This was going to be a post about the thrill of Cub Scout Day Camp.
After all, what could possibly be more exciting than picking up a carload of Bear Scouts at 6:45 AM and spending the next seven hours with them as they
learn to use all kinds of new weapons develop self-reliance and leadership skills?
I’ll tell you what can be more exciting –
The ModBod Parking Lot Sale.
You see, when I returned home from day camp, I found a delightful email in my inbox, informing me of the sale. Everything you can stuff into a bag for only $25. I. Was. In.
The sale started at 5:00 PM. I headed out of our neighborhood at 4:25 PM. Then I immediately returned to our neighborhood to remind Joshua not to use his new slingshot while I was gone. Then I headed out again.
I arrived at the sale at approximately 5:05 PM. Actually, I arrived about 3/4 of a mile away from the sale, which is where the nearest parking spot was. There were cars everywhere, with crowds of people walking zombie-like toward a warehouse in the middle of some fields. It was eerie, I tell ya.
Once I arrived at the warehouse, I was greeted with beautiful pandemonium. There were thousands of people crammed into a parking lot that was stuffed with boxes full of t-shirts, camis, long-sleeved shirts, skirts, and randomly sized swimsuit pieces. Women everywhere were frantically sorting through boxes, shouting out “These are extra-smalls!” or “I found some large swim bottoms!” See, that’s what I love about living in Happy Valley. Even during a shopping frenzy, we help each other out.
I fearlessly dove into the crowd, searching for bargains for Em and myself. And I was victorious, oh yes I was.
With my shopping spree completed, I headed over to the bagging tables. I counted my finds, just to make sure I had the right amount, and…I didn’t. I had eleven pieces. There was a max of ten per bag, and my budget limited me to one bag. No bueno. I tearfully parted with a long-sleeved aqua top.
Now it was time to bag my items. Here’s the catch. The bags were very small. Tiny. Delicate. Think gallon-size Ziplocs, but smaller. AND the bags had to be closed with a twist tie. Nonetheless, a sign on one of the tables assured us that it was possible to fit up to ten items into a bag. I took that as a challenge. I began stuffing my bag. Halfway through the stuffing process, a tag caught on the bag and tore it. DRAT!
I started over, this time carefully tucking the tags inside of the bag. A veteran from last year’s sale joined my stuffing table, and began giving us some pointers. She got NINE bags full of clothes last year, which kind of flabbergasted the rest of us. Following her advice, I got all of my items in, began stretching the bag to twist tie it closed, and…it tore again.
I really starting to feel the pressure. The man who was running the whole operation was marching through the crowd, barking orders: “Use those corners, ladies!” “You’re wasting space!” “Stuff harder!!!!” I kind of loved him.
I was on to my third bag. This time, I learned from my past mistakes. I pre-stretched it. I used a brilliant combination of t-shirt rolling and swimsuit stuffing. I poked random clothing bits into the corners of the bag. I had it successfully stuffed and was applying the twist tie when….it tore.
I was going to have to give up an item. I put back two swimsuit pieces and grabbed another cami. Nine items. I was only going to fit nine items into my bag. But notice how nicely they all fit:
Feeling the sting of defeat, I paid the yelling man (“I’ve got cash here if you want to pay me in cash! Don’t stand in the credit card line! My line is faster! Come on ladies, let’s MOVE!” I’m telling you, he was all kinds of awesome. He was even wearing a Real shirt. Not to be confused with a shirt that was real.), and walked a long, slow 3/4 mile back to the Suburban. I ended up with three t-shirts, three camis, one two-piece swimsuit, and that blasted long-sleeved shirt. If only I’d had more time, I’m sure I could have fit all ten.