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Notes from the Small Pond...Keeping up with the Kardashians..er..Joneses

Remind me why "The Kardashians" are famous. Not that I'm implying fame is some definition of success. Quite to the contrary, if you ask me. And I'm not gratuitously dissing on Kim, Khloe or their plastic-faced Mommy Dearest. They may be talented ...

Remind me why "The Kardashians" are famous. Not that I'm implying fame is some definition of success. Quite to the contrary, if you ask me. And I'm not gratuitously dissing on Kim, Khloe or their plastic-faced Mommy Dearest. They may be talented as anyone. But I just don't know what it is. Famous for being famous? Metafamous? They aren't the first, of course. But they may be the best/worst.

I don't get it. Anyway...

Got a big, flat, fancy, ridiculously cool television last Christmas, which my wife demanded we get and which is now apparently obsolete, and which, if my parents were still alive would have been the launching pad for an ongoing six-month lecture - something about how, if we keep spending money on stupid stuff, we'll never be able to retire, eyes rolling all the while and me responding that "retirement" is the stupidest invention since the Kardashian show, which would have required a time-bend, since they both died while Bruce Jenner still had a pair and neither Kim nor Khloe did.

These days, the big, flat, fancy, ridiculously cool television looks/seems just a trifle less big, flat, fancy and ridiculously cool. Downright obsolete, the guy at Best Buy says. And he should know. He lives and breathes this stuff. And he ain't on commission.

"I do it for the passion of it," he says.

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"But I'm here to look at iPads and stuff."

"Cool. 4G?"

My face as blank as the surface of the moon.

He says it again, a little louder and slower, like an American tourist in Tokyo asking, for the second time, where is the banjo and praying that saying it, a little louder and a little slower, will translate from Stupid-American to Idiot-American-Spanish, back to Japanese. It doesn't work.

"4G...sure," I say. "Whatever. It's for my wife. She's a realtor, super busy and I think it might be a good tool for her -"

"She's a relator, eh? Cool. Yeah, she'll love the -"

"No."

"Huh?"

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"No. She's not a reeLAtore. She sells real estate. She's a reALtor."

"Huh?"

"Forget it, Man. Proceed with telling me about these iPads - I didn't realize there were so many... so many considerations."

"Considerations...Yes." He's smiling now, considering the word considerations, which he repeats a couple of times, nodding his chin. He eventually comes to..."You hit it on the head, Bro. There are a lot of considerations to consider." And then the inevitable: "Steve Jobs is like my freaking idol."

"Clearly."

Twenty minutes later I'm a thousand dollars poorer and the Buyer's Remorse is so intense I have a lump in my throat and I feel like I might cry. As I walk past the sickeningly long bank of gigantic televisions, every one of them cooler than mine, I'm assaulted with a thousand repeated images of Kim and Khloe doing their thing, whatever it is, living and faking and posing and trapped. Alice in Wonderland. Only scarier.

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