Monday, July 21, 2008

"Get Your Feet Off the Table," and Other Commonsensical Notions

I recently came from Target where I very nearly failed to purchase the item that is going to change my life. A failure that would have been entirely due to the most inane Target corporate policy you have ever heard.

But before I get ahead of myself, here is the product:
Yes, Ped Egg, not available in stores (except it is; it's just hidden). The ultimate gross-but-useful beauty secret. You use what is essentially a very fine box grater to scrape the hard callous-like skin off your heels. Then you empty the savings into the trash. Charming. But, let me tell you, if you can stand the slightly unsavory nature of the process, laws-a-mercy you will have the smoothest, the silkiest, the loveliest feet this side of six-months-old you ever saw. Ever. EV-ER. EVER. It will seriously be the best $9.95 you ever spent. EV-ER. Your feet will be gleaming, and smooth, and feel more shapely, and slide along the sheets as you get into bed, and become accessories for your most expensive shoes instead of the other way around, and everything. Smooth. Smooth. Smooth. That's what I'm talking.

I know this because my sister let me use hers once. And ever since, I've been coveting one of my own and taking a quick gander in the pedicure section at Target for one every time I'm there. But they never have one in stock, or even an empty rack to indicate that the whole world already knows this little beauty secret and has just been buying them out from under me. Unfortunately, I only ever have approximately 37 seconds to discern this, since I'm always in Target with two fractious children in tow, who are either begging to leave, or tossing unnecessary things into the cart, or running off and hiding under the clothing racks as if that doesn't give me a heart attack of nervousness that someone will kidnap them before I can haul my way over to them with my oversized cart-with-the-bucket-seats-on-the-front-that-the-kids-refuse-to-sit-in-anyway that is full of heavy things like 3 gallon jugs of laundry soap and mega-sized boxes of diapers. So there's not a lot of hunting for frivolous movie star items on my usual Target trips.

But on Friday I was in Target alone. And rather than walk slowly down every aisle, savoring the air conditioning and the lack of encumbrances company, I was trying to get in and out as quickly as possible so that I could go sit in a coffee shop and write for an hour. Having scoured the mani/pedi section thoroughly, I did the unheard of and picked up a customer service phone to ask where I might find the Ped Eggs. The nice voice on the other end of the phone made a few enquiries and told me "Aisle 32B, on the end cap." I spent a full five minutes wandering up and down Aisle 32A in the beauty products section, trying to figure out which end of it was labeled "B" before I discovered that the "B" aisles were the next whole section of the store, across one of those main thoroughfare lanes that you have to cross with as much care as a busy street.

And do you know what that section is? More beauty products? Oh no. THAT section is the KITCHEN section. Yes, folks, it's true. Target shelves the Ped Egg on the end cap of an aisle that contains henkle kitchen knives, box cheese graters, mandolins, and other slicer-dicer products.

Chuckling all the way to the checkout over the ignorance of some stock boy who saw "egg" on the product name and a grater in the packaging, and shelved this among kitchen items, I decided to do my good deed for the day and tell the Customer Service counter that they had a shelving snafu -- and that perhaps they would sell more Ped Eggs to harried mothers of ill-behaved children (who I am quite sure are the primary demographic in Ped Egg's advertising portfolio) if the products were located with the other files, buffers, scrubbers, polishes, and foot lotions.

The lady in Customer Service was very nice. She laughed with me over the whole thing. And then she said I was completely right, but that Corporate decided where things were shelved, and this item is technically NOT shelved in the kitchen section but on the end cap devoted to "As Seen on TV" products. So, even though there is a giant horizontal wall of the rubber handled KitchenAid tools that fill your kitchen drawers facing the end cap of this aisle of knives and slicers that is directly under the red "KITCHEN" sign in my Target, this little end cap does not count as the kitchen section. It counts as the "Products for TV Suckers" section.

This is precisely why all the Ped Egg websites brag that their product is "not sold in stores." I bet I'm the very first person who has ever bought a Ped Egg in Target. Because, seriously, who looks in the kitchen section for a product with giant silhouettes of feet on the packaging? I don't know about you, but I like to keep my foot hygiene practices and my cooking pretty well separated by the entire length of my body whenever possible. I won't be storing my Ped Egg in my kitchen drawers. And I'm guessing anyone shopping for knives or cheese graters really doesn't care to imagine doing serious culinary work with a device designed to shave heels.

Though I can't help but wonder if (and secretly hope that) some dumb college kid, eager to replicate his mother's deviled eggs and feel a bit closer to home, has purchased a Ped Egg and raved to his friends about the creamy texture it produced when he shaves those boiled yolks and then mixes them with mayo, mustard and paprika. Yummmmm.

Cross posted from Mommy's Martini.

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