1. Delicious tropical fruit is way better than a bunch of hard to sell clothes. Lucky for her she was able to score a pineapple at discount process.

    That’s all I got.

  2. And yet, it might be the end of summer, and they need the space for jackets and that one really good bathing suit needs to make way, you know, clear the space, so they can sell the jackets that people need now…

    Aw, who am I kidding? I so miss the times when you could go into a store and buy what you need right now, and not play this anticipatory game of what-am-I-likely-to-need-6-months-from-now? Having an Oktoberfest party tonight and need a cheap table cloth in a blue check pattern? Yeah, we sold all those out back in May… Clearance? Yeah, well, if you’re quick, you might be able to get the last holiday red and white santa one…

    But to be fair, a random reinforcement schedule is the scientifically best way to train the consumer to panic buy whatever you might happen to have in stock at the moment, because who knows when you’ll ever see that particular item ever again. A pineapple?! I definitely don’t need that now, so hell yeah, I’ll buy that!

  3. I have always hated that clothing seasons start so far before the actual season, and by the time the season is here, you can’t get what you need anymore. What do you mean I can’t buy shorts in August (Or July, or June, or when I lived in Florida and wanted them in November)! And heaven help you if you are traveling to a different climate at the wrong time of year. (Like taking a Caribbean cruise in January, or traveling to Alaska in the summer.) Good luck finding clothes for those trips. (And no, I can’t buy stuff online. I’m very hard to fit and very picky about how it fits, so even shopping in the “right” season is a pain.) Sorry for the rant, it’s one of my long-standing peeves.

  4. This is only one of the reasons why I buy most of my clothes at thrift stores and rummage sales. Even “stocking up” for a season six months ahead doesn’t irk me enough when it’s only a matter of two or three dollars (and going to a good cause, at that.)

    Shoes are a problem, since I take a size 15 wide. But when I *do* find such cheaply in a thrift store, it’s like Christmas in, er, September. . .(Well, it was, last week.)

  5. ” I so miss the times when you could go into a store and buy what you need right now, and not play this anticipatory game of what-am-I-likely-to-need-6-months-from-now?” Are you kidding? I’m 77, and when I was young my Dad ran a clothing store. That style of retail anticipation was already old when HE was young. When were those times for you?

  6. I’m with you, Kilby. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on Retail either, but I was afraid to say something as Bill didn’t specifically say that this comic was a CIDU, unlike F-Minus. My best guess is that it’s another of the Retail trope that customers are stupid by playing on the double meaning of the word ‘smart’. As in:

    Customer: Are you trying to get smart (insolent) with me?

    Worker: Barely. (It doesn’t take an intelligent person to figure this out, so I am hardly getting ‘smart’ with you.)

    It’s clumsy, but have I got this right or am I missing something?

  7. Thanks Bill. Just being polite….and a little nervous about coming across as an idiot as I’ve missed something glaringly obvious.

    It’s an odd sensation as I’m never going to meet Kilby, LarK, Dave T, James Pollock, or even you, so who cares if that happens? But somehow…you know…it kind of eats at you when it does. Know what I mean?

  8. “a little nervous about coming across as an idiot as I’ve missed something glaringly obvious”

    Stan, I’ve taken that risk almost every morning since 1996!

  9. @ Stan – Your explanation of the third panel seems right on the money. It’s tenuous at best, but since there isn’t anything better, that has to be it.
    P.S. Never say never. Just last year Bill happened to take a trip to Berlin, and I met him there for an enjoyable sightseeing tour.

  10. “I’ve taken that risk almost every morning since 1996!”

    And I truly admire your bravery! I’ve been with you for nearly that long as well. I read about your site in a magazine (remember those?) when the internet was starting to blossom, and have been checking in regularly since at least 1999.

    “Never say never.”

    Cool! I’m in Kuwait at the moment, so if you guys are in the neighbourhood and want to pop over for a kabab, shisha and some camel spotting, my door is always open! That includes you LarK, Dave T, James Pollock and the rest of the gang!

  11. I, too, have IRL met cyberfriends, from my Airedale list/rescue and Cairn list/rescue. Cyberfriends from OZ, England and a variety of US states. I organized two MidWest CairnFests with over 80 people and 100 dogs at each; I have smaller ones here in Florida, but it’s all people who’ve gotten to know each other thru various lists like this one (albeit not quite as amusing).

  12. @ Dave T: Yeah, I’m probably indulging in nostalgia; the observation that there’s nothing new under the sun was already old 3000 years ago. But I do think I’ve seen change in my lifetime, but it probably is more that I’ve observed certain phases of the never ending cycle: stores get more and more efficient, putting out what they know you will want in the future so they don’t have to carry dead stock (that’s the phase I think we’ve been in most of my lifetime), then eventually you reach the point of diminishing returns, customers complain, and some store comes up with the brilliant idea of selling seasonal item in season! They charge a premium, get rich, competitors come in, and soon everyone and his uncle is selling stuff in season, undercutting each other, and then some young high flyer notices how much more efficient it would be to only stock items for as short a time as possible, saving money, and so then that trend takes off, lather, rinse, repeat.

    Will online retail break this cycle, or is it just another aspect of the bigger cycle? Time will tell…

    O tempora o mores!

  13. @ Andréa – I hope you are either not in the path, or have already taken sufficient precautions against the hurricane that’s supposed to hit there tomorrow.

  14. Stan: I haven’t sent Bill CIDUs in a while, but when I did, I would estimate that about 75% of them immediately came back with a response of “the comic probably means [blah].” Then I’d say “Oh, yeah, that’s pretty obvious, never mind.”

    (BTW, I had the same interpretation of the 3rd panel as you, but it seemed natural to me, rather than clumsy.)

  15. Thanks for your concern!

    No, we live just north of Tampa; even if there is a surge, we are far enough away that we won’t be affected. Unless our pool has a surge; then we’re SOL. We were predicted to have A MIGHTY WIND last night (according to hubby’s weather app); we didn’t (my weather app predicted 14mph; during the day, we had 17mph and a bit o’ rain). We may get wind and rain from the edge.

    For those of us in this area, it’s nothing like H. Irma last year – talk about battening down the hatches. I can’t/won’t evacuate or go to shelters, so luckily we have a cement house, 200mph-rated windows & sliders, and even our fence is hurricane-proofed (none of which I realized when I purchased this house last June). With seven dogs (nine during Irma; ten starting Wed. night), there’s no point in even THINKING of leaving. Besides, who wants to be on the road when a hurricane hits, or if you run out of gas?

    Irma was scary, and we learned many lessons from our first hurricane. Lessons we hope to never need. (We do, however, plan to install a whole-house generator next year; for me, the worst part of Irma was being without electricity, having to keep sliders open, and listening to a neighbor’s whole-house generator all day and all night. No one was home, so when it broke down/ran out of gas, the house was without electricity for two days anyway, thus erasing any benefit of the generator.)

  16. PS. And don’t you think all this hurricane-proofing would’ve been a selling point? Never mentioned, either by seller agent or my own. (Actually, at the Open House, I asked the seller agent, as I always do, “What is the dog limit in this HOA?” The answer was, there is no HOA, and we love dogs, so there is no restriction on numbers. I said, “I’LL TAKE IT

  17. PS (continued): I said, “I’LL TAKE IT!” Hubby didn’t see the house ’til the Final Walk Through, half hour before The Closing.)

    So, I guess I didn’t give either of the agents time (or reason) to give me the sales talk. We lucked out, I tell you.

  18. Winter, what makes this fun is the fact that whether somebody understands a comic can seem completely arbitrary: I can explain most comics sent to me yet when I post one I DON’T understand, somebody else invariably explains it within minutes (and it might well be obvious to everybody in the world EXCEPT FOR me).

  19. I remember the early days of this list, when only one or two responses explaining the comic would get published. I often tried, but was never fast enough to be included. And my favorite part of CIDU is definitely the comments, oftentimes especially when the thread drifts. I learn a lot, and laugh a lot. It’s a great community, one of the few I consistently follow. I’m quite sure we don’t all agree on politics or religion, yet we remain civil and kind to one another (mostly 🙂 ). Amazing, and a reason we can still have hope for this old world. Thanks, Bill, for hosting this eclectic community for more than 20 years. Coming here is a highlight of my day.

  20. Thanks, Dan.

    Yeah, that was back in the days when I had to moderate everything and since all the responses went live at the same time, there was no real discussion. And of course no thread drift.

    Hard to imagine that now.

  21. Andrea – Glad you are not where the storm will hit. I had something similar when we rented our apartment – we had trouble finding an apartment – we did not want one in someone’s house, it had to be in budget and it had to be near my in-laws. Robert found one with his parents and when I went to see it we were told that they only show it once, but they will make an exception for a second look by me. So my dad, his mom and the two of us looked at it and then we immediately signed the lease.

  22. When I was a child -around 60 years ago – I asked my parents why they sell bathing suits in winter. I was told tha it was so people could buy them to go on cruises.

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