Thursday, November 17, 2011

11/17/2011 We Gotta Be NUTS!

After work this morning, we took it pretty easy this afternoon. We know we’ll be running a race around six so we want to be well rested.

No, we haven’t taken up running and we’re not doing a mini-marathon this evening. We are however taking a 35 mile drive to Harlingen for the grand opening of the Bass Pro Shop.

We had gotten a circular in the paper earlier in the week and Bob noticed they had Turkey Fryers as one of the specials for the opening and it was at a fantastic price! So we decided to go.

I wanted to go prepared so I had Bob put a chair in the truck, we packed a little cooler and I had my book. The store doesn’t open until six but Bob was insistent on leaving at three.

On the way it was quite evident we were close to the Mexican border.


We pulled into the parking lot around quarter to four and it’s a good thing we left Mission when we did. The parking lot was filling quickly. Very quickly. There was no point in even taking the chair out of the truck as it was evident that we were going to get in line right away.

While waiting there was a band playing and soon a woman with the screech-iest voice you ever heard took the stage to give away t-shirts, mugs and what have you. Evidently she travels to each new store for the grand openings and gets the crowd in a frenzy waiting for the doors to open. Some people should never, ever be given a microphone.

The doors were advertised to open at six. Didn’t happen. At the six the speeches started. The Mayor of Harlingen, the head of the Commerce Committee for Harlingen, the head of this and the head of that. I think we heard from every level of Harlingen government and business association. Then,,,oh wait, its not over yet, we had to go through the Bass Pro Shops line of dignitaries. You know, Division Mangers, Regional Managers, Store Managers, Department Managers and I think they threw in the Custodial Manager for good measure. Finally, the doors will open.

Uh-uh. Not so fast. Now we have the celebrities to get through. We had to listen to some fishing stories from one of those guys that has a fishing show on cable TV, we had to listen to a hunter who shot a lot animals also on cable TV, then we had to listen to Miss Texas, Miss Harlingen, Miss Orange Blossom, Jr. Miss Orange Blossom,,,well, maybe not the last two but you get the idea.

Ok, we’re ready to go. Nope, we have to clear the roadway in front of the store so that the Bass Pro Shop race cars can speed across the parking lot, tires screeching and practically smokin’ so they can stop on a dime in front of the doors. Will it ever end?

People are getting restless now. The crowd is moving towards the doors even though it hasn’t been announced yet they will open in “X” number of minutes. Now keep in mind that its 94 degrees out here. Lots of good bargains to be had and lot of men came right from work and judging by how they are dressed I’m thinking a lot of construction workers. Do I need to go into detail what its like for me, at five feet two, the perfect armpit level height? Oh yuck!

The. Doors. Are. Open! The surge began, bodies crushed against another and I had a mother with a toddler in a stroller right behind me and she kept hitting me in the back of legs with the stroller.

Bob and I had gotten separated which I knew would happen so I told him I would meet him in the Turkey Fryer department. I had talked with one of the employees who wasn’t on duty but there for the opening with his friends and he told me where the fryers were so I knew where to go as soon as I got to the doors.

When I got to the back of the store there was one rather large platform that was completely bare. A sign hung from the ceiling that said Turkey Fryer Grand Opening Special $39.99. Thankfully, right next to it was another platform with three boxes containing the coveted turkey fryers in them. A man grabbed one, I grabbed one and one stood on the platform alone. But not for long.

I never thought to get a cart and am glad I didn’t because I would never have gotten to the back of the store in time to get next to the last box. I sure wanted one though, the box was cumbersome and on the heavy side. Lucky for me a fellow pushing five carts happened to pass me and I asked if I could have one. Within minutes he had no carts to push because others holding these large boxes were taking them too.

I set out to find Bob and got several aisles over when I decided that I had better go back because surely he would have asked someone where they fryers were located….oh wait, silly me. Here I was in a store with testosterone overload goin’ on and I’m thinking my husband was going to ask directions???? Silly, silly me.

I did find him and lo and behold he had a turkey fryer too! The empty platforms had been quickly replenished and almost every shopper in the area had one.

We would have loved to have stayed and looked around the store and watched the fish in the floor to ceiling fish tank and taken in all the animals and birds that had met up with taxidermist at some point but the place was too darn crowded! It was said that 20,000 turned out for the Grand Opening.

Was it worth going to Harlingen (70 mile round trip) for this turkey fryer? Standing and listening to all the speeches from people we don’t know in 94 degree heat? Having the backs of my legs sore from being hit with a baby stroller? Standing nose to armpit in a crowd of sweaty, smelly men? Hell no! Next time, we’ll order online, cost be damned!

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