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Fools Errand? Not this one. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
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captainsblog
Fools Errand? Not this one.

You have to understand something. We are not shoppers. In particular, we are NEVER Black Friday shoppers.  Eleanor is almost always working that day, and I'd rather be waterboarded than fight with those kinds of crowds in 20F temps.

So of course, here I was, out in almost 90F temps, fighting crowds to save $300 on a freezer.

We killed our old one last summer. It had been a gift from a neighbor when she moved out and owed us nothing. The new fridge has more freezer capacity, but it's tight. So we've heard about The Big Memorial Sunday Warehouse Sale at the local appliance joint. Same make, almost same size, $650 yesterday and tomorrow but $366 today.

There was no need for both of us to go.  That is a message I wish had been intoned to the 30 percent of the population of Erie County who did go, like sheep onto the Ark, two by two.

Unlike some fakers, this Warehouse Sale really is in the warehouse for the company.  Fairly major road, well into two towns over from us.  I should've expected something like this, but after the numbers on Walden ran through the 2000s well into the upper threes, I eventually saw:



Cars lined on both sides of the street, starting a good quarter-mile before the warehouse and as far as the eye could see beyond it.  Fortunately, I saw what you can vaguely see about four or five cars back on the left: a side street with someone conveniently leaving. From there, it was a relatively short walk in....

to utter confusion.

There was a massive line heading out.  None heading in, but that was just to draw in the unsuspecting. Amazingly, I found the floor model of our desired unit right next to the entrance- but not a soul who could explain how to buy one.  A row of tables with computer registers and yellow-clad worker bees lay ahead- each with a six-deep line. But all over the floor were customers with their hands raised; some stood in front of specific items, others, just seemed to be standing in space.  It was an odd confluence of a square dance and a livestock auction.  (Then again, this is in Lancaster, New York, where angry white residents are still fighting to change the name of the high school mascot back to "Redskins" because, Trump.)

I asked someone with their hand up why she had it up. "Because everybody else does."  Right. This is how angry mobs get formed. When several minutes with a raised hand was doing nothing but make me sweat more (no yellow-shirts were coming anywhere near any of us), I finally said fuggit and got in one of the now eight-deep lines.

Which were models of inefficiency, because just about everyone there other than me was not one but two.  Despite the internet and its amazing ability to let you research, pick and price out products together in your own home, virtually every other shopper felt the need to bring the spouse in, and up to the head of the queue.  That also meant twice as many mobiles pinging the relatively light cell-tower coverage in that part of the county, which meant NO SERVICE for any of us.  As I got closer, I realized that they were doing an amazingly inefficient drill with each of these couples to confirm their carryout/delivery preferences, sell extended warranties, and pay for the merch. 

But after a bit over an hour, I reached the promised land, handed the guy the slip from the floor model.... and promptly lost our place in line for that register, because he had to go back and check I'd given him the right one. That, apparently, was what all the Horshacking (oo! oo! Mistah Kottah!) was about.  Once we got back to the tables and a worker bee finished using a register, it was fairly quick work to confirm a Thursday delivery date for the thing, order the extended warranty (you get half back in store credit if you never use it after five years), and take the quick walk back to the car.

I then spent close to another hour cleaning up wisteria and pin oak parts from our slaughter of yesterday.  That chore will repeat at least two more times in the next four days, but for right now, I'm chill.

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