May 29, 2007

You guys think I’m bad with the zombie nerdery, but you have no idea how deep it can get. Behold my coworker B’s theory, copied and pasted exactly as written, regarding zombie genetics after seeing 28 Weeks Later (which no, I have not seen, because 1) we don’t have a babysitter and 2) if we did get a free night, there’s no way in hell I could convince JB to see a horror movie with me, despite the fact that he totally owes me one after forcing me to suffer through the never-ending slog that was Letters from Iwo Jima):

True, if the immunity to the rage virus was a recessive trait, then you need both parents to be immune to pass it on to the kids. My theory, however, is that the immunity gene is actually dominant, but either occurs extremely rarely in the population or was a mutation unique to the mom.

Note: I’m assuming here that the mom has the dominant immunity gene and one copy of the recessive zombification gene. Dad has two copies of the recessive zombification gene. If the mom had two copies of the immunity gene, it’s a whole different ball game. But if the gene’s dominant, 1/2 of her kids would be protected from the virus and half wouldn’t.

I think there isn’t enough evidence one way or the other to determine a sex-link, but in theory, the gene could be on any of the chromosome pairs. The daughter’s never exposed to the virus that I know of, so we don’t know if she’s immune.  Mom’s on the side and dad’s on top in the cross below. X represents the dominant immunity virus.

People, he then included a little ASCII diagram. SERIOUSLY.

o o
X Xo Xo
o oo oo

HA!

(Okay, technically the rage-virus-ridden aren’t actually zombies because they are living humans, but let’s agree they are some zombie-acting motherfuckers, with the additional Creep Factor of being fast.)

Speaking of flesh-eating ghouls, I am thoroughly sick of retail stores trying to upsell. I can sympathize with the employees, who are only doing what they’re being required to do (I once worked in a movie theater where we were forced to ask each and every concessions customer if they wanted the larger size popcorn/drink for only .25/.50 more; not only that, but we had to call that repulsive oily spew that went on the popcorn “buttery”, as in “Did you want buttery with that?”), but I hate being repeatedly asked if I want to sign up for the store’s card. Actually, it’s not that part that I hate so much, it’s the inevitable follow-up question: “Are you sure, you could save $10 today by . . .”

I always say, “No thanks”, instead of “Yes, I’m sure I don’t want your crappy interest rate, and I’m doubly sure I want to spend cash money on this purchase instead of going into debt over a pair of cheap denim capris, goddammit”, but really, it’s irritating to have to say no twice in a row. NO MEANS NO, OLD NAVY.

It’s bad enough to be harassed about opening a store account, but at certain other stores (The Body Shop, for one) it’s nearly impossible to make a purchase without being frantically dry-humped by a clerk recommending all sorts of ‘complimentary’ products. “Did you notice our new papaya-cinnamon-lemongrass bath salts? Have you tried the conditioner? This week we’re having a sale on home fragrance!”

The drive-through Starbucks in our neighborhood doesn’t even wait to hear your order before asking if you’d like to try their newest Frappucino flavor, which drives me nuts because it throws off the entire cadence of our expected conversation. I have to start out by saying “No” instead of “May I please have a tall iced black tea?”, and that feels RUDE.

I hate being asked for my phone number most of all. Toys R Us does this without explanation, as though it’s just a normal part of the checkout process. “Home phone?” Uh, HELL to the no, but how about you take my money instead?

Why is that so hard? Just take my money! Here, I’m offering money, in return for the goods I have chosen! That is the whole of the transaction I wish to engage in! I do not want your buttery!

Ahem.

Oh, don’t ask me when I got so curmudgeonly, I think it’s just something that happens with age. Like gray hairs and the inexplicable desire to identify wild birds.

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Graciemay
Graciemay
14 years ago

Identify wild birds?

Keri
14 years ago

Hmm, I never get asked these things. It’s probably because I’m deaf and they just want to get things over with. Try zipping your lips and pointing to your ears while shaking your head and shrugging. ;-)

JennB
14 years ago

I sa a scarlet tanager and an orielle last week.

Caitlin
Caitlin
14 years ago

My parents are SO birders.

warcrygirl
14 years ago

You could trying this tactic: Tell them you already have an account with their store and when they ask you why aren’t you using their card you can loudly say because it sucks. That should shut them up and pretty much guarantee they’ll want to get you rung up and out of the store as soon as possible. How about Taco Hell asking you if you want to add extra beef/sour cream to your order for only .50 more? Then asking if you’d like anything else? Just give me my food!

Katy B
14 years ago

When asked for my zip code I always say ‘90210.’ Try it, with as straight a face as possible.

SpaceCase
14 years ago

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve avoided going into The Body Shop, even though the fruity fragrances were saying “come in! come in!”, because there were no other customers in the shop and I didn’t want to be the focus of a hard sell in their body beauty club or whatever the heck it’s called. A girl just wants to sample some body butter(y) in peace, you know?

stephanie brown
stephanie brown
14 years ago

oh no, it has nothing to do with age. i think it has everything to do with priorities and the fact that whoever thinks of these advertising methods is not human…or do not consume their own products from our side of the counter.

Mandy
Mandy
14 years ago

I so feel your pain. I once worked at a maternity shop where we were required to ask each and every customer for their name, number, address, due date, and whether or not they planned to breast feed. Fun, eh?

justmouse
justmouse
14 years ago

i actually kinda like when they ask for my home phone number, as we haven’t had a land line in about 4 years. i just say, “oh, we don’t have a phone”, mostly just to see the look on their face. i suppose you could use that line too. it’s pretty funny. as for the dry-humping salesclerks…i never have that problem. i’m pretty sure it’s because i look every bit as broke as i am, and they know there’s no point asking if i want to buy something, and that i could never in a million years qualify for credit. i guess there is an upside to looking homeless. except, i have noticed they follow me around relentless because they are positive i’m going to ROB THEM BLIND the minute they look away. bastards.

as for the ‘buttery’…that’s pretty lame. that’s an ADJECTIVE. it would drive me insane if i had to use it like a noun.

so very glad i don’t work in retail anymore.

Magpie
14 years ago

I have no problem giving out my zip code, because chances are the store that’s asking isn’t located anywhere near me, and I want to encourage them to open a branch closer to me.

My phone number, though, is a whole different story. The Safeway Club card number I use (which someone else set up, and which has been cancelled and recreated at least once) is 510-867-5309.

Emily
14 years ago

Fast zombie-acting creatures are the most horrifying thing imaginable. Like, the “new” Dawn of the Dead? Nearly made me wet myself. If the zombies can run, humanity is FUCKED.

Carmen
14 years ago

I’m going to let loose my inner geek here and point out that if the immunity gene is recessive, then neither parent needs to be immune to pass on immunity. If each parent has one dominant copy that contributes non-immunity and one recessive copy that contributes immunity, then it is certainly possible for their children to be immune. In fact, 25% of their offspring will be; those children will have received the recessive immunity gene from both parents, thereby exhibiting immunity.

Whew. I’m a nerd. Who knew that all those genetics classes would come in handy? :o)
I haven’t seen the movie of course, so maybe I misunderstood the reference. Zombies scare me – I can’t watch the movies.

Oh, and I usually toss out a fake phone number when asked for my home number. I don’t mind the postal code (I’m from Canada) but my phone number so they can add to the copious phone calls that I already get from telemarketers? Hell, no!

Jehsika
Jehsika
14 years ago

Ah ha! Magpie got to that one before me! If you have a younger clerk they’ll probably be none the wiser, but the 30 somethings in line behind you might get a laugh.

Swistle
14 years ago

I hate the follow-up, too. Here is what I hate most MOST: when I say, “I already have the card,” and they look all skeptical and say, “Oh, but is it the NEW version or is it the old card?” or whatever. Listen: I am NOT USING THE GODDAMN CARD. I applied for it ONLY TO GET THE PROMOTIONAL DEAL, and also so that I could say “I already have it” when you ask me EVERY SINGLE TIME. But it DOESN’T MATTER which one I have–and please believe me that I would not WASTE MY TIME by lying about having a card to your store–because I am NOT GOING TO USE IT TODAY. It is moot. MOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!

Becky
Becky
14 years ago

I kinda do what Katy B does…either I give out 555-1212 or 867-5309..which luckily most of the clerks asking for my number are too young to know what that one means!!!!!!

biscuit
biscuit
14 years ago

When I am asked if I want to open a store credit card, I lie + say “Thanks, but I already have one”. Works every time. They don’t hastle me after that.

As for stores asking for phone numbers, I asked both Best Buy + Bath + Body Works why they require it + they claim it’s used for sending coupons + sale notifications…. since I haven’t received anything like that from any store asking me for my digits, I’m assuming they track everyone like Big Brother.

“Ohhh Biscuit bought the new Maroon 5 cd + some Cucumber Melon shower gel… she is such a tramp!’

Janet Powell
Janet Powell
14 years ago

Something that seems to work for me well when sales clerks ask for my telephone number is I say “Its not published” So far, I haven’t had any clerk ask me anymore questions digging for my phone.

Telemarketers call my house sometimes, and when they ask for my husband, I’ll tell them he’s not available. When they ask when he will be available, I say “I don’t give out personal informaton on the telephone.” They can either leave their name/tel/bus. affiliation, which means they tipped their hand first or it is a legitimate business matter, or they can try again some other time. In this day, guarding your privacy shouldn’t be an issue with any legitimate organization.

Janet in Miami

jonniker
14 years ago

I’m going to sound like a giant ass here, but I’m fed up with the donations. Honestly, I counted yesterday, and if I’d donated to every cause that was offered to me at every store I shopped at (INCLUDING THE VIDEO STORE), I would have spent an extra $15 which, I’ll admit, is small ($2 here, $5 there), but it’s spinning out of control. Yes, it’s convenient and yes, we should all donate the charity, but I don’t like being guilted into it when all I wanted was my used copy of Spinal Tap.

Josh
Josh
14 years ago

Coming from someone who knows nothing about genetics, that was an awesome theory. Too bad Carmen bitch slapped it out of the sky in your comments. It was a good attempt though. I love it when people try and explain rediculous movie ideas. It almost always leads to future movies on the same subject being thought out better than their predecessors. And the only reason I haven’t seen that brilliant cinematic adventure is because I’m saving it for a date I’ve been waiting for. And before anyone gives me crap for watching a zombie movie on a first date, just know she picked it, not me. Because some chicks actually enjoy cool stuff. Please take note.

As for annoying sales clerks, fuck em. I was polite at first, and still try to be. But if a clerk get in my face about some bull shit i don’t want I tell them just how it is. Only stupid people sign up for that crap. Do I look fucking stupid? Did I not already display the ability to make decisions for myself with my immediate “no”? Don’t ask me again or you get the hose. Bad clerk!

Unless they handle my food. Never mess with those people, no matter how retardedly annoying they are.

Miz Robyn
14 years ago

I was in Victoria’s Secret last week with my daughter and mother, and my daughter was trying on bras, but I don’t wear VS bras because they’re just not for me, but I like their lotions and makeup and was buying bras for my daughter, so I got to the checkout with this big pile of lotion and bras, and the clerk asked if I had an Angel Card. I said no (’cause I didn’t), and she gave me a faux-disapproving look and said “Why not!” I shrugged and said “Because no one’s ever asked me if I wanted one?”

I had NO CLUE what an Angel Card was. I thought it was like a discount card or something. So when she asked if I wanted one, I said “Sure!”, and by the time I realized it was a credit card, I felt too stupid to tell her I didn’t want one.

So now I have a friggin’ Angel Card that I will never ever use, and I can guarantee they’ll harass the hell out of me.

I don’t think I’ve ever posted in your comments, and now I’ve posted a novel. I’m a dork.

(I also have the very strong urge to identify wild birds, exacerbated by the many birdfeeders hanging outside my computer room window.)

Liz
Liz
14 years ago

I used to work at Bath & Body Works. They do ask for your phone number so they can send you coupons. They reference all phone numbers against phone company databases and get your address that way. This only works if you have a landline because there’s no cell phone directory, thank Bob. If you’ve already given your phone number once you’re supposed to keep giving it because then they know you still shop there and it lets them know to send you more coupons. If you only have a cell phone they will give you a little form to fill out and mail in to get coupons, or you can just sign up for email coupons on their web page. Is it ‘coo-pons’ or ‘kew-pons’?

You know what else I hate, besides upselling? When you go through the drive through and say “I’d like a Quintuple Whopper with extra lard and a-” and the guy says “Is that all?” No, asshole, you’d know if you’d let me finish my sentence.

Leigh
Leigh
14 years ago

Oh dear. I know EXACTLY what you mean about the birds. I didn’t know anyone else recognized that as a sign of ageing. Not actually ready for the gaters and binoculars, but give me time.

Also, I suddenly, inexplicably LOVE black licorice which I have hated all my life. Surely a sign that I am becoming an adult, no?

Pam
Pam
14 years ago

I usually transpose two digits in my phone number when a cashier asks for it. And then one time I was trying to return something (to Toys R Us, I think?) and didn’t have the receipt, and the only way they could look up my transaction was by my phone number, and of course I couldn’t remember which version I had given them. So I kept blurting out different variations (um, 0456! OK, 0546!) until one of them finally worked, while the clerk looked at me like I was some kind of moron. ::sigh::

Ashley
14 years ago

You crack my fucking shit up Linda, I am trying not to wake Owen up with my laughter.

Sarah
14 years ago

I almost died at the last line. Wanna know what I have (inexplicably) recently developed an intense interest in? IDENTIFYING WILD BIRDS.

Also, I emphatically agree with your other points and always give my fake 1-number-off phone number to stores. There’s a Do Not Call list for a reason, mutherfuckers.

Marolyn
Marolyn
14 years ago

Telemarkerters are fun.. even though I am on the No-Call List in my state and I don’t get to harrass them anymore, I do occasionaly still get calls from charities… the last one that called I had given to in the past but because I had just had surgery and we had just bought our new house I explained at I wasn’t able to give at the time.. they called back 2 weeks later… wanting to know why I hadn’t sent my check in.. I explained AGAIN…. and this chick asked me what KIND OF SURGERY I HAD…. I was SHOCKED… I was stammering for like 10 seconds then WENT OFF ON HER… telling her HOW VERY RUDE she was to even ask such a question, although I shouldn’t have offered them the info in the first place.. I wanted to be honest as to why I couldn’t give this year, but since my outburst I haven’t heard back from them.
As for phone numbers at the register…. BR549 (Junior Sample’s Used Car Lot from Hee Haw)

Hannah
Hannah
14 years ago

Hi Sundry, I thought you might enjoy this documentary on Zombie’s in America today. It was an interesting perspective.

http://www.funnyordie.com/v1/view_video.php?viewkey=56b016d1fdba7ea13237&page=&viewtype=&category=

Jennifer
Jennifer
14 years ago

Ohhhh I’m going to totally do what Magpie and Becky suggested… 867-5309 it is from now on. (And it’s OK – because my name is JENNY anyway!! That number is MINE.)

And I’ve had that desire to identify wild birds for a few years now. I think you’re right, it’s definitely a sign of aging. When I was 30 I could have cared less. Now I’m always grabbing for the binoculars whenever I see one out the window.

Melissa
Melissa
14 years ago

Right there with you. That crap drives me nuts. Bath and Body Works (as liz mentions above) asks for phone numbers. I went in with my sister-in-law once and she just politely said, I don’t give out my number, when they asked. The cashier snapped back that they don’t give it out and it’s for coupons, etc. SIL still politely said, oh no thanks. The cashier got pissed and started angrily scanning the lotions and was actually making faces at the other employees behind the counter about it. Even gave my SIL a hard time about giving her a bag for the lotion and everything. Actually it was weird. My SIL, thankfully, is a calm person and just walked away. I was much more pissed and told the girl to lose the attitude…what attitude? Of course.

Sorry…had to tell that one. I’m sure this girl was an exception at Bath and Body works and obviously was having a bad day but I really think these retailers need to lay off their employees about this crap. It only makes for annoying and awful customer service.

Jem
Jem
14 years ago

I also hate the upsells but I just say no and they can tell I mean it. I also sympathise as at my video store, we were forced to sell this video insurance thing for $5 and I used to sell the most because most of the other workers were too scared to ask the customers. Our manager introduced something where you got a free video with each insurance sold, to the same value, which was kinda funny when someone would rent a video of $5 and I said they could get it for free, but they STILL refused. I know they thought it was some sort of catch, because it WAS confusing, but the only reason I was offering it to them for free was because it made me look like I’d sold a lot when I was technically just giving them away. Ha. Man I went into so much detail about this. I guess I’m still really mad at my video store because the upper management were complete assholes!

Tessa
Tessa
14 years ago

I got upsold at the mother effing bank last week. “How about our low-interest credit card?” Look, Ephram, if you would take a peek at my account, you’d see a LARGE home equity loan, paying off my all of my credit card bills. Nooooo gracias.

jen
jen
14 years ago

ahh toys r us is the worst. old navy second. i hate, hate, HATE when they ask for your number. it’s too personal. zip code ok as long as you dont try and sell me on the credit card. bastards.

oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
14 years ago

Oh my effing … here it comes: ZOMBIE SITCOM!

“Hot on the rotting heels of the ten or so zombie films that have been announced over the past couple of months comes news from Variety that “Simpsons” scribe/co-exec producer Dana Gould has inked a deal to bring a Zombie laffer to Comedy Central. He’ll write and star in the small-screen effort.

Called “Last Larry”, and partially inspired by “Shaun of the Dead,” the half-hour comedy is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which the few remaining survivors are trying to get on with their lives.”

via: http://www.moviehole.net/news/20070525_return_of_the_living_larry.html

I can’t think of anything else to say. Just…. wow.

cynthea
cynthea
14 years ago

DUDE. I heart zombies too, and 28 Days Later is seriously the best zombie movie I’ve ever seen. You are denying yourself some real joy, stop it.

I’m pretty excited about 28 Weeks Later, holy shit it could go on for INFINITY! 28 Years Later, 28 Decades Later, ad nauseum.

Stay cool! (Portland’s freakin’ 80 degrees today.)

Cynthea

Jan
Jan
14 years ago

What’s the big deal? If they ask for your phone # and you don’t want to give it, just politely say so. If a clerk does not accept this, they are an idiot and do not deserve your politeness. The only reason stores ask for it is, as someone said in another comment, they want to send you coupons and catalogs. I get cards all the time from Bath and Body Works for free stuff. And the store employees push the store credit card because they get paid to do so at many stores. At Macy’s my daughter used to get paid cash for every single credit card application people filled out. So, of course, they ask you. Don’t let it stress you out. Just chill. Say no and walk away. Just walk away.

Em
Em
14 years ago

Everyplace around here asks for a telephone number–I tell them that my religion teaches simplicity so I don’t have a telephone.

nstig8r
14 years ago

is coworker B hot & single? b/c that kind of dorkiness is really sort of attractive!

i hate birds, so not going to show any signs of aging there. but i have always been an old soul–proof: my best friend & i used to skip high school & go antique malls!!!! WTF?

Fifi
14 years ago

I just say “all nines” when asked for my phone number.

Carolyn J.
Carolyn J.
14 years ago

I’m surprised no randy teenage boys ever said, “Buttery WHAT? Huh huh huh!” To your buttery inquiry.

I’ve sworn off Body Shop for life because of the hard sell. Last time I was in there I practically spit on my way out the door.

Leslie
Leslie
14 years ago

Seriously, why was *Letters from Iwo Jima* so lauded? I thought it was an absolutely average war movie that was 30 minutes too long and didn’t even include enough letters. Yes, we know the Enemy is made up of people Just Like Us. Yes, the U.S. soldiers were taught to fight so they could come home while the Japanese were told they were shipping off to die for their country. But the movie celebrated *fictional* men except for a few officers, and with more than 10,000 dead, it shouldn’t have been too hard to find a few deserving stories to tell, even though their circumstances during the battle might need to be made up. Bleh!

miranda
14 years ago

I love that you wrote about zombies because I JUST SAW “28 Weeks Later” on Monday and ohmylord it was insane. I loved it and hated it at the same time. The night before I watched “The Decent” which also features non-zombie zombies so my quota for pant pissing has been reached for the year. And all day I kept thinking the super fast running zombies were coming after me. Total mindfuck.

thejunebug
14 years ago

Heh. For all of that retail nightmare, I have a trademark Voice of Authority that I use, and the answer is always a very firm “No!” instead of “No thank you,” or “Not today,” or anything similarly wussy. I learned that working at Target- the voice says “I am here to have a pleasant customer service experience, and if you jeopardize that by continuing to pester me about such things I will ASK FOR YOUR MANAGER.”

It works especially well at Bath & Body and Toys R Us for the phone number thing- though occasionally at Toys R Us I also have to include the trademark Bland ‘You Are Wasting My Time’ Stare.

Jialin
Jialin
14 years ago

Hello, delurking just to say:

If the gene was dominant, then mum being dominant heterozygous (i.e. Xx) and dad being recessive homozygous (xx) would mean that half the kids would have the dominant genotype (Xx) and half recessive (xx).

If the gene was recessive, then, as Carmen pointed out, if neither parent was immune but both had the heterozygous genotype (Yy), then half the kids would be Yy, a quarter YY and a quarter yy, and yy would be the immune kid, as the recessive gene can only be expressed in the absence of a dominant one.

Bless Mendel and his peas.

Also in 28 Weeks Later, the writers seemed to kind of indicate that it was somehow linked to the gene for eye colour as both the mum and immune kid were heterochromic — maybe like how white kittens with blue eyes are usually deaf.

Kelley O
Kelley O
14 years ago

Good thing you don’t have one of these in your house: http://icanhascheezburger.com/2007/05/29/zombie-cat/
:) You’re welcome.

Jen
Jen
14 years ago

The Body Shop is one of the few places I’ll endure the upsell, rarely giving in to it but taking it because I love their body butters and home scents. I’m a sucker for anything citrus-y.

Completely unrelated – what TurboJam do you use? Apparently there are more than one??

justmouse
justmouse
14 years ago

Kelley O – LOL! i was totally going to post that!

Amy M.
Amy M.
14 years ago

I hate to admit I never thought of the 867-5309. I usually just tell them I’m unlisted.

I had the best clerk at American Eagle. He asked if I wanted to sign up for their card to get $ off every x purchases. Then he said, “It’s basically so they can track your purchases”. At least he’s honest!

Oh, and Marolyn – charities aren’t bound by the federal do-not-call list. However, you can ask them to put you on their personal do not call (or mail) list.

kara marie
14 years ago

I hate the phone number requests, too. I don’t hate the retail employees, I hate the companies that make them do it. I usually say, “Do I HAVE to?” and the employee usually says, “Uh, I guess not.” There have been argument instances, where they believed that yes, I did have to. Purchasing underwear or clearance jeans aren’t worth giving out my private information. And I must disagree with people who think it’s not a big deal, because it’s just for coupons. Why should I perpetuate the junk mail cycle? It’s so wasteful. And annoying.

I used to work at a big store, and we got in Big Trouble if we didn’t ask if each customer wanted a store credit card. And were lectured and shamed if we didn’t get enough to sign up. Yuck.