Store salesmen and distance: How much is enough? Michael Jackson comes back to life, freakily, in a hologram performance. And a cool video destroying young black male stereotypes.

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Thoughts while salivating at the thought that the New York Rangers are seven wins (SEVEN! as Monica Geller might scream) away from the Stanley Cup:

So Sunday afternoon the wife and I, along with my mother-in-law, are on Long Island at a furniture store, looking for bedroom sets to put in soon-to-be- Baby Lewis’ room.

And there’s a very nice salesman named Rafael helping us out. He showed us a few of the combinations my wife had found online, then showed us a few we hadn’t seen, and it was all standard stuff.

After about 20 minutes of touring the showroom, we thanked him and said we needed to talk a few things over.

He smiled and then glided about 10 feet away. And then stood there. And tried to make it seem like he wasn’t listening to our conversation.

Hey, maybe he wasn’t listening. But it was awkward, and it always is in these situations. Rafael had decided, somewhere along the line in his career, that 10 feet is far enough away to give customers’ space, but not too far away where they couldn’t find him if we had questions.

But it was uncomfortable for me, like it always is. I always feel like the salesmen are hovering, just waiting to pounce, and can’t wait to hear that “Yes, we’ll take it!” coming from someone’s mouth, and he can earn his commission.

But as the customer, you feel a little pressured. You want to be able to talk about what you just saw and maybe criticize some of it, but you’re afraid the guy will hear you, and I never want to rip a person’s stuff in front of them.

But you know, that little confab you have with your loved ones is really when the decision gets made, and I just wish the salespeople would, you know, go for a few laps around the store or something, and he could give us one of those electronic paging device thingies they use at restaurants now when there’s a line, and we could buzz him if we needed him or wanted to buy something.

It’s just an uncomfortable dance for everybody, ya know? Anyone out there with a solution, I’m all ears.

**Next up today, I’m not sure where the tipping point comes with music awards shows and doing crazy technological stuff to amaze the public, but this one last night at the Billboard Music Awards freaked me out pretty good.

Michael Jackson has come back to life; rather, Michael Jackson’s incredible holographic image has come back to life.
I watched it twice and I gotta say, even though the dance moves look pretty stiff (pun intended) and the hologram’s face doesn’t look that much like MJ, it’s still pretty visually stunning.

If the YouTube clip I embedded up above is down by the time you read this, click here.

**Finally today, I thought this was different and encouraging. A group of African-American high school students in Illinois were tired of all the tired stereotypes of young black men, that they’re all thugs who dress badly, act badly, and contribute nothing.

So they dressed up in suits and ties, and made this pretty cool video called “Suit and Tie in the 217.”

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