September 28, 2005


So, I'm walking through the Holy Blessed Shrine of Costco on Sunday with the Salad Family. We're all dressed for the Bucs game - Salad Wife in her No. 97 Simeon Rice jersey, Salad Boy in his No. 55 Derek Brooks shirt, me in my No. 40 Mike Alstott getup complete with several layers of red, pewter and black beads around my neck.

All of a sudden, we see it. A large round object in the far distance.

Was this it? Was this the fabled inflatable Christmas snow globe lawn display that the Salad Mother-In-Law had called to tell me about while shopping a couple weeks ago? I hadn't gotten to the Holy Blessed Shrine in time before they were all bought out.

So, as we're walking through the store, I start my Forrest Gump immitation. Arms flailing. Legs kicking like a moron. I'm making no progress, running in place.

"Run Forrest!" Salad Wife says. With that authorization, the boy and I take off.

We get to the aisle and there it is, big as Gibraltar.


It's huge. Massive. Eight. Feet. Tall.

It's not only a globe, it blows a constant blizzard of styrofoam snow all over the three inflated snowmen inside the globe.

And there's only one left.

I dropped to the cold concrete floor and started convulsing like one of the newly converted on the Benny Hinn program.

Okay, not really. But I realized I was in the presence of the Mother Of All Airblown Inflatable Lawn Ornaments.

Then I look at the price. It's just expensive enough to make me feel stupid for wanting it.

I decide it's not worth the temporary pain.

"Do you think this is a sign, that there's one left?" Salad Wife asks.

"Yes," I say, but it's too much.

"Just put it in the cart," Salad Wife says. "Then if you decide you don't want it later, we'll put it back."

I'm not putting it in the cart and not buying it. That'd be like crawling into bed with Charlize Theron and playing chess.

I decide to go for it. This moment may not come again.

So I hoist this bad boy into the cart. The box is so big, it's blocking out the sun. I decide to go get another cart, a flatbed one they reserve for people buying an entire pallet of Worcestershire sauce.

I get back and Salad Wife and Salad Boy are being cornered by a woman on a scooter inhaling an oxygen tube through her nostrils.

"That's a good one," she says between gasps. "You put some lights on it and it would look real purty."

Lights? Lady, this is a self-contained lawn apparatus. It makes its own snow. It's lit from within by several bulbs.

Lights. Lights my ass.

So we continue our shopping, Salad Wife pushing her regular cart and me pushing this flatbed monstrosity. On the front of the Flatbed, Salad Boy is riding, looking like Captain Morgan after a conquest. We're akin to a double tanker truck of commerce trying to navigate the narrow cobblestone streets of Vienna. People are staring. Children are tugging at their parents and pointing. Grown men are chuckling with a mixture of amusement and envy.

A woman with a Costco badge approaches.

"That's the best dang holiday lawn ornament event we've ever had," she says. Her voice resonates with a prideful tone, which strikes me as odd because, you know, it's not like she built the damn thing.

This continues for about 25 minutes before we turn the corner on that original aisle. Salad Wife immediately stops her cart and wheels around to whisper in my ear.

"There's a guy looking at the display with the manager," she says. "I heard him say, 'There are no more.'"

I walk around the corner. There's a dude with a manager who is speaking into a walkie-talkie.

"Nope, that's the last one there on his cart," the manager says to him.

The Dude lets out a groan, not unlike what I'm sure Ali did after Foreman hit him in the ribs during the Rumble In The Jungle. I try to console him.

"Dude, if it helps, we came here a couple weeks ago to get one and they were sold out. Keep checking back. They'll restock it.'"

The Dude walks away with his wife and two kids, who are equally disappointed.

Which, you know, only quadruples my pleasure.

"The fact that it was here and that someone else wanted it... if we weren't sure then, I'm not walking out without it now," I told her. "I know it's not in the spirit of Christmas, but this ain't Christmas.''

So I load it into the Big Red Machine and we drive it home. Later that night, I poke around online to see if I overpaid. I find out that not only did I not overpay, I probably saved close to a couple hundred bucks off the original retail price.

Then I notice something on the manufacturer's Web site.


An inflatable baby Jesus?

Band name!

Posted by Jeff at September 28, 2005 07:52 AM

Hopefully it self inflates, I'd hate to know where the air hole would be located. Caution: Do not pop the baby Jesus.

Posted by: Cupie at September 28, 2005 10:36 AM

You are INSANE. lol

For years, my kids have wanted one of those blow up things for halloween and Christmas and I always have an excuse for not getting one.
I'm a terrible mother.

Posted by: Laura at September 28, 2005 01:02 PM

We were so meant for one another. Mama Ro, Indian Dad & I saw the same thing 2 weeks ago at our local Costco. Drooling commenced. Sadly, we have no front yard, so I had to make due with the wooden tree/advent calender apparatus they were also offering.

We will, however, be displaying Guido the running light-up reindeer on our kitchen bar again this year. Our tackery knows no bounds.

Posted by: jolie at September 28, 2005 06:17 PM

Ohgawwwwd. *drools*

This totally puts my rope light Rudolph to shame. Shame! I say.

Our family actually has the "Tacky Gift Exchange" every year and we try really, really hard to outdo each other. Last year, we received the fiber optic Jesus statuette from the in-laws.

This might just put us in the lead.

Side Salad™ - Not just a blog about nothing, a Shopper Service!

Posted by: Margi at October 3, 2005 11:48 AM
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