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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Crappy Tire and Temptation

Today was a really nice day outside. But I had so much crap to do that I spent most of it inside. I did need some yard things  though, so I ventured out to the store to get them.
What were those things? Some spray paint, grass seed and plastic line for the weed trimmer.
I like to mow the lawn--at least the first couple of times at the start of the season--with the grass trimmer. I find I can get deeper and cut down all the crap below the surface that has built up all winter. I have a small enough lawn that I can get away with this. I did that the first time about a month ago, but the next time, this previous week, I ran out of trimmer line. So, I went around gathering odds and ends and tried to finish the job. I almost got that done, but as I was close to completion, I ran out of bits and pieces. So, I had to venture out today and get more.The lawn has sat 80 percent finished for 3 days and that was noted to me by the chief. Not finishing it for a few more days was not going to be an option I chose to take. 
My store of choice was Canadian Tire. That Canadian institution. No Canadian kid has not been to Canadian Tire by the time they can walk. By the time they are old enough to live on their own, they probably have had more than enough of it and don't ever want to go back. But we all do.
 This is in spite of the fact that the cashiers are bad, the customers are annoying and stupid and most of the products are crappy. Hence, many call Canadian Tire...Crappy Tire.
And for good reason. Most of the stuff they sell is crap. Much like Walmart. There was a time when Canadians feared that Walmart and Home Depot would put Crappy Tire out of business. But that never happened and it never will. Canadians love Canadian Tire. They let Zellers and Eatons go by the wayside, but Canadian Tire is as Canadian as beavers, back bacon, beer and hockey. So, off I went to get my items.
I was hopeful. You are always hopeful when you start out. Like a first date. You don't remember the 20 lousy ones before that, you just have hope. Some call it faith. I like to call it being delusional. And just like the dates, it doesn't take long until you are reminded that hope and faith usually result in pain. Real pain.
It seemed like it would be a short, easy trip. Maybe I would get lucky this day. But of course life never goes like that. And it didn't. Parking was easy enough, so I was off to a good start. That is pretty much where the good part ended. I tried to stick to the plan. I went directly for the weed trimmer line and got that right away. Seemingly, things were going well. Until I had to head over to the paint department on the other side of the store. Of course there had to be a whiny, out of control kid with parents who weren't paying attention to him. Of course there did. There always has to be one of those. If there wasn't, I would doubt that I am at the right store. No problem this time. Right store...CHECK.
Anyway, I dodged them as best I could. Spray paint was easy. I knew what I wanted and it would only be seconds. How hard could it be, right? Hard. Really fucking hard. That is how it could be. Why? The ignorant, older Chinese man from the back country with his grandsons who can't get control of him as he continually got in my way because he had no clue what he was looking for. That kind of hard. No matter how many times I go to Home Depot or Crappy Tire, I will run into one of those. I used to think it maybe was because they were foreigners, but I know better now. It isn't because they are Oriental, or Indian or whatever. It's because they are from the back country and have no class or sense of where they are. They act as if they are at the flea market, and are playing bumper cars. It is the reason I never go to Chinatown anymore. It's part of the deal. I know that sounds racist, but it is just how it is. Even the grandsons of this older guy knew I was thinking it.  Because they were thinking it. This happens in the States as well when I go to a store and see why George Bush was able to get elected for two terms. You all know what I am saying here. So, nuff said.
Anyway, grabbed my two cans of spray paint and I was on my way to get the grass seed, and then to the checkout. Again, a freaking no-brainer. Seemingly. Not so much!
Got the grass seed. Then, I almost succumbed to the worst temptation of all. No, not the chocolate-bar-on-sale temptation. I am pretty good about that one. No, this was even more tempting than free porn on the internet. Those are mild temptations compared to the "items-in-the-middle-row-on-the-way-to-the-cash-register" that have all sorts of uses that you really don't need--but think you do. There is no bigger temptation to stop and look at those. Not even an accident on the highway will tempt you more to look than this temptation. 
And....I did. It seems you just have to have these items and they know it. These are all the items gathering dust in your basement or in the garage. You all know what I mean here.
Mine was the "electric mosquito repellent lamp." And of course, it was on sale. I had to look. And I did. And I really thought about it for about 30 seconds. I was this close to succumbing to that temptation and buying it. But I held strong and didn't. Yeah me.
All I had left now was the checkout. That sounds simple on a not so busy Sunday. But we all know better than that. First, I found the worst line out there. I always seem to be able to do that. If the worst customer in the world is in the store (and they always are when I am) I will find the exact moment to get behind them at the checkout. I have come to think of it as my destiny.
This time is was the credit card that didn't work. And the cashier who didn't finish Grade 9 and her manager who didn't finish Grade 10 who had no idea what to do about it. Of course, at times like these, they do what all types like that do: They call the manager, the guy who was lucky enough to finish high school before he fucked up his life up in some horrible way and has managed to get his shit together and bag an Assistant Manager at Crappy Tire job on the weekends when the real manager is at home BBQing burgers with his family.
I have seen that show far too many times to be sucked into thinking they will solve this problem, so I did what any smart, veteran shopper does. I jumped to another line. As if that ever works. I know this, if there is a God, he fucking hates me and convinces me to jump lines every time so he can inflict dumber cashiers and ever more annoying stupid customers on me. He does this to remind he is superior and I am a mere mortal. Point taken God...again.
As I got into this line, I knew I was doomed...again. I could see the cashier was the one who failed typing 3 times in Grade 11 and clearly did not know how to speak to any customer who had any issue. And she didn't. And when these variables come together, as they always do right in front of me, the only thing you can expect is an item that the customer thought was cheaper, and a cashier who can't understand what he is saying, because he isn't from here and he can't tell her that he doesn't want it. When she finally figures that out, of course she will have no clue how to take it off the bill so he can checkout. The temptation to jump the line is very strong here again, but you are just resigned to the fact that you have to tough it out at this point. And I did.
It was at this point, while I waited this out in the line that I started thinking about writing this blog and my mind drifted. So, I was in my happy, creative place and I didn't care. I was one with the universe. It's a coping mechanism. Don't judge, okay?
Then I almost became one of those brain dead annoying customers. Almost. 
The no-mind cashier scanned my items and I was going to pay with Visa. But my mind was long gone, writing this blog in my head as she scanned. So, I forgot my PIN number. That never happens to me. And I really had no clue what it was. Standing there, I hesitated for a second. Then two. She wasn't even paying attention, and the customers behind me in the line didn't notice, because they, like me,  are so used to this shit going on that they have come to expect it. Almost like I had switched sides and had now become the problem instead of the one having to deal with the problem.
Luckily for me, the number came to me, even though I had no clue if it was right. I punched it in anyway. And it was right. But for those 3 seconds while it was sending I had no clue how this was going to go. I certainly didn't have enough cash to pay that way, so if this blew up on me, I was leaving with no items and a whole lot of wasted effort and frustration. 
All in all, not a bad day and it got me this blog. Thankfully, I didn't become one of those customers and have finished the lawn. And this blog. 
Until next time Canadian Tire, thanks for the memories. 


  1. This was the perfect reminder of what every shopper faces on an given day at the K-Marts, Walmarts, and yes, Crappy Tires of the world...

    Thanks for the sharing your pain, to which we can all relate!


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