Then those animals FORCED me to shop!

July 19, 2010


Okay, now I just feel like a total jerk.

We have a great story from Beijing about officials issuing an advisory on Hong Kong travel after a video surfaced showing tourists being insulted and “forced to shop” by a tour guide. I’m not making this up.

Indeed, the story says a 65-year-old tourist died from a heart attack in Hong Kong, after arguing with a tour guide over forced shopping there.

HONGKONG-POSTCARD/I lived and worked in Hong Kong for years, and I now realize this must have been the very same gang that frequently kidnapped my wife, refusing to free her until she bought jewelry, designer outfits and tasteful high-end accessories.

Tearfully, she would describe her ordeal as she piled her new rings and necklaces into overflowing jewelery boxes, and crammed stylish dresses into our closets.

But I scoffed at her stories. Why, I wondered, did these gangs never force her to buy stuff I might want, like electronic goods and single malt Scotch?

Now that I know they really exist I apologize, and I only hope one day I will come face-to-face with these lowlife retail rapscallions.

Take ME instead, you bully! Blindfold me, drive me to a big-screen TV store, and do your worst! But first, make me stop at a Krispy Kreme.

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A sales representative talks to a customer at a jewelry store which sells gold in Hong Kong, October 7, 2009. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Shoppers walk in the Landmark mall in Hong Kong in a 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Woody Wu

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[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by robert basler and Oddly Enough, Alwill. Alwill said: RT @rbasler: FORCED me to shop! 10/07/19/then-those-animals-forced-me-to -shop/ #shopping [...]

Forgive my lack of cultural knowledge, it is after all taboo to *know* anything on this blog, I must however wonder about the presence of a christmas tree. Is christianity becoming that popular in China?

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

@69, you’re all over it today! I was going to point out the injustice of the Krispy Kreme comment, but then I realized, that I too, L-O-V-E Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts!!! :-)

Posted by Jibberish | Report as abusive

Its Hong Kong, Mr.Pilot.. they do tend to do everything the Brit way you know…
BG, my mom wont need a tour guide to get her shopping…
My dad gave up a long time ago.. there was a time when he used to wait outside the shop until he was called in to pay the bill…
I never understood the look he and the cashier exchanged, until I was old enough to understand what my mom was actually doing….

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Well, you know, Spin, I used to eat the doughnuts at our museum, but then I started going for the healthier stuff, like Krispy Kreme…

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Mmmmmmm, Krispy-Kreme. Medi-donuts with Xanax sprinkles even. They have a Tim Horton’s on Kandahar Airfield, that’s the best I can get here. Not too bad, but not KK.

I know what you mean Baz, I think these gangs operate in the US also, since my wife has pulled the same story many times. You would think someone could put a stop to these hooligans.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

@Shra…. oooooohhhhh ok. And I totally meant to say Japan. Really I did. Totally.

Krispy Kremes are the doughnut other doughnuts want to be. They are deeeeeeeeeeelicious! :D

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

I wondered what the guvmint were doing with all that ‘stimulus package’ money.
Now I know, they were recruiting ‘shopping enforcers’ and targetting unsuspecting people with disposable income, in order to boost the retail ecomony.
Those evil offspring of unmarried parents!

Posted by zeitgeist | Report as abusive

I think Unca could be on to something with doughnuts that have been liberally laced with highly alcoholic beverages.
Sour cream glazed Southern Comfort doughnut, anyone?
Double-chocolate Captain Morgan?
Boston Cream Galliano, perhaps?

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Let me clarify something for you, Spin. I believe Dave just means there’s a guy named Tim Horton who lives on the airfield.

And yes, I’m pretty proud of the Museum’s high-fat, high-cholesterol doughnuts, made with pure lard. They’re really great when they’re fresh, but who knows when that is?

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Mmm, lard… So much better than shopping.

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

[...] Then those animals FORCED me to shop! | Analysis & Opinion |4 hours ago by Robert Basler  Tearfully, she would describe her ordeal as she piled her new rings and necklaces into overflowing jewelery boxes, and crammed expensive dresses into our closets… [...]

The animals made me buy a new car on Saturday so that my son could take over my Toyota when he turns 16.

But first, he has to make it through the hazing, which includes taking care of my Toyota (washing, waxing, vacuuming, changing the oil, etc.) until he turns 16.

He also has to ride a bicycle with little tiny wheels everywhere he goes, like you see some teenage boys riding.

And, of course, he has to participate in the first annual talent show for rookies to be held in our family room, where there will be a lot of whooping, hooting, howling, and general all around guffawing throughout his performance.

Yes, we will have a lot of fun at his expense. That’s why we had him.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Human rights, shmuman rights…You must buy Dior, or face the wrath of the vengeful tour guide! If you don’t want anything, send me some shoes & a matching purse so you can get out alive!

Posted by MamaC326 | Report as abusive

Doc, I thought the cruel father dipping his son headfirst in the Ganges (see Mr. B’s recent and informative blog, yet another example of his social conscience) was horrific. However, the family ritual you describe sounds positively SATANIC! Are you competing for “Dastardly Dad” of the year?

Posted by ladylala | Report as abusive

Naturally, Ladylala. Oh, and I left out the bit about having to memorize and recite the first chapter of Moby Dick. And if he decides he doesn’t want to play sports anymore, well, he can’t drive the car, because — it’s quite simple, really — we won’t love him anymore.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Gold in Hong Kong. I would think it would be silver. Hmmm. Isn’t that what Clarence Thomas allegedly said to Anita Hill? “Who wants Hong Kong Silver?”

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

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Mr.Pilot… I will get you for that…
Mama… I want to be forced into Jimmy Choos… I do I do I do!!!!!
Doc… that is going to be one great party…. my sympathies with your son… :)

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Shopping spree equated looting spree here, good job China would do something, too bad there’s no law for wives insulting and forcing husbands to shop ;-)

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

[...] over forced shopping there. HONGKONG-POSTCARD/ I lived and worked in Hong Kong for years, … click for more [...]

Fwd, do you mean to say you want such a law so that your better half forces you to shop?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Shra, no need to sympathize with our son. We intend to get him too drunk to remember anything. ;)

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Doc, have you been watching those advertisments for Toyota where the family buys a 1997 Camry or whatever and pass it down between 2 children who drive it for 9 years each and racks up 7 figures worth of mileage but oh, still runs like a dream?

If your son really wants the car he should have to tear down the engine and rebuild it to the point where it could be considered zero mileage again. Blindfolded.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

But Spin, how else are we going to get the “business” photographs we need to conduct “business transactions” with him for the rest of his life? We need the business transactions to fund our retirement. Unlike most Americans our age, we are not relying upon our thrifty parents to fund our retirement with inheritances. And, all of this will serve to prepare our son for (our proud moment) when he pledges to join a fraternity at THE Ohio State University.

Note: The business transactions will consist of offering to let him purchase temporary rights to the photographs before we offer to sell temporary rights to the photographs to someone else.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Ifly, yeah, I’ve seen those adverts. I love my Toyota.

For the record, I want to clarify that our son is a wonderful kid. He is a straight-A student at the area’s most pretigious private college-prep school (taking honors classes). He volunteers one day a week at a retirement home for elederly. He’s polite, sensitive, and respectful. He’s good about doing his chores about the house; although, we do have to get on him to practice the piano, so he’s not perfect. (Thank God.)

He was a very good basketball player until last year, when he told me he no longer wanted to play. It just wasn’t fun anymore, he said. I told him that I would always love him, no matter what he did, whether he played sports or not.

We do have some misgivings about just turning over the Toyota to him. Our parents didn’t just give us cars when we turned 16. That is one reason why he needs to take care of the car prior to turning 16.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

PS: He has informed me that he wants to go to Harvard.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Well, if you have to get your son drinking, get him to Scotland… Whiskey always does the trick…
Oh and you can come along too… :D

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

You know, Ifly, that’s not a bad idea. One of my Mom’s tractors has an oil-scraper ring gone bad, and we’re going to rebuild the engine (again) this winter. (It’s an old Case, which my friends made fun of when I was in high school.) He can help us rebuild the Case engine.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

@Shra: Ah Shra..a typical woman aren’t you.. twisting a poor man’s post into what YOU want.. :-(

I want a law against such cheeky tactics :D

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

Come now, fwd… that is EXACTLY what your comment meant…
I didnt twist it at all…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

I think what fwd meant is that there should be a law against wives forcing husbands to go shopping with them cause let’s face it, how many husbands have to give up Sunday football (American) or Sunday cricket (Let’s just say for those east of the pond)cause the wife wants to hit the malls?

Yes Shra tase away. Us guys gotta stick together! :)

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

@Ifly: Word. :-)

@Shra: Ifly knew what I wanted to say…but..but.. :D

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

Serves the husbands right. If you find a woman who is incapable of shopping on her own you shouldn’t marry her. As far as I’m concerned, shopping is for edible things, books and shiny things to help with making edible things.

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Yes CrowGirl but then the wife withholds….extra curricular… activities. And don’t you women deny that is the greatest weapon you have in your arsenal of “Damn Right He Will If He Knows What’s Good For Him”!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Well well well… isnt this just the forum for wives over husbands! :)

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

I often go shopping with my wife, not for women’s clothes and domestic items but for things where my wife values my opinion, like the cordless power drill we bought my Mother for Christmas. (No kidding.) Mom loved it.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Again Ifly, I would argue against marrying someone like that!

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

I would agree with CG, Mr.Pilot…. But ofcourse she can get back at you for not coming with her, by taking your credit card, instead of hers…:D

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Well Spin and CrowGirl… while I was not married, there is a reason my ex-girlfriend is just that… an ex. And it had nothing to do with shopping.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive