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A seller’s market


Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham

If I could make it through life without anybody trying to sell me anything, I’d be just fine.

This is why I don’t like shopping, for starters.

“Sir, can I help you?” I am almost always asked when I do decide to go shopping.

Or can’t avoid it – you know, at Christmas.

I mean, I’m not Scrooge or anything.


“Yes, leave me the h-e-double-hockeysticks alone,” I want to say.

But I don’t – I’m not all that confrontational in real life.

(Though I do play the confrontational type on TV. Or will be, soon.)

No, I usually just sigh and resolve to not go shopping again unless I absolutely have to.

It’s the same for me with TV commercials – which are easier to avoid, sure.

But really, should I have to TiVo every single show that I want to watch?

What happens – God forbid – if there’s something live on that I want to take in?

I’ll tell you what happens.

“Take her breath away …”


“Try Selsun Blue.”

“I never thought about changing toothpastes.”


“Have you ever felt … less than fresh?”


Just once, I’d like to be able to turn on the TV and not be inundated with somebody trying to get me to buy something that I don’t need.

And no, public broadcasting doesn’t count – just because they call them corporate underwriters doesn’t make them any less invasive.

Ditto for DVDs – it didn’t take long for them to figure out how to get you to have to watch their commercials before you can start your movie.

So I can’t go shopping, can’t turn on the TV in my living room …

Can’t open Mad magazine (what, me worry about how Alfred E. wants me to buy a video game … nah).

You can’t even open most Web sites without some shlock trying to get you in trouble with the boss because he thought it would be neat to add music that you have to play to access his site and read the dumb ads that you wished you could have avoided in the first place.

For that matter, we have my own Augusta Free Press site – which even I can’t look at without having to scroll down 30 or 35 or 40 ads selling me on any number of products and services.

Which reminds me – if you’re not busy, of course …



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