I visited the local A&F store (Salt Lake Valley is not cool enough to have more than one store). They let me in the door only because I brought along my daughter, who is young, tall, slender and totally cool. Otherwise, I would have had to peek through the window because I haven't been cool, if I ever was, since the Johnson Administration — Andrew Johnson. For one thing, unlike the A&F models, I wear a shirt and I have only one girl under my arm, and she's not a teenager.
The first thing I noticed is the smell of cologne. According to an attractive salesgirl, cologne is sprayed intermittently from ducts in the ceiling. Then there is the music, which is played at decibels somewhere between the LAX tarmac and a Metallica concert.
"I think they do this to drive old people and parents from the store," my daughter said. Cool kids don't have their parents shop for them.
A chubby kid managed to sneak into the store the day I was there, as well as a couple of kids who would not be considered cool, if I'm any judge of coolness. The employees are, as advertised, slender and attractive.
"One lady told me, 'You're very pretty,'" a salesgirl told me. "Then the other woman said, 'Well, they have to be to work here.'" She rolls her eyes at this. Another young woman said, "We noticed a big drop-off in sales right after (Jeffries' comments) came out, but things have picked up since then." I looked around the room and didn't see much traffic. The cool people must have been somewhere else on a Saturday afternoon.
Doug Robinson's columns run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
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