March 10, 2010

What Is This Town Coming To?

So, I'm in the market for a cap. Yes, a baseball cap, and more specifically a Dodger cap. No, not an "LA" hat, a Dodger hat. And as far as I can remember, those come in one color -- Dodger blue. The mall, that would be the place to get such an item. Walking into the Foot Locker, my eyes bounce from the patent leather, kevlar and carbon fiber Jordans to the vast selection of jerseys, which must come with over-sized tags to accommodate the amount of Xs needed to describe the size they are apparently available in, and finally come to rest on the rainbow climbing-wall which houses the New Era collection. "This will work," I think to myself as I shuffle past the shoes with what appear to have a USB port in the sole.

"Okay, Dodgers...Dodgers... where are you," as I use my index finger to systematically scan the rows of embroidered wool. A referee walks by, "excuse me, I need a Dodgers cap." Without looking up, the young man waves his hand to a section of wall extending from the sweatbands to the shoe whitener. I get confused. I asked for Dodgers, not a pink hat with an LA on it. I try again,"no, sorry, I'm looking for a blue Dodgers hat." The ref turns, a slot machine of looks flash across his face and finally pauses somewhere between shock and hatred, "right there, man." His finger makes a definitive dotted line with an arrowhead pointing directly to a blue buffalo-checked cap with chambray interior. I glance to the hat, back to the ref, back to the hat, back to the ref, follow the dotted line again back to the hat. "Really?" Evidently I was supposed to be excited about it, as it was the offspring of a much-anticipated collaboration between NE and an obscure French t-shirt line. "Really?"

I get it. Really, I do. You need to match your Dodger cap to your Casio watch to your re-issued Jordan IVs to your backpack. I get it. But can I please walk into one of the biggest sports outfitters chains in LA and buy Dodger Blue Dodger cap? The answer to that? No. No I can't. I had to go down the escalators, past the food court to another shoe store with an equally impressive wall of skittle colored caps to find one. It was there, between the railroad striped limited edition and denim, Miami Dolphin's colored LA , that I found my Dodger Blue Dodgers cap. "I don't need a bag," after I pay and collect my goods. "What are you doing?" the kid asks me. I pause and look up, wondering if I had forgotten to sign something or hit the green button. The kid looked confused. "I'm sorry?" I reply. The confused kid looks down at my hands, my nail digging under the gold sticker on the bill, then asks quietly and with a hint of what seemed to be terror, "why you doin' that?" I give up.