Banks County Opinions...

DECEMBER 3, 2003


Column

By:Phillip Sartain
The Banks County News
December 3, 2003

‘Be the sale’
Lest there be any doubt, shopping is the official sport of womankind. Being married and having three daughters gave me some inkling of the truth. But personally spending the day after Thanks-giving at an outlet mall convinced me that it’s not a contest for the weak, the timid, or the male of the species.
We were at the Retail Outlet Mall Of The Western Hemisphere — a giant sprawling city of one outlet mall after another disappearing into the horizon. Entering the parking lot was as scary as being asked to set foot on the planet Mars without an oxygen tank. I turned pale and squirmed in my seat.
“Look at the size of that place,” I gasped. “I think I left my wallet at home. Can we go back now?”
My wife glanced at me as she was practicing her game face and demanded, “What is wrong with you?”
“I don’t really need anything,” I whimpered.
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t need anything. That’s not the point. If you get all philosophical about it, you’ll lose your edge and never make the playoffs. Just loosen up and BE THE SALE.”
I was too shell-shocked to ask what that meant. While I was searching for another excuse, she intercepted a parking place, leaped out of the car and into the game. That’s when I assumed the role of “backup shopper.”
In other words, I spent all my time holding bags and looking for a place to sit down and rest. “The knees are the first thing to go,” she had told me earlier, which made me wonder what it took to be placed on the permanent injured reserve list.
While sitting on a bench in front of Hand Lotion Heaven, I spotted a store called The Secondhand Man Stuff That No One Would Buy At The First Place They Tried To Sell It Store. That’s when I put myself into the game.
But when I walked inside, something didn’t seem right. For one thing, all the clerks in the store were men and they were all standing around like they could care less. And no one was clamoring around the cash register. In fact, no one was buying anything at all.
Before I knew it, I was in a line of guys with sore knees snaking its way down the aisles in single file. Everything in the store was marked 75 percent off retail. As I rounded the last corner, a wormy looking guy was offering hard cash to any guy that would at least take an item off the shelf and look at it.
None of the guys were even blinking an eye. Instead, every guy muttered the same thing on the way out: “Didn’t see anything I needed.”
When I told my wife what happened, she looked disgusted, like maybe I had left a favorite potted plant out in a killing frost. “You men don’t understand the rules at all, do you? It’s not about what you need, it’s about what you can save.
I lowered my head in humiliation, knowing that she’d probably never take me Big League Shopping again. “It’s no fun if you have to explain the rules every time you turn around,” she huffed as she headed for Cuticle Clipper City.
By the way, she won 47 bags to 46, and was named MVP by the other shoppers. She celebrated by spraying air freshener all over the locker room. It was a nice holiday scent that she pulled down for half off the retail, an additional 20-percent off on Fridays, double wide open coupons at the counter, and a reverse rebate.
Don’t ask me what all that shopping jargon means — it’s just not something I need to know.
Phillip Sartain is an attorney in Gainesville.

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Column

By:Angela Gary
The Banks County News
December 3, 2003

Classic Center brings top quality shows to north Georgia
For those who love theater, the Classic Center in Athens offers several top-notch performances each year. Fame kicked off the 2003-2004 season in late November and The Music Man is set to take the stage on Monday night. Other performances this season include Kiss Me Kate on March 13 and The Unsinkable Molly Brown on April 16.
I was a fan of both the movie and TV version of Fame, so I was looking forward to the musical at the Classic Center. I didn’t leave the theater disappointed. From the opening scene of a group of young hopefuls heading to the legendary High School of the Performing Arts to the closing scene on their graduation day four years later, I was entertained. The set, choreography, costumes and acting all blended together to make a fine performance. The audiences joins in sharing the dreams, the disappointment and the success of the characters.
The music and dance make this tale of growing up in the 1980s so successful. Jazz, ballet and hip hop are all woven together.
As creator David De Silva has said: “I like to think that the musical Fame can make a difference in the world. I also like to think that although the show is set in the 1980s, it is both timely and timeless. As a theater experience, Fame will forever teach young people to grow their spirit, project their uniqueness, manifest their future and learn that they too can make a difference.”
The Classic Center is a wonderful 2,000-seat theater. There really isn’t a bad seat in the house. It was completed in 1996 and is the home of performing arts, meetings and other events throughout the year. In addition to theater, the facility also hosts concerts and other performing arts events. David Copperfield was recently in Athens for a show at the Classic Center. Other events scheduled in the coming weeks include a Lorie Morgan concert on Dec. 5, a performance of the Nutcracker on Dec. 11; and the Athena Grand Opera Company’s presentation of The Barber of Seville on Feb. 27 and Feb. 29.
For more information on performances at the Classic Center, call (706) 357-4444 or 1-800-864-4160 or go to www.classiccenter.com on the Internet.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com or 367-2490.


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