COUNTY AGENT GUY
If you are reading this, you’re probably feeling the aftereffects of Black Friday.
Thanks to our great nation’s forward-thinking retailers, this momentous event has been moved forward from the day after Thanksgiving to the first Friday following the Fourth of July.
I have nothing against Black Friday in particular or shopping in general. It’s just that shopping isn’t among my favorite things, much in the same way that kryptonite Jell-O isn’t Superman’s favorite dessert.
There are some activities that I find odious in the extreme. My feeling is that these tasks are best left to those who seem to derive some sort of bizarre pleasure from doing them.
Good examples of such things would include being a turned turnip taste tester or running for president.
I’m not implying that I would rather walk barefoot at midnight across a field of fresh cow pies than go shopping. I’m just saying that I would have to give the choice some very careful consideration.
It’s been said that drones are going to be under a lot of Christmas trees this year. Not the lazy male honeybee kind, either.
We’re talking the exciting type of drones that can fly around and shoot stunning aerial footage of such enchanting local attractions as your rooftop or your backyard.
This may lead to some unsettling surprises. “Whoa,” you might think as your drone’s video feed shows an overhead view of a clothesline, “Whose underwear is … Omigosh. My kiester can’t be that big.”
Some retailers have floated the idea of delivering purchases via autonomous drones.
This means that your drone could be brought to your house by a drone, which sounds really cool until you consider that the drones might put their heads together and decide to fly off to Drone Disneyland leaving you with nothing but a soaring credit card statement.
My wife and I once visited Galena, Illinois, a small town that is stuffed to the rafters with wee little shops. As we strolled down the sidewalk, we passed a couple who were roughly our age.
The guy-half of the other couple was toting more packages than an airport baggage carousel. When his wife paused to gush over yet another adorable little storefront, he muttered wearily, “Yeah, I know. Everything in this town is freaking cute.”
My wife overheard this comment and decided that that would be an opportune moment to rehydrate me with some cold beer. It’s the little things make marriages last.
I wouldn’t mind shopping if it weren’t for the crowds. And finding a place to park. And paying for all that stuff.
“It smells weird in the mall,” I groused to my wife as I trudged along in her wake during a recent bargain hunting expedition. “And what’s that annoying noise?”
“What you smell is the Cinnabon,” she replied, exasperated, “And that annoying noise is you.”
There are some exceptions to my revulsion for shopping, when my aversion to spending can be overwhelmed by my desire to land a fantastic bargain.
These exceptions usually involve intense haggling for expensive commitments such as a combine or a pickup or free barn cats.
Some years ago I visited a dairy farm and couldn’t help but notice that they had an abundance of puddy tats. There were so many domestic felines around the place, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a live one.
We were catless at that time, so I asked the farmer if could see his way clear to parting with a few kitties.
“Tell you what,” he replied, “I’ll give you five bucks right now if you take a boxful of kittens home with you.”
My keen negotiating instincts kicked in. I handed the farmer a piece of paper that had a picture of Alexander Hamilton on it and proclaimed, “I’ll take those two brown-striped kitties.”
As the baffled farmer gaped at the ten-spot, I confided, “Now that the deal is done, I’ll let you in on a secret. I would have gone as high as 20 bucks.”
This is pretty much how things go whenever I negotiate the price of a big-ticket item.
“Look at this,” I might exclaim to my wife after a voyage to town, “I got a free cap today.”
“Yeah, right. What did this ‘free’ cap cost us?”
“Not all that much. But wait, there’s more.
“The tractor salesman threw in a free ballpoint pen and this nifty sticker that has the dealership’s name on it. Isn’t this great? It’s just like when you go shopping on Black Friday and buy one and get one free.”
So I guess shopping is OK in small doses. But only if it involves me buying something big.
Nelson is a freelance writer from Volga, S.D. Reach him by e-mail at email@example.com.
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