Target was the kind of place that the snobbiest girl in my 8th grade class used to make fun of, until the day I caught her family shopping there and she gave me this plaintive look that said, "if you'll keep this terrible, terrible secret, one that could result in forfeiture of all I have worked for socially since the third grade, I will let you sit at the popular table for two whole lunches."
Anyway, I happened into the local Target the other day, and discovered the first of two signs that the Smirky Retail Gods must have read my recent post concerning the handsome "Victoria Station 1747" wall clock. The first sign falls in the "Dumbass Anglophile" department. It seems that Target has begun carrying health and beauty items branded from Boots, the U.K. drug store chain. A display adorned with the familiar blue and white Boots logo invited me to enter a new world of beauty with these sophisticated British cosmetic products.
Now, Boots has a perfectly reasonable line of store-brand products, but what we’re talking about here is the equivalent of a British retailer stocking CVS brand merchandise and touting it as the pinnacle of American cosmetology. Buy Boots brand items at Boots? Great, you're paying decent money for some decent products. Buy them at Target for fancy import prices? You are a pretentious idiot.
The second sign falls into the "egregious retail anachronism" category. I don't make any claim to having discovered this myself; rather, H.P. reader Superfecta directed me to the following target.com listing, which appeared yesterday on Wonkette:
When I followed Wonkette's link to target.com this morning, the ad was curiously missing, and by this afternoon it had been corrected to, ahem, Benjamin Franklin--a personage somewhat more likely to be sporting 18th-century get-up (and to be standing upright unassisted) than FDR. Sadly, Google's cache of the original ad has disappeared into cyberspace, but, at least as of this writing, you can still see a smaller version here, if you scroll down a bit.
All I can say is that I hope the error reflects overseas outsourcing of Target's proofreading, rather than the fact that America's higher education system has gone down the celebrated Franklin flexible-tube catheter.