Monday, February 07, 2005

I ate meat for lunch today: "chicken tenders" at Target. My only other options were anemic nachos (served with a glutinous dollop of something tantalizingly similar to cheese) or a half-baked pretzel. I figured I'd suffered through the latter two menu choices enough -- and I certainly wasn't going to eat a hotdog.

The "tenders" proved slippery and flaccid. The guy behind the counter told me he was doing me a favor by giving me five of them instead of the usual three, due to their unusually small size. I made it through the meal by dunking the tenders in a cup of synthetic-tasting honey-mustard sauce, then browsed the aisles.

Why is everything in Target painted vivid red? Psychologists have shown that bright colors like red and orange trigger unease, even violence. Maybe Target is attempting to elicit a potent neurochemical reaction in customers' brains in hopes of exploiting it for retail gain. It wouldn't surprise me; I spent 45 minutes gazing at wall-clocks, lava lamps, collapsible chairs, and cat toys, inexplicably entranced.