“One word worth a thousand pictures”

By Jim DeBrosse

“One word worth a thousand pictures”

By Jim DeBrosse

This is another in an occasional series of columns I call “True Adventures in Modern Shopping.”

Daughter, age 13: “Are you going shopping?”

Dad, getting on coat: “Yes, what do you need?”

Daughter: “You know, those things that hold your hair back. They’re called something like bobbins. I need black.”

Dad, keys in hand: “Bobbins? What do they look like?”

Daughter: “Just go ahead. I’ll send you a picture on your cell phone.”

Dad, in health and beauty aisle at Target, on cell phone to daughter: “Sweetie, I can’t make out your photo at all. What is it you need again? Like a black hair clip?”           

Daughter: “No, there’s no clip. You just push them straight back into your hair.”            

Dad: “You mean a head band?”

Daughter, impatiently: “No! They’re square on one side and squiggly on the other.”

Dad: “Squiggly?”

Daughter: “Yeah, like ridges.”

Dad: “Never mind, I’ll keep looking.”

Dad takes cell phone to clerk, shows her the photo: “Do you know what this is? My daughter needs one in black.”

Clerk, squinting at photo: “I can’t tell what that is. What did she say she wanted?”

Dad, taking cell phone back: “Something that holds your hair back. She said it was square on one side and ridged on the other.”

Clerk, thoughtfully: “Yes, I think I saw those advertised on TV, but I can’t remember the name. Ask her if she saw it on TV.”

Dad, on cell phone to daughter: “Did you see these things advertised on TV?”     Daughter: “No! They have them like everywhere.”           

Dad, impatiently: “Then what are they called?”

Daughter: “I don’t know. I’ll send you another picture.”

Dad to clerk: “She’s sending me another photo.”

Dad goes back to the health and beauty aisle, searching for something square on one side, squiggly on the other, when his cell phone signals an incoming message. He opens the phone and cues up the picture.

Dad, to anyone within earshot: “Are YOU &@#!*& kidding me?!”

Dad, on cell phone to daughter: “You mean BOBBY PINS?!”

Daughter: “Yeah, that’s it. They’re called bobby pins.”

Dad: “Aaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! I cannot %$@#&*! believe I have spent all this time looking for bobby


Daughter: “Well, I’m sorry. I didn’t know what they were called.”

Dad closes phone, cries for mercy from the gods of shopping.

Clerk: “Can I help you with something, sir?”

Dad: “Yes, you can get me a daughter who speaks English!”

  • DATE: April 3, 2009
  • PUBLICATION: Dayton Daily News (OH)

            Copyright, 2009, Cox Ohio Publishing. All rights reserved.