Frank and I went to Coleman Factory Outlet today, just to shop around and replace the stainless steel coffee cup Frank left on the bumper last fall.
It was the first time we had been there since winning the $500 shopping spree last summer when they opened, and the girl behind the register recognized us on the spot.
“Hey! You’re the guy who won the shopping spree!” She said.
“Yup.” Frank said.
“I haven’t worked that hard in here since that day,” she said.
We informed her that our tent heater did not work, and we forgot to bring it. She immediately noted they would replace it, no problem — when we bring the other back.
We got Daisy a Coleman plush dog bone. Took her about 15 minutes to tear a hole in it when we gave it to her.
Oh, well. Even Coleman isn’t Beagle-proof.
We also got a little collapsable shelf for inside the tent, and an adapter that will let us plug things like laptops, camera battery chargers and what not into the car’s cigarette lighter.
We are the ultimate Coleman Camping Crew. Since we won that shopping spree, we’re almost 100% Coleman equipped now. (For more about that, see http://www.wvcottages.com/blog/?p=30)
We hopped on over to the book outlet while we were there, and ended up leaving with two bumper stickers and two books. The books were “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Camping and Hiking” (I need it more than Frank), and “Digital Photography for Dummies” (Frank needs it more than I).
The bumper stickers:
“The Meaning of Life is to Give Life Meaning”
and (I’ll try to make this match it):
“I am hoping this sticker,
SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT
keeps me from getting a ticket.”
Frank and I both giggled a little about that.Â We stuck in on the little beat up Ford, which makes it even funnier. (See http://www.wvcottages.com/blog/?p=82.)
After that, we went to the SuperDollar, and got stuff like detergent, soap, toilet paper. Frank found a really cool duffel bag for $10, and I got a pair of Levi’s for $13.
After a pop into CVS for printer paper, we went to Kroger’s. Tomorrow I begin my fruit smoothie and Slimfast diet — and Yoga stretches before 8 a.m. (Have had a little trouble adjusting to the time change.) Frank, poor soul, will likely be forced to drink smoothie extras, in spite of how he feels about yogurt.
He’s such a sweetie. He wrote me a poem last week:
“My symbol now,
angel taming bull,
heaven forbid she turn him loose,
thus to break her bonds for love.
The heavens will thunder,
when the rumble comes,
be not in the bull’s path, for
death awaits you.
Mess with the angel,
horns will follow.”
It may not make sense to you all, but it makes sense to me.
We don’t go shopping very often. About four times a year, when the shopping list mandates it, we pile into the vehicle to travel one or two hours to hit KMart or a mall or shopping plaza.
However, last week a postcard arrived in our mailbox, announcing the Grand Opening of a Coleman store at the nearby (1 hour) factory outlet plaza. “Get $15 off purchases over $50!” the card said. “Enter to win $500 worth of Coleman Camping Gear! (No purchase necessary.)”
There was no need for discussion. We had to go.
Promising ourselves we would not spend over $100, we left the house Sunday morning for a special day.
Of course, the store was busy. But Frank and I walked down each aisle slowly, methodically viewing all the things available. Many items we did not know such things existed. (Butane crock pots, for example.)
For Frank, it was like being in the ultimate toy store. He examined bags, pots, the entire line of lanterns. We wanted new sleeping bags, and needed a new camp skillet. The skillet was an easy choice, but we deliberated over the sleeping bags for at least twenty minutes. Each was rated for warmth, and organized by size. Once we decided on those factors, we were still facing a choice of colors and patterns.
We ended up with two king-size bags, tan on the outside with tan/navy plaid on the inside. Guaranteed to keep us warm at 20 degrees.
Impulse buys for the day included a lantern shield, a plastic egg box, and glow-in-the-dark Coleman huggies. Our total came to $127.43, and we each put our name in the drawing box for the $500 gift certificate.
Coleman Factory Outlet’s store manager called yesterday evening, and Frank was the winner of the drawing.
It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving camper.
He remembered all the items he saw on Sunday that had struck his fancy. He also remembered, in general, their prices. Last night he wrote and edited a shopping list for over an hour, prioritizing and budgeting to fit what he wanted under $500.
So, thank you Coleman. You definately picked the right kid for the candy store.