Mind games of love and war

Friday, February 13, 2009

When there's a difference of opinion about who should run this country and what they should be doing, I wonder about world affairs and ask myself, "What I would have done about the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001?"

Then a re-write of the Beach Boys' song "Barbara Ann" invades my mind. John McCain even used the phrases during his campaign for the White House: "Bomb, bomb, bomb... Bomb, bomb Iran." The senator indicated it might be in defense of Israel.

It's a visceral reaction to 911, and the U.S. military's "shock and aw" attack did rain terror against a tyrant who's since been hanged by his people.

Another reaction to 911 was mentioned last weekend while shopping for a Valentine's Day gift for my wife.

After making my purchase, I was walking through the cosmetics section of a department store and realized that if I'd ever seen one of the eyeliner pencils made by Cosmolab here in Lewisburg, I wouldn't recognize it, so I decided to see one for myself.

Sure enough, they sell them there and I saw a couple of them with the brand name Lancome followed by the word Paris.

Import-export issues were briefly discussed and I was referred to Karen Minton, the area sales manager for cosmetics at the Dillard's store in Cool Springs.

In October of 2001, one of Karen's customers didn't want to buy the Lancome eyeliner pencil because it had the word Paris on the side of the product's brand name. Those were the days when French fries were re-named Freedom Fries and some Americans stopped buying French wine and other such products because of 911.

However, Karen knew the eyeliner pencil was manufactured here, as she put it, in the "southern part of Tennessee," and she told her customer, thereby clinching that sale. Maybe more were sold because of the product's place of origin.

As other aspects of Cosmolab's product line were being discussed, a Miss Cotrose suggested I try some hand cream. This is one of those sales tactics like the woman in another store who'd spritz the air in front of passing customers who then walked into the atomized fragrance.

Because I wanted to know more from Karen about how one of this town's factory products are received on the front lines of retail these days, I submitted to a slathering of my right hand.

Then, with a fumbling left hand, I made a cellphone call to my wife.

"Help! I'm being slathered by a cosmotician."

Her reply: "Oh, you're just being pampered at the cosmetics counter. I'm downstairs in another department. I'm sure you can fend for yourself."

I'll find out tomorrow if she was really spying on me and knows what I bought her for Valentine's Day.

We might even go to the theater so I can find out if the movie she wants to see, "Jersey Boys," is really about dairy farmers on New Lake Road. There's a U-T graduate here in town who told me so.

There was something about the lyrics of that song, "I'm in the mooo-d for love."

Then there's an Army veteran friend who remembers how our clever military played rock 'n' roll music to make Panamanian Gen. Manuel Noriega surrender.

Ahh, the mind games of love and war.