Monday, September 2, 2013

Getting flagged

We needed a new American flag. The old one had become seriously faded as well as detached from its cloth clip grip, which meant it kept sliding down the pole attached to the pillar on our front porch.

Kim said if we waited until Labor Day, we could buy a new flag at half price at Fox Discount Gifts on South Main Street.

Sounded like a plan to me. All we had to do was be at Fox's at 7 a.m., since that's when the half-price sale began and lasted for just two hours, after which the half-price sale morphed into a less spectacular 40 percent sale.

My new flag was worth fighting off the half-price sale shoppers.
 It also meant one of us had to get up at 5 a.m. to shower and dress on a day when you could otherwise sleep in, but never mind. I get up early anyway, so I went first, and then Kim a little later. By 6:45, we were in the car and on our way to Fox's, which probably took us all of five minutes.

As we neared the otherwise unassuming store, the sight in front of me took my breath away. A large, mostly estrogen dominated crowd, had already clustered at the front door. In moments, an orderly line of about 50 people snaked around to the far side of the building.

Kim and I quickly went to the back of the line as cars continued to pour into the jammed-packed parking lot. A woman several places in line ahead of us had a list of what she needed written on legal-sized paper.

What had I gotten into?

Kim and I had gone to Fox's several days earlier to scout out the flag that I was interested in. I found the one I wanted and hid it in the middle of a rack of flags, hoping that nobody would find it until Monday. Nobody did. As soon as we got into the store, we made a bee-line for the flags. I found the one that I had stashed away two days ago and snapped it up, and made my way back to the cashier.

Just five minutes after the door had opened, the aisles were already packed shoulder to shoulder. As I excused my way past one woman, she looked at me and asked, "Is that all you're getting? Just one flag?"

I'm guessing her's was a rhetorical question because I didn't answer her. But I tried to process her logic as I stepped up to the counter. Well, yes, one flag is all I needed. I didn't needed plastic flowers, garden flags, Christmas lights, knic-knacs, gnomes, stencils or decorative lighthouses. I'm thinking she was thinking, hey, this is a half-price sale, you need to buy everything you can carry.


Anyway, I got to the cashier and made my purchase. We were probably Nos. 58 and 59 going into the store, but I think we were No. 1 getting out.

That suited me just fine. I got my flag, saved $13.50, and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel by 7:30. What could be better than that?

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