Thursday, January 17, 2008

Completely, Totally, Hopelessly Useless

No, that is not a shot at you. See back in the early Spring, we decided to pick up a little bike trailer for the baby munkey at Target. It looked a lot like a big boy bicycle, and since we wanted to start riding our bikes and working toward loosing some of the winter blubber, it would be a great way to get him involved and teach him the fundamentals. I think we even got him a helmet. That was probably in April or May. The best part was it was on clearance.

In July my back got so bad that we had to go in and do the whole titanium rebuild. I think I mentioned something about that.

Here we are in January, and I am still slowly recovering from that rebuild. Baby Munkey, on the other hand, has grown to the height of, well, about here on me. He is tall enough to ride the big boy bike his grandma got for him 2 years ago. Suddenly there is no need for this bike trailer, sitting in its sad little box in the garage, hoping one day to be a real toy.

So in my effort to move around everyday and try to get back to normal, I thought I would take the trailer in the box back to target, and play the "uh yeah it was a gift at Christmas" and try to get at least some of the money back, knowing full well it was on clearance and would only get back like 20 bucks or something. So I go there and am told not only will they not take it back, but I am an evil evil man for suggesting they take it back, and *gasp* I did not have a receipt. So the two of us, me and the box of uselessness, go back out to the car.

I get the bright idea of one of those resale shops for kids. Not to resale kids mind you, but their clothes and toys and whatnot. So I punch one up on the trusty iPhone, figure out where they are, and head that way. It was only like 8 miles away, so no biggie. I go inside to find a woman in her mid to late 40's dressed like she is communicating with the Aliens. She has stars and moons all over her, in her hair, her necklace, and really looks like a left over space cadet. I tell her what I have to sell, and she points out that they don't really buy stuff like that, scrunches her nose, and then says "our sister store usually does"

The sister store in question is Play it Again Sports. Great, great, great store if you need exercise equipment or fad gear. I bed they have at least one total gym there from people that wanted to work out, but were not quite Chuck Norris. So I ask where the closest Play... is and she has no idea. "I would think somewhere close, though." Lady was a brilliant bulb, thousand watts.

I head back out to the car, encouraged, if not frightened a little by Mrs. David Bowie, and again ask iPhone where the nearest Play it Again is located. Not bad really, 18 miles away, 30 minutes with traffic. Well its almost noon on a Thursday afternoon and the temperature is flirting with 35 degrees, so I start driving. Sure it was an area I did not know very well, but I was sure I could find it.

About half an hour later I find the store, tucked into a small shopping mall behind a larger shopping mall. I go inside, walk among the scattered treadmills, and ask the young guy if he buys bike trailers. He said it was the wrong season to be selling bikes of any kind, or trailers, and he would have a hard time moving it. Never mind that 4 days ago I was in shorts and T-shirt and the weather was almost spring like, and had been most of the winter. He proceeds to tell me that the used bike shop on the highway would need something like what I was selling, and I should check down there.

I drive another 15 minutes away, and find the bike shop is closed. I guess it is not bike season after all. Of course now I am on the wrong side of I-35, and have to trek back home by first driving north for about 30 minutes, to go 30 minutes south.

As I take my exit finally to get home, my gas gauge informs me that I am an idiot and have been driving around the past hour and a half burning the almost 3 dollar per gallon fuel like I am Bill Gates. So I sputter to a near standstill at the closest gas pump, put in a few dollars, and go home with my tail between my legs, and a bike trailer sitting comfortably in the back of my Jeep.

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