WASHINGTON - I love shopping at Target. Where else can you find 3-pound bags of Gummi Worms, kitchen appliances large enough to deep-fry a goat, flip-flops that cost $1 and don't appear to be worth it . . . plus all the customer service numbers any smart-aleck columnist could want.
Me: I have a complaint. I went to your store and bought a 6-foot-tall mango tree. It has been almost a year, the thing hasn't grown at all, and there are no mangoes.
Alan: Those are decorative items. They're plastic.
Me: You're kidding.
Me: I spent 40 bucks on fertilizer!
Me: I have a complaint about your four-burner family gas grill with side burner, rear rotisserie large enough for a whole chicken or rib roast, and 729-square-inch, dual-level surface big enough to fit 34 burgers, on sale at Target for $350.
Me: It's not big enough. My wife, Luann, is the size of a convenience store. She can eat 34 burgers by herself. You got anything bigger?
John: We have a five-burner with a 48-inch cooking surface.
Me: Can I cook me up a cow on that?
John: Maybe a calf. You could do Bambi.
Me: That's a deer.
John: You're right. Lemme think of the name of an animated baby cow. Okay, you could cook Cowboy Moo.
Me: You made that up!
John: Yeah, I did. I'm not real familiar with cows, but you could probably cook one on the 48-incher, depending on how you cut the cow. You'd have to make the pieces extremely thick. I don't know how well you'd cook the center of it, but you could fit it.
Me: Hi, I was in Target, and I saw your baseball caps for a dollar. The ones that say "#1 Dad."
Me: And I just wanted to say I thought that slogan was brilliant. Who came up with that?
Lori: I guess that would be someone from our design department.
Me: Have you patented it? Because when other apparel makers see that slogan, they're going to want a piece of that action.
Me: Is your product good for helping individuals overcome feelings of inadequacy?
Hal: Well, it's good for lighting up with just one match.
Me: But what about walking barefoot on hot coals to demonstrate one's faith and inner strength?
Hal: I wouldn't recommend doing that.
Me: Are your competitors' products better for that? Should I go with Wal-Mart brand charcoal briquettes?
Hal: Well, if you want something really hot, you probably want to go with our lump charcoal product.
Me: So, that will be good for my feet?
Hal: I didn't say that. That's where the faith and inner strength part comes in.
Always feminine products
Me: I'm a guy, so I don't actually use this particular product, though I am sure it is excellent. My question is, isn't this a terrible name for a maxi pad?
Me: We're not talking about a product any woman wants to use "always," are we?
Lindsey: Right, not all the time.
Me: That would make for one miserable, cranky woman. What were they thinking?
Lindsey: I totally understand.
Me: I'd like to suggest another name: Occasionally, but Definitely Never in Shark-Infested Waters Maxi Pads.
Valley Forge Flag Co.
Me: I am extremely politically liberal, so my patriotism is obviously suspect. How many of your American flags do I need to buy at Target to be considered patriotic again? What number would you recommend?
Jeannie: Boy, that's a good question.
Me: I figured it's like saying the rosary a certain number of times to atone for a sin.
Jeannie: Okay, 10.
Gene Weingarten's e-mail address is email@example.com.
Washington Post Writers Group