Exactly the kind of froofy shit they try to sell you at the H&G Show.
The great thing was this was a very clear distinction. The H&G people wore T-shirts that said things like, "Let's Roll -- For America!" and carried children in round-the-neck slings. The APS people simply frowned all the time and gathered in unattractive clumps.
Once inside the actual H&G show, I got the familiar buzz in my tummy. For better or for worse, these are my people now. I speak their language. I know the difference between aluminum and vinyl siding. I know what escrow means. Higher property taxes for education outrage me. I'm part of the problem.
Here's what was at the H&G Show:
Hot tubs. Suburbanites love their fucking hot tubs. There were hot tubs of all sizes, colors and textures. Some people will even build you an entire outdoor house just for your hot tub, with a deck, a minibar, windows. There were also hot tubs with stereo systems and outdoor speakers, and one with a TV build into it. Hey, come on. Suburbanites can't go out and have fun like you. They have to do it all at home.
Pools. Same as above, only for people with more children than perversions and wife-swapping cliques.
Windows. Remember when you were a kid and windows were things that came with houses and that sometimes you broke one that belonged to a neighbor and got whupped for it? You never thought windows were something you had to buy apart from the houses, did you, or that you had to have replaced in another situation than a stray baseball, right? Windows are big business. And not just glass and a pane. We're talking vinyl-backed windows with stuff in them to keep out the heat and to open up in all kinds of entertaining ways. I would make fun of this, but I actually had a guy from Sears come to my home a few months ago to try to sell me windows. It's sick. I know.
Pottery and froofery. Pottery and little fountains are big in the suburbs. The froofier and more exotic, the better. Some people have pots in their backyard that are bigger than they are. Also big are oversized frog statues and wicker. Wicker! You'd think that we, as a species, could evolve beyond wicker. Have we not built alloys that far surpass wicker in comfort and durability? What's this Gilligan's Island bullshit?
Massage aids and chili. Suburbanites get really stressed out. There was a booth that sold nothing but heating pads, massagers and a knockoff version of The Tingler, which I'd already been hearing about from Heather. And she was right. It was like having a really skilled spider fuck your scalp. And not in bad way, either. There was also a huge truck that was giving out tiny samples of chili. Not selling chili or telling you how to make your own or offering franchise rights. Just giving out tiny little samples. That one I can't explain.
Your usual trade show bullshit. Chiropractors, concessions, the booth that wants to sell you copper wire strippers, the booth with the women with huge breasts selling the least interesting product imaginable.
The broom/squeegee thingie. There was a booth selling a hybrid plastic broom/rake/squeegee thing that was guaranteed to clean up tile, cat hair from carpet, you name it. It had bristles on one side and a squeegee thing on the other. We actually waited for the demonstrator to show up since his assistant couldn't handle the monumental task of demonstrating what was essentially a fancy broom. The demonstration was suitably impressing, and I was ready to buy one. I'd seen people walking around with these and thought this must be the hit product of the H&G Show. Then the guy tells me they're $19.95. Now, look. I already own a carpet/floor shampooer thing I got for Christmas. I own a regular broom and mop as well as a Clorox mop/sweeper. If I own more broom and mop-related products than porn videos, they throw me out of the men's club. So I politely declined. $19.95!?! Honestly. That's just crazy.
And that was the H&G show. I was a little disappointed, frankly, and I managed to buy not a single thing. Still... affordable wood laminate flooring... mmm... For that I'd brave the broom and squeegee demonstration.
If you're in Austin, go check out Adrian Villegas' one-man show, "Barrio Daze" this weekend I saw it about two years ago, but will probably go check it out again and see what kind of revisions and changes Adrian has made over time.
Oh, and my brother turned me on to this: If you like DDR, check out Flash Flash Revolution.
Hey, look at this! Stuff to buy! Haaawwwt-Damn!