I could say "Thank God", but in light of the season and the what not, I think I'll keep this post off the blasphemous side. (Just for today though. Tomorrow, we'll see.)
HeatherPride over at The Short Bus handed out some awards yesterday, and since I was going to write about this anyway, I asked if I could weasel my way in on her hilariousness (Typepad is warning me about making up words, but the damn spell check couldn't even recognize "dreidel" so I'm just going to continue with my inventionous ways.) and can only hope that she gave me her blessing since I am not one to go back and confirm things more than never, so, yeah.
On with the story..
I walked into Big Lots! on Friday evening to search for a last minute gift for one of the nephews (if this is one of the relatives reading, don't worry, it wasn't your kid. I got your son's gift last January since he was first on my mind and first to be wrapped. Are we good?) and happened upon a huge display of big ticket items like Guitar-Hero-Rock-Star-Whatever-the-thing-is-called-since-we-don't-own-a-Wii-or-an-Xbox-or-fill-in-the-blank-of-whatever-server-is-required-to-play and other items of larger than shelf-stackable nature. (Man, Typepad usually calls me out for spelling, I wonder what it would say about Grammar..)
I saw something I couldn't believe. A Disney Princess Talking Kitchen Set. A toddler size piece of pink plastic guaranteed to make Sprite squee with joy and embark on many imaginary adventures which would involve stuffing her dolls into the oven. (I'm told this is normal, but if she continues into her elementary years, we may need to work on some underlying issues.) I looked at the price expecting to see something larger than I could afford given the brand name and size of the play set. $50.00. Not TOO bad, although our previous shopping trips had already fulfilled Sprite's gift roles and our checking account wasn't holding any more auditions. Then, I saw the smaller print. "Save up to 37%!"
I'm a sucker for a deal.
I whipped out my cell phone and dialed John. "Stop me from buying this."
"What are you talking about?"
"I'm at Big Lots and I am looking at a Disney Princess Kitchen that is perfect for Sprite."
"Really.." His pause told me he was intrigued.
"Yeah, for only fifty dollars and the sign says we would be saving up to 37%." (Of course, I had to add the "only".)
"..That's a good price." Still intrigued.
"Jen, are you okay?"
"Yup, almost got run over by another shopper." ..as I lifted my prize into the cart. I was going to get a "yes".
"Well, I was thinking of getting Sprite something from me."
Pfft. Take my glory when I found it? "Sure, hon. We can make it from you." Uh-huh. Right.
I had my answer. I walked my daughter's favorite Christmas gift through the store as I looked for a gift for my nephew. (I know my kid. She would love this set and would most likely play with it every day.) Finally procuring his favorite Christmas gift, (Um, really not sure if this will be a favorite. In fact, it may not even rank the top ten. I just looked for his age bracket and took a shot.) (I'm not good at basketball, so chances are my shot could have missed, but he lives on the other side of the state so I won't be there to see his
disappointment joy when he opens said present.) I noticed the large line of people standing at the check out counter (of course, only one cashier) and moseyed over to the back of the queue.
While waiting, I took out my phone and started searching the Internet for prices on the kitchen, curious to see exactly what it was going for in the retailers to be fetching such a bargain here at Big Lots!.
As the line progressed, my search progressed, only more slowly. I was finally able to pull up a national chain's pricing on the set. And their price was? $48.98. No sale. No big promotion.
Not only was I not saving any money by buying the set here, I was actually spending more.
I finally got up to the register and showed my phone display to the less than enthusiastic cashier. "This store has it for less than you have it." She could see the store's logo on the miniature screen.
"So?" (Trust me. I'm going the verbatim route here.)
"Does this seem like a fair price to you?"
She shrugged her shoulders. "No?" (Yes, her response was phrased as a question. Remember, verbatim.)
"Can I speak to a manager?"
She cocked her head and smirked. "Do you think he's gonna do anything about it?" (Verbatim!)
"Well, then, I'm not taking it. I'll just take this." I motioned to my nephew's gift. (If I name it, I'll be busted and I'm just not that stupid. Wordy, but not stupid.)
The cashier rang up my purchase and motioned to the kitchen set. "Are you going to put that back?"
"No?" I responded, phrasing my comeback identically with her tone. (I'm usually not that bitchy.) (Yes, I am.) (Never mind.)
So, Big Lots!? More like Big NOTS!.
I hereby bequeath you your Short Bus 1st Annual Bah Humbug Award for trying to squeeze one past this semi-price conscious consumer and recommend you remove the exclamation point from your name. You're just not worth getting THAT excited over.