A few weeks ago I noticed a phenomenon dealing with Mormons and striped polo shirts. I was at the grocery store and was blocked at the entrance by two LDS families. Two husbands, two wives, and seven children (all boys). The two females wore nondescript outfits, but the clothes for the 9 males jarred me:
Polos. Striped polos. Horizontal-striped polos. All of them.
The men, the boys and the infants were all adorned in striped polos. The twins from one family wore IDENTICAL striped polos. It was like a 'pod people' movie where normal thinking humans were replaced by striped-polo aliens, hell-bound on destroying the Earth.
From that point on, I started taking more notice. Striped polos were the LDS shirt of choice. Not all of them wore striped polos, but it seemed to be a good bet that you'd see them in one more often than not... If the men aren't in suits or a shirt/tie combo, a polo will do.
My last Utah trip, I ended up bringing home Chipotle for dinner...
This trip, she needed me to run into Ikea to pick up a half-dozen organizer rods.
If you have never been into an Ikea, lucky you. They are designed to be lab-rat mazes, and will essentially take you through every single square foot of retail space before allowing you to check out and make your purchase.
Just in case you lose your way, they have these to guide you:
Little arrows on the floor, to guide you from entrance to exit. From first floor to second, and back down again.
Looking for these rods, I spotted a display using them. The displays usually have tags like 'this item can be found in textiles' which is exactly where it said to get the rod.
So I walk.
And follow the arrows like a good little boy.
The textiles section happens to be the last section before the end of the maze, and of course, the rods were not there.
I began to backtrack.
This meant going the opposite way the arrow was telling me to go.
People looked at me with shock and disgust, like I had just murdered a kitten... YOU CAN'T GO THE 'WRONG WAY' IN AN IKEA. That's more blasphemous than mowing your lawn on a Sunday...
I go back to the beginning, and scour every section. Finally, after 45 minutes, I found the coveted rods, and headed back to the exit.
And now that I wasn't blindly following arrows, I noticed something...
Scores of children.
About 2/3 of them were in striped polo shirts.
Above the torrent of twisting toddlers, I noticed a sign.
"IKEA: Kids eat FREE on Tuesdays!"
It was Tuesday.
....for the love of God, it was Tuesday....
There were at least 3-4 children for every adult, and the food court was the halfway point between entrance and exit.
And I had to pee.
I decided to hold it, because I didn't want to go into a restroom that has suffered the constant assault of little kids.
I managed to escape without losing a limb or getting ketchup smeared on me. The rods were $21 and change at the checkout, but I felt like I paid a much higher price than that... this trip took about a year off my lifespan.
Lesson learned: If you go to an Ikea in Utah, don't go on 'Kids eat free' day. The tornado of striped polo shirts will try to sweep you away.