website, blog and vanity nexus of writer R F Brown


I had dream about being in a Kmart store in the throes of a blue light special. I do not even remember the story of the dream (there’s no story here), I am just carrying around in my head since childhood this image of that blue siren. In case your childhood was not as fortunate as mine, I will elucidate. When I was a child my mother would take me shopping at Kmart. We might be picking out a new pair of Keds sneakers, for example, when an announcement would be tendered over the store’s PA system:

Attention Kmart Shoppers, there’s a Blue Light Special in women’s hosiery going on now. Two for one on Legs Pantyhose… while the supply lasts!

If my mother wanted to take advantage of the impromptu sale, she would not have to know where hosiery was in our K, she could from almost any vantage point in the store, spot a flashing blue siren in the air. I got close to the alarm system a lot in my day. It was a blue, soundless flashing light, mounted on a tall pole. The pole then trunked up from a rolling cart that could be plugged in any at spot on the sales floor where electricity and amazing deals converged. Does Kmart still do this? Was the dollar-saving opportunity finite within a time frame or supply availability? I don’t know. However, the whole thing strikes me as a remnant of another era of shopping, not just from when Kmart was an iconic store, but from a time when people bought what stores told them too. Was there a time when Kmart could set up blue light over something cheap and shoppers would fly to it like dull-minded moths to a blue flame?

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