Saturday, February 19, 2011

Office Max Lacks

Office Max is the new devil. Or perhaps the Satan Jr.

Friday, The Pony and I hoofed it over to a nearby town to pick up two science fair display boards. The boards proffered by Satan Jr. are prettier than those of The Devil. And sturdier. And costlier. Of course I know that Satan Jr. charges more. That's why I do my back-to-school dealings with The Devil.

Back in the day, before Office Max aspired to become Satan Jr., the service was exemplary. You couldn't walk into the store without a personal shopper in a vest and name tag accosting you. It was almost necessary to beat them off with a stick in order to browse to your heart's content, as we nerds are wont to do. The #1 son had dreams of working at Office Max. But those dreams are dead.

The Pony was excited to get his first science fair board ever. He's been busily rusting nails in water, clear soda, and lemonade for the past week. We also wanted some glue sticks, and a pack of index cards. Simple enough. Surely we could waltz with Satan Jr. and trot on over to Papa John's to pick up The Pony's cheese pizza by the allotted pick-up time.

Upon entering Satan Jr.'s enclave, we grabbed a large, ugly yellow cart and made a beeline for the boards. Some were on display in the middle of the school supplies aisle, so we grabbed two navy-blue foam boards from the box. The Pony spotted a giant glue stick, but I rejected it forthwith. You see, if you only have ONE glue stick, and leave the cap off, you then have NO glue stick. But if you have three smaller ones, you'll still have two-thirds of your glue remaining if such an unfortunate gluey faux pas were to occur. See? I can quantify the issue. Because I'm mathy like that.

Boards and glue in cart, we loped on over to the side of the store with the regular stash of science boards. Just in case Satan Jr. was withholding the good stuff. Alas, they were the same. Nothing to see there. I sent The Pony on a reconnaissance mission for the index cards. We had been looking on the way to the boards, but failed to find them in school supplies, teacher supplies, file folders and accessories, or post-it notes.

I gave up. Satan Jr. had gotten my goat. I wielded my giant yellow cart like a walker, then parked it crosswise on the main aisle. The Pony was dispatched to garner assistance. He returned with a vest dude who proclaimed that those index cards were back on Aisle 12, behind even the cleaning and breakroom supplies. The next-to-last aisle in store. Because nobody shops at Office Max for index cards. That's crazy talk, expecting to find such an item in a store called Office Max.

The Pony and Vest Dude were gone for a good long time. The Pony said it was because there were so many kinds, but only one kind with lines instead of grids, and not in a bundle of fifty packs. He returned with two packs, to the outrageous price of $2.99 per pack of fifty cards. I took them, because I was not about to drive to The Devil's Playground and walk a half-marathon to save $2.00. Per pack. Because that's how I roll. In my giant yellow walker-cart.

Satan Jr., you are on double-secret probation. Don't even try to sweet-talk me next August, with your promises of teacher swag and special savings. You have been in the doghouse since that time you made me back my large SUV into your concrete-pillared light pole. You are skating on thin ice, Junior. You make me want to deal with The Devil.

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