Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Quest for Decapitated Ducks

It would have been easier to find a shrubbery.

I was on a mission this weekend to find a birthday present. The request was for a gizmo that you put on the floor by your door to stop the cold air from whooshing in and freezing your toes off because you can only find one slipper and let's face it, even petite-feet-people of which I am most definitely NOT one cannot fit both feet into the sole surviving slipper and if somehow you can, then this story is not for you because you certainly would NEVER need an anti-air whooshing gizmo, now would you?

I figured this was going to be a 5 minute slam-dunk over-and-out kind of prospect. It's freezing cold outside. Cold air is whooshing under doors far and wide, and they should be stacked in enormous bins next to the shovels, valentines, beer nuts and lite beer.


Stop 1: Meijer

TunaVille's local one-stop it's got everything shopping emporium. Like a Super Walmart (I suppose) or a Super Target, you can buy everything here: groceries, beer, hardware, software, Corningware or evening wear; and that's just in aisle one. Anti-air whooshing thingee? Zip.

No worries, I think. I'll find them tomorrow when I'm running errands.

Stop 2: World Market

I'm thinking, why not? Since I have to go into World Market anyway to get a gift card, I figure I'll find an anti-air whooshing thingee decorated with Kanji characters and dragons. I'm not picky. But alas, I don't get the opportunity to be picky. I ask the clerk for a "draft thing," but she has no idea what I'm talking about. She further punishes me by claiming my check caused a cash register problem code that even her super-secret employee book could not crack.

Stop 3: Linens 'n Things

It occurs to me that a "draft thing" is a PERFECT 'N Things kind of thing. I'm now past searching stores on my own, so I walked in, took one look at the girl behind the cash register, and said, "Draft things!" (Meaning, "Excuse me please, could you please help me locate some draft things.") She scrunched up her face in confusion, meaning I had to elaborate. "You know," I begin, "Draft things...those things you put by your door so the air doesn't come whooshing in..." After a few moments she said, "Well, you could try back that way," nodding towards the entire left quadrant of the store.

I sighed, and made my way towards the nether regions of the store. I caught the eye of another helpful (ha!) worker bee in the back. "Draft things!" I said. After getting the same scrunched up face of confusion, I offered the same explanation, and then received a valuable piece of information:

They're called DRAFT DODGERS

Now, whether it's because of the current world situation or because of my relative proximity to Canada, the political fire escape of the north, it somehow seemed slightly wrong to be asking for a Draft Dodger. But it didn't matter, because Linens 'n Things didn't have any more Things. All they had left was a long lecture about how quickly they flew off the shelves A MONTH AGO.

Alrighty then.

Stop 4: Walmart

It's not my favorite store. But things were starting to notch up on the desperation meter, and since it was before 10 am, I was hoping the emporium wouldn't be a zoo. "Draft Things," I said, refusing to affix "Dodger" to my request. "Those would be in Home Domestics," says the helpful blue vested greeter at the door. I took one look over the endless sea of merchandise and asked wearily, "And where exactly would that be?"

After receiving a five minute briefing, a treasure map and a GPS device, the journey began. GramTuna (who had been with me throughout the entire escapade) and I made our way past cash registers, cosmetics, groceries, optometrists and the pharmacy. We took a left before we hit motor oil and then looked for any sign that said "Domestics."

The signs don't exist, in case you're wondering.

We found a helpful blue-vested person stocking Listerine, and again I said, "Draft Things" and followed up with my explanation. "I think they're over in Hardware," she said. Thinking this made no sense at all, I figured she was probably right. But alas, there were none. The helpful blue vest ran out of ideas, saying, "I usually work in Toys, so I don't really know." And once again, we were left to our own devices.

At this point, GramTuna looked at me and offered up the following statement, "We never had draft things. WE JUST ROLLED UP TOWELS AND PUT THEM BY THE DOOR."

I shot her the look of "you're not helping here" and said, "You lived in the olden days. Society is much more advanced now. And besides, the birthday request was for a DRAFT THINGEE, not a ROLLED UP TOWEL.

GramTuna said, "I don't know why you'd want one of those anyway. They're just a long snakey thing with a decapitated duck head on the end. You could make one, slap an old Beanie Baby on it and be done with it."

You'll never know how close I was to thinking that was an excellent idea.

Stop 5: Local Border's-Like BookStore

Because sometimes you just never know.

Stop 6: Local Hallmark Store

No draft things, but there was an enormous display of pink hippos, because evidently, nothing says Happy Valentine's Day, my Beloved like an enormous pink hippo.

Stop 7: Pier One Imports

No draft things. "All we have are rugs," the woman said.

GramTuna snorted. I glared. We left.

Stop 8: Pottery Barn

By now, my desperation knows no bounds. I figured they HAD to have an overpriced, horizontal plaid decapitated duck head totem. We went right for the sales girl in the center of the store. "Draft things?" I asked hopefully. After explaining again, she wrinkled her nose in near-embarrassing disgust. "We certainly don't have those here," she said. "Maybe at Meijer, or Home Depot..." We slunk out of the store, defeated again. "Did you see her face?" I asked. "I think she was offended." "Well," offered GramTuna, "People who shop at Pottery Barn probably don't have gaps under their doors."

Stop 9: Bed, Bath & Beyond

I only had 10 more minutes, and held out very little hope. After all, if it wasn't an 'n Thing, then it probably wasn't going to be an & Beyond either. But miracles still happen in our little town, and there, right inside the door, NEXT TO THE SHOVELS was an entire bin of DRAFT THINGS! Not only that, it seems that & Beyond actually means & all that crap you see on TV that you're too embarrassed to order, but secretly wonder if it really works or not.

We had no time to browse, but vowed to return some day. I grabbed two for a present and one for myself. And GramTuna? She bought one too. I might just have to get some velcro and a couple of old beanie babies to do hers up right.

1 comment:

Mike said...

See, this is why we have Canadian Tire. Can't find it... go there.
BTW, for all you Americans, Canadian Tire sells hardware, aplliances, auto parts, home popular, they have thier own curency.