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Two-Culture Gap in a Bozeman Parking Lot

Google Maps guided me in to Sportsman's Warehouse in Bozeman, MT. I was surprised to be met outside the store by a virus-mullah insisting that I wear a virus-burka before entering the store.

They were polite about it, and offered me a free mask. Actually it was funny. Years ago I was job-interviewing in the Northeast. At a restaurant that night, the snooty waiter said, "We have a tie and jacket available for you." I was confused and offended. I had never been to a place that required a uniform to eat.

Anyway, I went into the store, only to find out that it was an REI instead of the Sportsman's Warehouse I was looking for. It turns out that they were right next to each other. But of course, they had opposite policies regarding the virus-burka. 

Maybe REI's version is made of Polartec and costs $115.

The REI had warning sign after warning sign inside the store, micro-managing every aspect of standing, walking, scratching your ass, etc. 

But they seemed to have plenty of customers. This was surprising at first, until I realized that this was corporate virtue-signaling to customers who pretty much vote for one of the political parties.

Whatever else you want to say about REI customers, they are not the world's most intelligent consumers. REI wanted $100 for a pair of sandals; and what are sandals but $3 worth of rubber foam, fake leather, and velcro strapping? I passed.

But there is probably something on the box about donating a share of the profits to the "Save the Grizzly" foundation. Actually, how would they have reacted to me walking around the store with a petition to ban hiking in nearby Yellowstone? 

A ban on hiking would definitely reduce bear-related injuries and even a death or two. And after all, if it saves even one life...


Yankeeflyer said…
Hike with your bear spray and wear your damn mask!
Mike Gallimore said…
In another post you consider the efficacy of boom boxes as a deterent to bear attacks. Everyone agrees that avoiding bear attacks is a good thing; after all, bears are big, fast, strong and deadly in certain circumstances. No one argues with the general principle, and the merits of different deterents are open to discussion without arousing political passions. Also, when groups of people travel in bear country together, members of the group ungrudgingly adhere to common sense regulations for the prevention of unwanted bear interactions -- for everyone's benefit. It would be bad form to insist on, or even assert, one's right to ignore such rules on the grounds of personal freedom. You certainly wouldn't accuse the group leader or trip organizers of virtue-signaling for insisting on these rules.