After work on Tuesday night I went out with my family to purchase a Garmin Forerunner because quite frankly, I deserve one. I have been contemplating buying one for some time now and I received a gift card to Road Runner Sports for my birthday so I planned on using that to pay for the new toy.
There are very few things in this universe that I don’t understand, but among them are the following: Why Monday Night Football hates my eardrums (see commentators Tony Kornheiser, Joe Theismann, Dennis Miller, etc.) Why people are paying upwards of $2,000 for tickets to see Hannah Montana. Why anyone feels that it’s OK to converse with me while we stand exposed at the urinals. And finally, why my kids lose all perspective of what constitutes socially acceptable behavior the instant we enter any sporting goods store. It figures that the one store that I don’t mind going shopping in is the one store where my kids become devil-children, or los niños del Diablo for those of you south of the border.
Tuesday night was no different. The over-eager sales associate came over to offer us assistance and while I was explaining what I was looking for, my oldest son was tugging on my hand demanding I remove his coat. The sales associate, whose name was Tom, glanced nervously at my kids and then back at me as if to say ‘I really don’t like kids very much.’ I hate it when people act like this when I’m with my kids. ‘Hey Tom, guess what? I don’t like them very much either but at least I possess the decorum to not show it in front of them!’
Tom quickly shows me to the Garmins and then leaves just as quickly. In what would turn out to be a horrendous mistake I remove the 4-year-old’s jacket which leads to me also removing the 2-year-old’s jacket, and I turn my attention to the Garmins. Not thirty seconds later a fight breaks out in women’s apparel in which jackets are being used like nunchucks. My wife and I separate the pair and she ties their jackets around their waists after declining my more radical idea of tying them around their necks.
I go back to looking at Garmins, debating if I want the one with the heart rate monitor or the cheaper one without the heart rate monitor. Cheaper wins out and I try it on to see how it feels. Somewhere on the other side of the store a jacket takes flight. I'm guessing by the size of it that it wasn't the sales associate’s jacket and I can tell from the trajectory that it was launched from somewhere around 2 feet above ground level.
My wife and I decide to divide and conquer. I take the youngest boy to one side of the store and she takes the oldest to the other side. This is a great strategy if you can put up with the downside: Going out with your wife and not ever seeing her because you’re afraid of the consequences of uniting the Gatekeeper and the Keymaster. This is also why I won’t be having any more children. We currently have two, which means that we can still play man to man defense against them. When the third child arrives you have to switch to zone defense and it’s just not as effective.
Having settled things down, and after re-hanging countless shirts, shorts and socks back on the rack I headed to the cash register with my new Garmin. Well worth the hassle we’d endured. Unfortunately the gift card didn’t work, and Tom would have to... blah, blah, blah, -long list of excuses that don’t make any sense to me-... and long story short, I’ll have to order it online. This means that our pilgrimage to the running store was completely futile other than to raise my blood pressure a few degrees and cause me to sound like my father. “Don’t touch that!” “Put that back!” “Stop playing with that!” “No yelling!” “No running!”