So this happened not too long ago. Precocious Daughter and I were at the mall, and I spotted a kiosk selling electronic cigarettes. Much to her chagrin, I went over to talk to the proprietor. (PDaughter has recently discovered the concept of chagrin, and with my help she'll soon have it mastered, along with the art of eye-rolling.)
The young man at the kiosk was squattish, squarish, lumpish, goateeish. He was perched on a stool, holding an e-cigarette that was plugged into the USB port of the laptop in front of him. The laptop was there because he was playing World of Warcraft on it. All in all, he looked a bit like Jabba the Hut portraying the Caterpillar in a vocational-college production of Alice in Wonderland.
"So, how much does one of those cost?" I asked, referring to the e-cigarette, not his T-shirt, which of course was black and read "Come to the Dark Side, We Have Cookies."
"$169," he replied in his best Comic Book Store Guy voice.
I was honestly surprised, because I had no idea they were so expensive until that moment. "Wow, that's a lot," I exclaimed.
"Not really," said Jabba, getting ready to launch into his standard Lord-the-things-I-have-to-do-for-minimum-wage sales pitch. "For example, how many packs of cigarettes do you buy in a week?"
"Oh, I don't smoke," I told him. "I just think I'd look really cool with one of those."
At this point I could actually hear the vitreous humor sloshing in PDaughter's eyes as they rolled. Meanwhile, Jabba was staring at me as if he'd just met the Grand Vizier of the Dork Race and wasn't too happy that it was someone other than himself.
Before he could challenge me to a lightsaber duel or something, I thanked him for his time and walked away. And get this: As soon as we were out of earshot, PDaughter said to me, "That was embarrassing." I laughed and laughed. Finally I had to buy her a cookie so she would talk to me again.
Lessons learned that day: Kids either grow up too soon or, in the case of the Lord of the Kiosk, not at all. And I probably wouldn't look cool smoking an e-cigarette. Not unless I was leading a 25-man raid team against Archavon the Stone Watcher. I'll show you who's a dork.