellish and convoluted fourth dimension of the home could they ever think of providing furnishings for?

And do they come in grey?

And, as for Nordstrom Rack, although I have often stood outside your doors and gawped in wonder, I have never visited you, I have never entered your hallowed halls and I therefor have no idea what it is you purvey or offer, and nor do I wish to ever discover it. For you have brought out my inner-nerd, my most secret sci-fi geek.

Kirk and Khan may have played a deadly game of hide ‘n’ seek with their respective starships in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but the perils of the Mutara Nebula are nothing when compared to the navigational hell that is The Nordstrom Rack.

Or so it is in my head, at least.

Finally, we have Trader Joe’s, don’t even get me started on it. Have you been there? Have you seen the murals on the wall and read the colourful faux-history? Oh Trader Joe’s, how can you make such specific allusions to a piratical past and NOT have a representational character? What the clown is for McDonalds, what Tony the tiger is for Kellog’s Frosted Flakes, I am so willing to be for you.

In my mind I have sailed the seven seas for you a thousand times, risked life and limb (wooden leg alert!) to bring back exotic produce for you to sell. I already have the pirate garb, and I can say “argh!” with the best of them.

Yes, I am more than willing to discuss your daily promotions over the intercom in a convincing pirate accent, and no, that was not me dressed as a slightly more bald version of Jack Sparrow and standing outside your store last Wednesday.

I am hoping to return to San Francisco early on in 2012, any store suggestions sent to me in advance to ponder on, will be gratefully received.




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