Friday, January 1, 2016
The trials and tribulations of shopping for protective gear
I'm in the process of loading our pickup truck and trailer for our penultimate trip to Texas, to sign for our new home and begin the process of sorting it out. We won't make our final move until the end of January, but that's getting pretty close. We're taking my ammo reserves down with us, because I don't want casual laborers (whom we'll hire to help us load the rented truck) to be exposed to too much temptation when loading them. (Over the past few months of sorting out and throwing away excess stuff, it's amazed me how many boxes of ammunition have appeared in cupboards, boxes, nooks and crannies. I've filled several military surplus .50-caliber ammo cans with them! I may not be a pack-rat, but I'm probably an ammo-rat . . .)
Unfortunately, we couldn't find our protective kneepads (they're probably "in a box, somewhere", as Miss D. ruefully observed). So, late on New Year's afternoon, it was off to Walmart to buy another pair. That didn't work very well. It seems that everyone who bought bicycles, hoverboards, skateboards and the like as Christmas presents also bought protective knee- and elbow-pads, so the store was sold out - all except for a few very small, very pretty, very pink sets with 'Hello Kitty' stickers on them. Not intended for my demographic, I suspect (or, if they are, I've got some very peculiar people in my demographic!).
Walgreens didn't have any protective gear to speak of, and many shops were closing early for New Years Day, so I was getting desperate. I got to Lowe's with two minutes to spare before they locked the doors, hurried down the aisle (well, 'hurried' in the sense that I limped a little faster than I usually do) to the protective gear display, and picked out a reasonably-priced set; then I stood in line for what seemed like an inordinately long time, waiting for other last-minute shoppers to run their purchases through the tills. (Is it just me, or do others also find so-called 'couponers' excessively annoying? I mean those people who clip coupons from advertisements and flyers with obsessive fanaticism, then hand sheafs of them to the sales clerk and insist on their being scanned and applied to their purchases. They argue if the clerk tells them the coupon isn't for that item, demand that it be honored even if it's date-expired, and generally make an inordinate fuss and bother - all the while holding up everyone in the line behind them. To call them irritating is a gross understatement. I'd like to make them eat the damn coupons!)
Anyway, I made it home at last, kneepads clutched triumphantly in hand. I can now crawl around the bed of my pickup without causing myself excessive pain, which is a win right there. Most of the packing will get done tomorrow, when I can see what I'm doing; but I'll be properly equipped for it, at least.