So as per usual every couple of weeks, cleverthylacine
and I went on a shopping run. We arrived at the final leg of the tour all caffeinated and ready for entertainment, so we naturally stopped through the Halloween section. The first part we looked at was the part with the colored hairspray, and I grabbed a bottle of the blue and silver glitter, because, hello, blue hair + Azz = yes.
We made a double circuit of the section, first chattering about the lovely Spider Girl outfit that was totally age-appropriate and cute and neither "sexy" nor OMG PINK (though there was also a pink Spider Girl outfit, but together with the red and blue one that meant, you know, CHOICES) and then looking at the other costumes, trying to figure out where the cutoff was where the women's costumes were all SEXY VERSION WHERE MAN'S COSTUME IS NOT SEXY. Pirate, sexy pirate. Ninja, sexy ninja. Doctor, sexy nurse. I saw a "vampiress" (sexy) costume and pointed it out to Tif, who was righteously disgusted. "You know what, if I dress as a vampire this year, I'm going in FLANNEL," she said. "Flannel and GLITTER." We agreed that Halloween in the Castro is no time to be wearing one's good clothes. "And if someone asks you where Edward is, you can say 'I divorced his ass twenty years ago and went to college'," I added.
We swung back for a third look at the shelves, this time with intent, looking for vampire teeth. Flannel is relatively easy to come by, Tif has sensible shoes she can wear, she already has plenty of glitter, she just needed teeth, and maybe -- maybe -- some fake blood. I spotted the party favor kids' teeth, $2~ for a 10-pack, but those wouldn't work. "I saw the makeup over this way," I said, and we examined the shelves. I eventually did spot one pair, in a package with some grease paint, but those were not satisfactory. I stared at the shelves while Tif poked around in more detail, and suddenly my eye caught on the colored hairspray display.
I did a double-take. I stared. I could not believe my eyes at first. I was struck by the absurdity of it all first, and then horror as I imagined the inevitable end result.
"Tif, can you spot what's problematic about this display?" I asked, pointing.
She looked. "Wait, is this the [social justice] kind of problematic, or the LOL FAIL kind of problematic?" she asked.
"There's ... pink paint on the shelf?" she hazarded.
So there was, and some was blobbed on one of the cans, but that wasn't it.
I will now share the pictures that I took, so everyone at home can play along. (I shared this in #dreamwidth and on Twitter earlier.) For those without images, there are six images; the first five are incompletely described, and the sixth is a repeat of the first image, with annotations drawn on the picture and also described fully. ( Full Shelf )( Medium close ) ( Close-up: blue )( Close-up )( Close-up: Side-by-side ) ( Full shelf: annotated with explanation )
Tif did not actually register the real problem until I pointed it out, at which point she joined me in alternating between horror and snickering. ( I located an employee. )