Small-town Momemts #561 and #562

Last year, I bought a cordless lawn trimmer from the local Crappy-Hardware store, which is part of a large nation-wide chain.

Last week,  the whipper-cord spool ran out, so I went back to the Crappy-Hardware to buy a refill.

They’d actually expanded the store since then.   It’s now a huge brand-new shiny building, filled to the ceiling with merchandise.   It’s on par with similar stores in the big cities.    So you’d think they’d be stocked with everything, right?

Right?

Nope.   They couldn’t find the refill spool I needed.

Not like they sold out and had some on back-order.

No, there wasn’t even an empty peg on the wall, to show where it might have been.  It’s like they decided to stop selling it.

They had re-fill spools for every make and model of lawn trimmer, EXCEPT for the one I had bought in their store.

(Pretty good.)

The 18 year old clerk didn’t know what to suggest.   Except that maybe I try the Crappy Hardware store in the other town,  45 minutes away.

(Even better.)

*********************************

Later that day,  I wanted to buy a Sudoku book for my mom.   You can buy these anywhere.

But, being in the generous mood I was in,  and wanting to support the community,  I thought: “Hey, why not give the bookstore in town some of my business instead?”

It was 4:50 PM, I thought I can just make it before closing time.   I mean..that’s when MOST normal businesses operate, right?

Right?

Big suprise.  The store said “CLOSED”.

Silly me, I should have realized that on Saturday, they only work from 10:00 to 4:00 PM.

But AT LEAST there was a small sign on the bookstore’s  front door, reminding us to “Buy Local”.

I love shopping in this town.

Really, I do.

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28 Comments on “Small-town Momemts #561 and #562”

  1. Patricia Says:

    I think the trimmer spool is a Murphy’s Law kind of thing – or they don’t make that kind of trimmer anymore.
    Read panel light went out on my oven…I guess…they don’t make my professional oven any more…so it can not be repaired…I guess at the right temperature and put a thermometer in the oven, because it is a great oven and only the light went out…you have to replace the whole panel…hmmm

    And let me not get started on the postal system in small town USA…hmmm
    Sorry about the Sudoku Book and the book store…that is always a bummer.

  2. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    Do they still sell the trimmer, or at least the brand? If they do, an interested clerk should be able to order the refill (and realize that they should get a hook for it). I’d try again on a weekday when the lifers are working.

    I know, you don’t want advice, you want to kvetch. Sorry to get (semi) practical on ya.

    My recent small-town moment: Dad was going to grill some gorgeous filet mignon. I went to the grocery store in Splat Creek’s Vermont sister city the other day to fill out the meal, because Dad can live on a hunk of meat alone but I thought the plates were gonna look kind of bare. I’ll get some green beans, some potatoes, a loaf of Italian bread and some garlic (mmm I love fresh garlic bread), and a little wine.

    Last first. The wine section was better stocked than the package store over the border 20 miles in New York. No problem choosing a decent wine. So of course I chose two!

    From there: no green beans, baby red potatoes or stick it (how’m I going to put those on the grill?), a loaf of Portuguese bread (?), and a the best of exactly three sad-looking heads of garlic.

    Oh, and they close at 8, so when I arrived there at 7:45, they looked at me like I was a total nuisance, and turned off lights as I left sections of the store.

    I deeply sympathize. It’s how it is in Littlevilles. Part of the “charm.”

    I ran back to civilization two days later so I can complain about things I don’t like about urban living. 🙂

    Regards,

    Kelly

  3. Friar Says:

    @Patricia
    Well, that’s the sad part. They DO make that lawn trimmer. It’s a new model, they were selling it in the store 50 feet away..that’s how I got the model number for the replacement part, reading it off the box.

    Wow…you’d have to replace your whole oven panel? (For a 39-cent lightbulb?)

    Anyway, I got my Sudoku book…at the drugstore. (Guess the bookstore didn’t want my business that badly!) 😉

    @Kelly
    See my note to Patricia above, regarding the lawn trimmer. It’s in the stores, as we speak. Grrrr.

    Of course, I can go back. Means it will be a pain in the arse, trying to talk to the manager or someone during my lunch-hour. By the time they order it and I get get a replacement…(IF they order it…) Who knows. Grrrr.

    I’ve had pleasant experiences like yours in New England before. More often than not, small businesses there seem to “get it”. Especially Vermont (maybe because they know a lot of their clients are yuppies who have a lot of money to spend..).

    Vermont is one of my favorite States…if I had to live in the US, it would rank among my first choices. (Though maybe Alaska or Colorado would come first, though..) 😉

  4. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    LOL. That experience was only “pleasant” because you’re comparing it to Splat Creek.

    Me? Massachusetts or western New York if I (could move and) had to stay here (I’ve lived in both for long periods of time so they can’t throw me too many curve balls), but as you know, get me to Toronto and I’d be a very happy camper.

    Must have my urban conveniences, but I get a little tired of our rude ways and U.S.-urban grit down here.

    Ah, well, I’d better go do something gritty with my day…

    Until later,

    Kelly

  5. Friar Says:

    @Kelly
    Funny, how lots of Americans thing Toronto is great. To me, it’s one the dirtier big cities.

    It’s got quite a bit of it’s own urban grit, including drive-by shootings and bad neighborhoods. (Not to mention gridlock, urbran sprawl, and smog alerts….that make it all the way up north to Splat Creek!)

    Still, though, it’s better than Buffalo! 😉

    And it’s a 3 hour drive to Algonquin Park, where you can seem mooose and hear wolves howl.

  6. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    Y’know, I’m all about parks and moose and wolves. 😉

    I’ve spent a lot of time in TO, and fell in love with the city and the people. I expect without major distractions that I’ll get my little pied-à-terre one day. Something to shoot for!

    Later,

    Kelly

  7. Friar Says:

    @Kelly
    I lived in Hamilton for 9 years (close enough to almost be a suburb of Toronto). I guess I got used to it and don’t see what the big deal is.

    How many Torontonians does it take to change a light bulb?

    One…to just hold the light bulb and not move. Because the world revolves around Toronto.

    Why did the Torontonian cross the street?

    To avoid meeting an acquaintance.

    😉

  8. Kelly Says:

    ROFL. Could say the same for my beloved Boston, as well, though. Maybe that’s why I’m happy in Toronto. I’m a cold, heartless Yankee, in a world gone warm, fuzzy, and informal. 🙂

  9. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Hey, why don’t you complain about it, that will make it better.

    Or you could quit the job that you don’t like, move from a city you don’t like and come to MyTown and be my bitch.

    Eyeteaguy

  10. Friar Says:

    @Kelly
    When you visit La Belle Province in your upcoming visit, are you going to be checking out Montreal?

    It’s way WAY more interesting than Toronto (only 3 hours from Quebec City).

    @Eyeteaguy

    I thought Brett was your bitch.

  11. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    Yep. Montreal first (uh-oh—me, The Kid, and my lousy French, all alone), then hanging out not too far from there for the rest of the time, where I can just pretend I’m a deaf-mute when I walk around, because I’ll be with French-speaking friends. To bring this somewhat back on topic, how scary will small-town Québec be? I think I will have a few “moments” of my own while I’m up there, tee hee.

    Possibly, due to the aforementioned lousy French, I’ll have small-town moments and not even know it. 🙂

    Photos of Montreal look a little like Philly. With more stone and less brick. Looks like someplace I’ll be comfy.

    I’m even going to take a real blogging break, which I never do. And announce it. (I know, how conventional of me.) I am beyond psyched.

    Later,

    Kelly

    P.S. Francis—LOL, I’d almost say the same, ‘cept it’s only good advice if you have a nookular facility in your back pocket. Kinda limits the number of places Friar can run away to, eh?

  12. Friar Says:

    @Kelly

    Montreal is quite bilingual (especially west of Rue St. Laurent). You’ll do fine.

    But if you’re stopping by a dépanneur in rural Quebec (i.e. Notre-Dame-de-Ste-Eustache-de-Tabernouche), well, THEN, the language thing might be an issue! 🙂

  13. XUP Says:

    Is this post about A0 which city we’d like to live in or about b) independant business owners being unbusinesslike or c) about stupid big stores that never stock things you actually need? a) I like Toronto much better than Ottawa and can’t wait to move back there. I’d love to live in Montreal, but it’s impossible to get a government job there if you’re not Francophone. b) I was at the farmer’s market on Saturday and they tried to get me to pay $6 for a PINT of strawberries. For $6 I can get a big bag of frozen organic berries at the grocery store. I’d love to support local business people, but a lot of them are so freakin’ dense. c)Agree. I avoid Crappy hardware store at all costs.


  14. Wait a hairy second!

    When did I miss the memo that Kelly is leaving the country?!?!?! This is SOSOSOSOSOSO exciting!!!!!

    And there is a La Belle Provence? I never knew that! My one part of me that isn’t Italian or Irish is one French Canadian Branch from my grandfather Robert La Belle.

    And Friar…why do you bother? we live in a hoe dunk town and it is a given…they will never have what you need, when you need it.

    It’s the tiny town golden rule. And if they do have it, it has so much dust on it and it’s so old that it breaks from old age the minute you get it home.

    This is why God created on line shopping and the internet.

  15. Kelly Says:

    Wendi,

    Though it’s been a while since I’ve gone someplace where I needed a passport to do it, I have been out of the country many times, lol. But yes, in a couple of weeks The Kid and I are zooming ‘cross the now passport-requiring Canadian border. Whee!

    Friar,

    *note to self: no depanneurs* Thanks. 🙂

    Later,

    Kelly

  16. Friar Says:

    @XUP
    Dont’ you pretty much already have to be francophone to get a govt. job in Ottawa, in the first place?

    Frozen organic berries just do NOT cut it, compared to fresh Ontario ones.

    The best deals (and best tasting berries) are the ones sold off the back of a truck, on the highway.

    (Which, not suprisingly, folks don’t even do, where I live).

    @Wendi

    Dunno about moving. But I think Kelly’s planning a VISIT to Canada in the near future. Not sure when..you’ll have to ask her. But I think it’s pretty soon.

    La Belle Province = French for “The Beautiful Province”. It’s what they used to have on Quebec Licence plates back in the 70’s. (The equivalent of “Live Free or DIE” for NH).

    Now it’s just “Je me Souviens”. Meaning “I remember”.

    Which can mean anything you want it to be. (???). Some say it’s to remember the glory of the French Empire in North America in the 1700’s..but that just gets too political, I won’t bother to go there.

    As for my small town annoyance, as Foghorn Leghorn says “Fortunately, I keep my feathers numbered for just such an emergency”.

    Meaning, fortunately, I do enough visits to the Big City, where I can get my REAL shopping done.

  17. Friar Says:

    @Kelly

    It ain’t Quebec, unless you go to a Dépanneur.

  18. XUP Says:

    I’m working in Ottawa and I’m not fully bilingual, so it’s still possible. And yes, I agree frozen berries are not like fresh-picked berries, but I’m not paying $6 for a pint and the ones in the grocery store are cheaper, but a week old. If I see some by the side of the road, I’ll buy from them or maybe do a pick-your-own. SIX BUCKS for a pint! (not a quart — a pint!)

  19. Friar Says:

    @XUP

    I tried to get into the Govt. 5 years ago…fluently bilingual engineer, living in Ottawa. I figured my chances would be good.

    But with the stupid “Competition” process, and how difficult it is to break into the PSC, I couldn’t even qualify for an interview to save my life.

    During the same time period, I not only had multiple interviews elsewhere, but three job offers.

    Hmph. And the Feds are wondering WHY they have a hard time staffing people.

    As for berries, I’m wondering what’s going on this year? There don’t seem to be any local berries around our neck of the woods. (Don’t tell me I’ll have to drive to the Big City for a lousy PINT)

  20. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Would you like some cheese with you whine?

  21. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Well, I suppose if you have something better to say, you can write it in your own blog.

    (No…wait…you DO have a blog, don’t you?)

  22. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Yes, but mine sucks. I’d much rather shit all over yours.

  23. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Maybe if you practiced more (like, posting more than once every 6 weeks), you’d get better at it.

  24. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I’m still trying to perfect the art of commenting. Once I master that I’ll go back to blogging.

    I think I’m getting quite good.

    Eyeteaguy

  25. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Well, in terms of commenting, I have to give that to you, hands-down. You’re the champ.

    Who else could help perpetuate a comment thread beyond the 100’s (or even 300’s).

  26. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Its not all me, I get by with a little help from my friends, and my fiends and my fingers and my foes.

  27. XUP Says:

    The application process requires some sort of degree all on its own. If you don’t mention, IN YOUR COVER LETTER each and every one of the items in their Statement of Qualification and exactly how your skills match, your application doesn’t get past the first stage — no matter if they’re all mentioned in the resume or how great your resume is. Seriously. Anyway, don’t bother coming here for berries. There’s nothing worth buying

  28. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy
    Yeah…there’s you, Brett and maybe 2-3 other accomplices responsible for 90% of my comments.

    You should form a Tribe. (“Hijackers R Us”). Seth would be proud.

    @XUP
    I’ve seen that type of thing in my own company when we were trying to hire a technician.

    One of the cv’s got through because it had a buzzword on it that matched our job description.

    Even though the candidates background and qualificaions had NOTHING to do with the actual position.

    That’s HR for you.

    Too bad about the berries. The season is only here for another week or two.


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