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« A Day in the Life of a Musician | Home | March 5th »

Quest for Heat in Los Angeles

Part of: LA , Seinfeld-esque

Breakfast: toast with cashew butter and blueberry preserves

My portable heater broke a while back, so I’ve been freezing my ass off. Trying to find a heater has been my second job, because they are out of season. Last time I checked, it was still winter.

Rite Aide and Kmart didn’t have heaters but Sav-On did. The Sav-On heaters looked scary, so I went all the way to Target.

The salesperson took me over to the fans.

“This is where the heaters used to be. Hey, we actually do have one heater left.”

She pointed me in the direction of a co-worker with a cart. I did have good karma. One of the items in the cart was indeed a large heater. I was finally going to be toasty warm.

“Hi, I’ll take it—you don’t know how happy I am. How much is it?”

An older woman with a cart appeared eyeing the heater.

“Well, it was $49.99 and now it’s…” The guy typed some information into a computer, and then whispered in my ear, “$12.27.”

“You’re going to wish you would’ve bought it,” he said to the woman. He turned to me, “You can tell her now.”

I hate when people put you in the middle of things. I felt like I was in grade school. The first co-worker was also waiting.

“$12.27,” I said.

“It’s probably broken and my electric bill will go up if I get it,” the woman said.

“I don’t pay for my electricity,” I said.

I got home and set the heater up. Then I read on the box space-saving convection heater--uh-oh. Now I knew why someone had returned it. There was only a minimal amount of heat coming from it. My convection heater in the bathroom was way better than this one.

Sunday I took a trip to the Oxnard Wal-Mart and Costco with my mother. I’ve only been to Wal-Mart once. I wanted to see how cheap it really was—very cheap. It makes Target look classy.

My mother likes to look for things herself, so we did her shopping and did not come across the heaters. I used to do that, but it’s much faster if you ask a clerk.

I broke away from my mother after she started asking random people if they worked there.

“I think the employees have uniforms,” I said then ran off. We’d decided to meet back at the car if we got lost, because my mom didn’t have her cell phone. This was normal.

“Excuse me. Where do you have heaters?” I politely asked a clerk.

The clerk smiled at me, “If we have any left, they’d be down that….”

“We’re out of heaters, they’re seasonal,” Clerk 2 yelled while passing us.

Clerk 1 silently glared at Clerk 2. “I hate when people do shit like that. You’re my customer. You were talking to me.”

I nodded my head in sympathy as she walked me over to the section. Competition breeds great service. Did she really get paid enough to get that irritated? I contemplated asking her if she’d ever tried yoga. No more heaters.

My mother and I went to two Costcos and still didn’t find one. Mom suggested going to a Do It! center. That sounded like a scary place, but I didn’t want to ask her what it was. It turned out to be a hardware store. There were two heaters left and one of them wasn’t scary.

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