Sunday, August 8, 2010

UPDATED: The Night I Got Kicked In The Side Of The Head By A Stripper, and Response Letter From The Gap

I`ve noticed that as I`ve gotten older my desire to spend time in the bar-scene has decreased substantially.  There are of course, exceptions to this - more specifically, when it`s time to celebrate.  Last night was one of these exceptions.  Out celebrating my friend K`s birthday, we went to a bar that I hadn`t been to in a couple of years.  It`s never been my favourite place, and in my experience the quality of the customer base that frequents this particular location leaves much to be desired...but alas, it wasn`t my call.  We walk into the bar after coming from a comedy club and I`m disappointed to see that we are the first ones there.  I`m even more disappointed to see that since the last time I was at this particular bar, they have installed two stages and 5 stripper poles.  I can already see where the night is going to go.
Fast forward to a couple hours later in the evening (and a few tequilla shots), when the bar is now packed.  Unlike what you`d see in most bars though, nearly everyone`s eyes were simultaneously aimed in the same direction.  It appears as though either off-duty or wannabe strippers came to this particular bar to practice.  At one point in the corner of the stage there was a dry-humping orgy of 5 people who legitimately seemed oblivious to the other people in the bar; all of whom were staring at them like some god-awful car accident.  The guys of the orgy eventually convinced some of this girls to start gyrating on the poles instead of on them - because that was so much classier.  This was when a few of the girls kicked it up a notch and started doing fanciful work on the poles nearly going upside down and showing us what was barely-hidden under their short little skirts.  Unfortunately, because the dance floor was so full, there were limited options available and so K and I found ourselves right up by the stage.  On the pole to my left were two girls who decided they`d give the orgy-clan some competition.   While flinging herself around the pole, one of the girls happened to kick me in the arm and the side.  This?  Did not please me.  (Now might be a good time to highlight the fact that when I'm in a public setting such as a bar, my patience for people drops significantly.  I tend to get a little feisty.)  I poke the girl in the thigh (because it was around eye-level), to which she doesn't even notice (I assume having her legs groped is just second-nature and she doesn't even realize it) a little pinch to the arm got her attention.  I indicated that what she does for work or recreation is none of my business, but I'd appreciate it if she could keep her legs to herself and refrain from kicking me during her pole antics.  She seemed to be agreeable to this, so I keep rockin' out on the dance floor - that is until I suddenly feel a foot in the side of my head.  This?  Pleases me even less.  Although I'm behaving, the pole dancer and I exchange a few choice words until her pimp-equivalent steps in and breaks it up.  Having had her pole-dancing adventures ruined for the night, she moves onto bigger and better things - her pole-dancing friend.  It's not long after our little interaction that I see these two girls sandwiched up against each other, making out with a guy behind each of them rubbing up on them like a pig in it's own shit (From a bacteria-ridden standpoint, I think this analogy is perfect).  Needless to say, there were girls kissing, dry humping everywhere I turned, and mens boxers flying through the bar like confetti.
Additionally, on the tv screens were a series of models swimming through a pool infront of a camera.  Sharing my theory on this with a guy waiting at the bar scored me and K some free drinks.  My belief was that the bar wanted to be like something you'd find in LA or Vegas - having a full-size aquarium with models swimming around in it for an added touch of eye-candy.  Since this town is certainly not LA or Vegas, the feasibility of finding the finances, real estate and model-material to do this made it an impossibility.  Not to be denied the ability to create a "high-end" ambience, the owner of the bar got a few of his friends together, asked them to go swimming in his pool and planted an underwater camera.   Naturally the girls all had gas which explained the continuous bubbles underwater.  The guy insisted on buying our drinks because apparently it's a rarity to find a funny girl - and that was when I realized he bought us the drinks because of my personality.  I was disheartened to realize that since my bar-going days, I have become that girl - the one who gets by on her personality and not her looks.  It was at this point that I realized I won't be frequenting a bar again in my near future (although I've already agreed to go again in about 3 weeks from now), and when I also realized I've never been happier to be a married woman, because let's face it - my personality is an acquired taste. I'd totally be screwed.

Speaking of screwed...  (not really, but I didn't really have another transition lined up here):  The response to my e-mail to The Gap:

Dear L.,

Thank you for your email about our current store window marketing
campaign.  We are sorry to hear that you are unhappy with our new
?Pants? campaign. We appreciate knowing how our advertising is being
received and comments from loyal customers like you are valuable.  We
have several different campaigns a year and each is designed to target
various segments of our consumer base. We regularly evaluate our ads for
effectiveness and reach to ensure our advertising is appropriate for our
customers and our brand. We have forwarded your valuable comments to the
marketing manager responsible for these decisions.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.


Customer Service Consultant


Honestly, this has left me somewhat speechless.  Feel free to leave your own whitty or serious comments on this response (or anything really - just not herpes.  We don't need to hear about your herpes.) below to make my job easier for tonight since the hangover is seriously cramping my creativity.
I promise my next entry won't be so lame.

**UPDATE:  Who am I kidding?  I'm never entirely speechless.  Below is the response I sent back to The Gap.

Hi Stephanie,

Did anyone over there even read my original e-mail? I'm curious as to who your target consumer base is with this pants campaign? I'd legitimately like to know what group you decided to target to intentionally make them feel self-conscious about their body. Was it the impressionable teens? The "want to stay with it" younger moms? What comes next - Turtlenecks to hide the pack of hot dogs holding your head? Shapeless garments to hide those child-bearing hips? Because god forbid anyone strays from the drone-like body type of the Gap's ideal customer! The horror!!

For future reference I strongly suggest implementing marketing campaigns that make your potential customers feel good about themselves instead of preying on their insecurities.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Because Not Everything Is Funny...

The following is an e-mail I sent to the Customer Service department of The Gap this afternoon.  If you too feel the need to demonstrate your disapproval for their recent choices, you can write to them at
To The Attention Of The GAP Marketing Department And The Suits Who Back Their Ideas:
It's been recently brought to my attention that your most recent ad campaign to promote your fall line (more specifically, pants) appeals to the inner self-consciousness of women everywhere by stating that pants are the way to go because you "...just don't look good in shorts".  Since you have taken it upon yourself to judge those who's legs are maybe too white, too jiggly, too riddled with cellulite, or just not-toned enough to appeal to your (or the general public's) desire for eye candy, I have decided to send you an e-mail of thanks.

Thanks for generating a slogan that perpetuates the decreasing feelings of self-worth that people place on themselves based on their appearance.

I am confident that with ads like this you are securing employment and potentially even generating more jobs for those who work with individuals suffering from various eating disorders .  For that, I guess thanks for helping to maintain or possibly even decrease North America's unemployment rate.

Thanks for enforcing my belief that people should have to pass a test or achieve some sort of certification in order to be able to procreate.  Individuals with alarmingly low-standing moral qualities such as the people who created and supported such a campaign should have no hand in raising and instilling any sort of values in the future of our society.

And finally, thank you for reminding me why I'm not nor will I ever be your customer.