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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Shopping, gambling, and some snacks.

Yesterday we went shopping at the outlet mall. It is an adventure to be sure. It is about halfway between Columbus, and Cincinnati right outside of a small town, maybe two. It is either Jeffersonville, and Washington Courthouse, the signs are inconclusive, and I like the mystery, it makes it seem otherworldly and riddled with doubt so I don't look too closely.

The best part is when you tell someone you are going to the outlet mall and they say "Oh, Jeffersonville," you can reply "No. Washington Courthouse." Either way is right, with deep ties to the founding fathers.

There is a feel to an outlet mall. Something primal, and savage. Something that calls from a history that is much older than the founding of our country. Maybe they are built on ancient burial grounds, and the spirits of the hunter gatherers are assuming temporary control of shoppers seeking the ultimate bargain.

It is more prevalent in some stores, and at certain times, later in the day is untrammeled savagery, but some stores must be on spiritual hot spots. The Eddie Bauer store is a place where you have to be prepared to stand your ground right from the opening whistle. Hanging on a circular display where shirts, and vests and assorted jackets, all 50% off original price.

On one side a sweet looking older lady was shoving the hangars to the left, sure the ultimate garment for the perfect price was hanging there. One quarter of the way to the left was another kindly looking older lady shoving them back to the right. The sound of the hangers slamming into each other echoed around the store.  She was equally certain the grail of garments was hanging there.

Soon, they had worked there way all the around the rack and came face to face with each other over a medium insulated jacket, with a media pocket, rip stop fabric and a removable hood. For $39.95 it was quite a deal, and it was the bargain they were both hunting.

If you could picture the clash of the titans between two somebodies grandmas and an Eddie Bauer outlet mall employee over a deeply discounted jacket you will have the scene. Soon the other shoppers had formed a circle around the contest, and bets were being placed, and some quick thinking bargain hunter started selling concessions, mostly Ritz crackers topped with canned cheese, for 35 cents each, and warm bottles of water.

Rip stop fabric is more of rip resistant than tear proof. When the Eddie Bauer associate started to get
the upper hand, and the two kindly old women began to suspect that neither would get the jacket they turned on him, and wrapped one of the sleeves around his neck, and started dragging him around the luggage display. The sleeve tore off of the jacket, and the associate was resuscitated by the referee.

"Oh, you can have the jacket, dear," one grandma said to the other.

"I couldn't, honey. Let's go to the food court and I will buy you a nice cup of cocoa," the other replied.

I got a great deal on a new vest, $17.95, but I lost ten dollars on the fight, I bet on the young man working for Eddie Bauer.

All in all it was a pretty good day, if you like canned cheese and Ritz crackers.