The Unfettered Critic – December 2014/January 2015

It’s one of the most unnerving scenes in cinema history. A woman sneaks into the room where her husband has been writing his novel. She peeks at the sheet of paper in his typewriter and starts reading: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” She reads the next line: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” And the next: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” All the way down the page. As she frantically leafs through hundreds of sheets of paper, she’s overcome by a horrifying reality. Her husband has been sequestered at this typewriter for months, and the only words he’s written are “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Repeatedly. Thousands of times. An insane number of times.

Many of you will recall that scene from Stanley Kubrick’s film rendition of Stephen King’s masterwork, The Shining. It’s chilling, goose-bump raising, get-me-the-hell-out-of-here terrifying. And it creates an image that you can’t get out of your head.

Well, steel your nerves—because we’re going to re-create that scene right now, right here, in our own way, right in this column. Are you ready?

The sheet in our typewriter reads:

“Shop Local.”

And the next line:

“Shop Local. Shop Local. Shop Local. Shop Local. Shop Local. Shop Local. Shop…”

You get the idea. It’s a message well worth repeating.

Our intention, of course, isn’t to terrify you, dear readers, but to deliver a holiday reminder. “Shop Local” is our mantra every season, but it’s especially important at this time of year. Why go elsewhere and fight with crowds of strangers? You can find everything you’re looking for in holiday gifting right here. The centerfold of this lifestyle magazine maps out virtually every store in the immediate area. Let’s go over it together. A drum roll please…

If you haven’t checked out the merchandise at Pico’s lately, you don’t know what’s in store. When you stop for a malted at The Candy Shoppe and reach for something to drink it with, you’re clutching at straws. Many of the puzzles at Scheffel’s Toys say “3-5 years,” but it probably won’t take you that long. When you walk into the Jacksonville Mercantile looking for spices, you may be asked, ‘Cumin here often?” When you stop by Cycle Analysis, you’ll see the proprietors peddling their wares. If you haven’t been shopping for antiques recently, step into The Barn, Sterling Creek Antiques or Pickety Place and ask, “What’s new?”


We could go on, but shopping local is no joke—although it’s lots of fun. Make a day of it. You’ll be among friends. Many of the shopkeepers live down the street from you. Drop by Tobiano or the Cotton Broker or The Jacksonville Company or La Boheme and start a conversation. The seemingly daunting task of finding that perfect sweater for your daughter or mother or sister or niece will float by like a breeze.

Have we wandered too far from our entertainment theme? Maybe a few famous movie quotes will help sell our premise:

Frankly my dear, I don’t give validation. You can park behind the library.

Go ahead. Make my day. Give me that Brighton purse in the window!

I love the smell of Good Bean in the morning!

You could, of course, drive all over the Valley looking for similar items, or wander the web to find something with shipping charges. But those choices sound to us like a lot of work. We think you’d rather stay and play. Because, as you already know, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And Jill, too.

Happy Holidays! Oh—and Shop Local!