These might as well have been the words on Saturday morning as I participated in the contact sport that apparently is the Cabelas 4-hour sale.
You see, my intent was very clear. Cabelas had a spotting scope for sale that my Darling Hubby wanted very much. Very, very much. The only problem was he was working at 9 a.m. when the store opened so he would not be able to get down there to get one. I figured, being the dutiful wife that I am (hey...I see you snickering! You stop that! I could be dutiful for all you know!) I told him to not worry about it, that I would take Little Miss and we would retrieve the beloved scope for him ourselves.
And being the consummate shopper that I am I told him that I would get to the store about 30 minutes before the doors opened to make sure that I would be the very first in line for the much coveted spotting scope. Problem solved. I am sooo brilliant.
So, last Saturday morning I got up early (a sacrifice on my behalf as all of you who know me can attest to), got the child up early (an even larger sacrifice for any of you who understand that she is not a morning person either), and then she and I made our way down the road to Cabelas with my full assurance that we would find a deserted parking lot and probably run over to Sonic for a quick drink before we had to return to Cabelas.
I could not have been more wrong.
I should have known that there was an "issue" when I arrived and saw the Hays County Deputy Sheriff car sitting way up close to the store. The fact that the line o' humanity started at the doors and made it to the front of the Remington statue in the front of the store was a personal shocker. Of course, being me, I rationalized, "There are a lot of good items for sale here today. What are the chances that all 150 people in front of me want the exact same thing that I want?" Satisfied that I had silenced my inner worry-wart, I took Little Miss by the hand and told her that we just had to wait a little bit, like at Disney.
Now, being a constant student of the human condition and trying to maintain a cat-like awareness of my surroundings at all times (thanks EMS for helping to develop those senses!) I began to watch the folks in front of me as they purused the sales papers they clutched in their hands and listen into their conversations. It seems like whenever a $100 spotting scope goes on sale for $40, everyone wants one. I could see that this was not going to shape up to be the morning that I thought it would.
Again, rational Kim stepped up to the plate. "Now Kim," said my rational inner voice, "you know that Cabelas is prepared for this sale. The place is huge. They have to have just thousands of these scopes available...quit your worrying." So I did. For about 30 seconds. Then the doors to Cabelas began opening and Little Miss and I were caught in what can best be described as a tidal wave of Texans gaining momentum through the door. I told the little one to hold my hand and do not let go. I think I might have even said the word, "RUN" to her as we made our way through the doors.
What ensued once we were inside is difficult to describe, but I will try. Have you ever seen, or, heavens forbid, participated in one of those $99 wedding dress sales? You know what I'm talking about...throngs of women basically grabbing every dress that they see in their size, fighting each other for the chance to be the most refined bride they can be on their special day? Well, replace the brides with Texans. Everything is bigger in Texas, especially when there is hunting equipment involved.
Little Miss and I passed up the buggies (no way I was wasting time grabbing one of those) and ran back to where the guns/ammo/scopes are. I saw a mass of people surrounding one tiny endcap display. Some of these men were grabbing armfuls of scopes at a time. Don't get me wrong...it wasn't just the boys going after them. There were a couple of scrappy Texas gals in there that I wouldn't pick a fight with as well. I thought about sending Little Miss up into the crowd...figuring that with her short stature she could sneak in to the bottom whilst everyone big was fightin' it out at the top, but then I thought better of it. I could just see me calling my mom and saying, "Hi Mom! You know the granddaughter you have here in Texas? Well, she's been arrested for biting some rancher's ankles trying to retrieve a spotting scope for me."
At this point I see the very last scope get taken off of the shelf by one of the aforementioned scrappy gals, and let me tell you, the look on her face said it all. She wasn't giving up her prize. Just at this moment, divine providence smiled on me. To my direct right was a Cabelas' employee. I whispered the Little Miss, "Look sad. No, really sad, like someone hurt our dog." (OK, so I didn't tell her that anyone hurt our dog, but I did have her turn on the full pout lip and the big doe eyes.) All is fair in love and hunting equipment.
I turned to the employee and said, "Please sir, do you have any more?" No wait, that was Oliver. Oh, ok. I asked him if there were any more scopes anywhere in the store. I told him that my anniversary was coming up (it is) and that I really wanted to get one for my husband (I did) and that it was the only thing in the world that he wanted (ok, little white lie there, but I figured I had better sell it).
He almost whispered, "Follow me" and you can believe that I did.
Now, I believe in keeping a very low profile in these situations, but I also believe in trying to hedge my bet, so I did a couple of things. First of all, the Deputy Sheriff that I saw earlier wasn't there for crowd control...he was part of the crowd. Part of the crowd that didn't get his scope. So I gently tapped him on the shoulder (don't want the guy with the unconcealed weapon getting all jumpy up in there) and quietly whispered, "Come with me...there might be more scopes back here". He nonchalantly fell in line behind me. I figured if there was going to be any mob scene happen back there, he could at least fend off the crowd while I got my scope.
Then, there was an older Texan in the crowd that I tapped as well. I figured that if none of these younger punks were going to show some respect and give up one of their 10 scopes to this fella then I would at least do the right thing. Our little line followed Mr. Cabelas all the way back to the employee doors and tried to look like we were examining duck blinds so as not to draw attention towards us.
In a couple of minutes the employee comes out with a big basket that is full of scopes...probably about 25 in all. I get one, the rancher gets one, and the Deputy gets two (hey, the man had 2 boys...so I figure that was fair enough), and me and the Little Miss thank Mr. Cabelas profusely and then go to retrieve a buggy to finish looking for some other items. I gave my dear daughter the instructions that her job was to sit in the basket with the scope box behind her and scream bloody murder if anyone even dared to try to touch it. I bought her allegience with a stick of Orbit "Sangria Fresca" gum. Hey, don't judge me. It wasn't real sangria....and you would have done the same.
About the time we start heading back towards the firearm section to get a couple boxes of ammo that David wanted the poor Cabelas' guy got spotted with his basket o' scopes and was mobbed almost as badly as I attack the UPS guy on Stampin' Up day. It was not pretty. Had I not been well trained as a medic (first question...Is the scene safe? I think not this time.) I would have jumped in to help him. Thankfully I had the safety of my kiddo to think about....the Cabelas' guy was on his own.
Luckily the rest of our shopping was uneventful, but I have to say this: Do Not believe what you see when Cabelas sends out a "4 hour sale" flyer to your house. It is more like a "40 second sale". And if you happen to see me walking very quickly and quietly in any direction...you might want to follow. Chances are I am about to get what you are looking for...LOL!
Thanks for sticking with me through this fun story. I hope everyone has a great night. I'm off to set some new stamps!