I had to go to Target tonight to pick out Aaron’s birthday presents. We decided to get him some games for his Nintendo and some Pokemon cards, which are all the rage with my children right now.

While I was waiting for Target Employee #1 to assist me in the video games, I watched several red-shirted employees laughing and talking as they set out the mother-load of school supplies. Red shirts darted in and out of the aisles while I stood tapping my toe by the electronics division. Finally, I decided to wander down to school supplies and fetch me an employee with a key to the game cabinet. He followed me willingly, and was quite courteous while digging out the last of the Lego Harry Potter and Pokemon Platinum games.

Next, I was off to locate Pokemon cards. Given that the cards are not in the toy department at WalMart, but rather hidden in a random aisle near the books and cigarettes, I decided to scout the Target check-out stands for the cards. After eight aisles, no luck, so I backtracked to the toy department. As I flew past the toy aisles, I suddenly spotted two red shirts standing back to back on one aisle, obviously doing inventory like the other crew I had witnessed in school supplies.

“Excuse me,” I said sweetly, “but I wonder if either of you gentlemen could tell me where I might find the Pokemon cards?”

The guy closest to me looked up, and grinning like the Cheshire Cat said, “We don’t work here.”

Dude. You mock me??? For a moment, perhaps I was fixated on the sparkly red metal piercing his eyebrow, or the colorful tattoos on his forearm, but I quickly glanced at his nametag.

Crap. No nametag. This kid is serious. My hand flew to my mouth, which was hanging open in disbelief.

“Oh, my goodness!! I am sooooooo sorry about that!”

“It’s okay. C’mon. I’ll show you where they are.” And he turned, waving for me to follow him.

“It’s just that, well, you’re both wearing red…in Target! It looked like you were doing inventory. I am really so sorry!”

“It’s really okay.” He proceeded to show me the Pokemon cards, and further explained that I would find additional sets of cards in the trading-card-section, “which is just to the left of checkout #24.” Okay, so he doesn’t work there, but trust me, he so totally could! I thanked him, apologized again for the trouble, and set out after check-out #24, where I found exactly what he said I would.

So, moms, please… if your teen seems all into the gaming stuff and speaks in sci-fi languages you don’t understand, go easy on him. He may just be the most surprising resource to clueless Pokemon-seekers like me.