Monday, August 3, 2009

The Search for Senso

Not long ago, Senso crochet thread/yarn was one of the most common staples of any craft store's fiber department. It was available in almost every local source for yarn.

So when I tried to obtain some yesterday, imagine my surprise when the Senso rack at Michael's was gone.

I asked the lady working in the yarn department where the Senso went and she had no idea what I was talking about. She asked me to repeat it three times, and made exaggerated expressions of non-recognition. Then I found the manager and, to my amazement, got exactly the same response. "Senso..... Sennnnn-so.... hmmm. No.... I don't know that brand. We've never carried that."

When I pressed her on the matter, and told her I've been purchasing Senso here for years, she looked irate and said "Sir, I've been in charge of our yarn area for two years now and I have never heard of it."


Then I went to Ben Franklin's. The same glazed-over expression, the same denial that Senso has ever existed in their store. I began to feel as if I was through the looking glass.

Then I tried another Michael's, and it was exactly the same there. The more I pressed them about it, the more uneasy they got, looking around nervously, almost as if Big Brother was watching with a gun, expecting full compliance with a new policy in which salespersons are forbidden to even acknowledge the prior existence of this blacklisted verboten yarn.

I was literally getting an anxiety attack about it, because it was starting to feel like I'd blipped into an alternate reality where Bedford Falls has been replaced by Pottersville and Senso has been replaced by some off-brand.

Fortunately, my next stop was Hancock Fabrics, which DID have a few balls of Senso left, thank God for my sanity's sake. From the depleted remainders on hand, though, it looked as if there were no plans to restock. As I headed out the door, I asked the cashier when they'd be restocking the Senso yarn. Pause. "Senso??", she said dully, furrowing her brow. I kept walking.

Then came Hobby Lobby. Once again, I was told with exaggeratedly bad acting (I was getting extremely paranoid by this point) that she'd never heard of Senso and they'd never carried it. Oh yes you have, I kept insisting, I've bought it here before. She glanced around furtively, then lowered her voice somewhat to say "Oh... Senso. We don't carry that anymore". Yeah, Senso, lady, the stuff you just got through telling me you'd never heard of! What the fuck?

By now I'd given up on driving all over town just to be lied to by zombies, so I switched to the telephone. I called JoAnn Fabrics, which had a kick-ass selection of Senso last time I was there, not long ago. Need I tell you what happened? The same denial of ever having heard of Senso, followed by the same "Viet Cong confession" monotone insistence that if such a yarn did in fact exist, this store does not and never has carried it, Sir.

Will someone please tell me what the heck is going on here? If Senso is going out of business, fine. If it's lost its distributor, fine. If it's being phased out in these stores to make room on the shelves for some cheaper ugly-ass off-brand, fine. Just freakin' SAY SO. What is going on with this city-wide wave of people acting as if they've never even heard of it?

Is there some sort of coverup or conspiracy afoot? Or has every yarn/fiber store in town hired the dumbest, most Nutrasweet-poisoned, uninformed morons they could find?

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