Stuff I Did in the '80s
Where Shopping is a Pleasure
Where Shopping is a Pleasure

At 15 I was able to work as a bag boy at our local supermarket, Publix. On my first day at my first job I watched a video that taught me proper etiquette while on the clock, how to pack groceries in bags (tip: don’t put the bread on the bottom and stack cans on top of it) and general maintenance, like spot-mopping and polishing the register.

The company prided itself on customer service. It was mandatory for a bag boy to push the cart to the customer’s car and load the groceries. Most of the staff were teenagers and, as such, the shenanigans that I witnessed and partook in could fill an entire book.

A favorite occurred when an entire case of Froot Loops cereal had been crushed in shipping. I was ordered to put the damaged boxes in the Returns bin, which I did...but not before I plucked the prize from all 12 cereal boxes: a Wacky Wallwalker.

Using several accomplices, we chucked the Wallwalkers up to the high ceiling of the store—where they stuck, waiting patiently to drop down on their unsuspecting victims. Some hung around for days. Every once and awhile I’d hear a shriek echo through the store and find that brightly colored rubber octopus splayed out at the scene of the crime. I can’t believe I’d gotten paid for that sort of entertainment.

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Introduction Half a Boombox I’m Not a Member I was Simon Le Bon (For Fifteen Minutes) Motown 25 Watch Whatever, Whenever Snowblind You’re the One That I Want Call Me Your Kiss is on My List Electric Boogaloo Dear Daryl Hall and John Oates Where Shopping is a Pleasure Dialect of a Decade I’m Alright The Sunshine State Shazam! It’s Just a Fantasy I’ve Got a Secret Sunday Funnies Impeachment American Top 40 License to Drive Risky (Show) Business Jumping Someone Else’s Train Yakety Sax I Want to be Elton John When I Grow Up Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Tetherball, Dodgeball & Flag Football Sk8 or Go Home Roll a Saving Throw vs. Velour Piano Man The Duckman Cometh Money for Nothing Waiting for the Bus More Than Meets the Eye The Legend Begins Whip It When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best Master Chef Muppetmania I Want to Ride My Bicycle WW III My Octopus Teacher Some Like it Hot Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs Dare to Be Stupid Keeping the Faith
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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.