In March 7 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
Can you keep a secret?
OK, good, because guilt is consuming my very soul, and I’ve got to get this off my chest.
You see, it started back around the time we filed our taxes (cue “swirly, dream sequence music…).
I was doing some calculations in my head, and started thinking since it’s been a rough year, maybe I could “keep back” a little of our tax refund and well, “treat myself” to something special.
Oh sure, another guitar I can’t play would be nice, or maybe there’s an ipod out now that will play music, surf the Internet, act as a telephone and make toast. That would be cool-the “i-toast.” Yeah, toast!
No, wait, actually, why not get something the whole family can use and enjoy?
I started thinking about it, and my thinking was heightened by the fact I had a little cash that had been burning a hole in my pocket for a couple of weeks.
I happened to be out one day when I saw “it.”
I was on Bernard Ridge, and saw it parked all by itself, looking lonely.
Perhaps I am in the throes of a mid-life crisis, but I broke out in a sweat when I saw those wheels, sleek curves and solid body.
I’m not much of a “horse trader,” but I kept my cool at its owner approached me.
“That’s what you need right there,” he said.
“Yeah,” I said, staring at him like gunfighters do before they draw their weapons.
This would be tough because I considered this man a friend.
I have had many deals with Joel and Shella Skaggs, and consider them some of the finest, most honest, hard-working people I know.
Their store on Bernard Ridge is an absolute treasure trove, and you never know what you’ll find there.
I sure wasn’t expecting this.
“What’ll you have to have out of it?” I asked, kicking a wheel.
“Oh…about 25, I reckon’ “ Joel said.
I was thinking “$25,000?!” $2,500?!”
“Ahh…I dunno’ “ I said, turning away.
“We may just keep this one for ourselves,” Joel said.
At that point, I panicked and violated a “rule” of bargaining by “going backwards” as some may say.
I said I “saw one just like it” in Campbellsville” a couple of days ago and “they were asking twice as much for theirs over there.”
Uh-oh, I guess I had just “set myself in” at “25.”
“Gimme some time to think about,” I said.
That night, I tossed and turned (as usual), thinking about my possible new purchase.
The next day, I waited until it was almost closing time before I went back to seal the deal.
“You feel like selling me something today?” I asked Joel.
“Hmmm,” he said, “I think somebody might have come and got that already.”
My eyes widened and I stumbled.
He winked, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
I dug into my pocket and pulled several, crumpled bills from my pocket.
I was now the owner of a Rehrig International.
Oh, but what is that, you may ask?
Let me explain…
I was in Campbellsville a couple of days ago-got suckered into going to Goody’s for their “everything must go/going out of business” sale.
While my wife, Renee’ was holding up shirts and pants that would “look really cute on the kids” and the occasional item for herself, I was transfixed on the naked mannequins and especially the shopping carts.
Man, oh man, they were a thing of beauty.
Molded, plastic body, graphite-like frame, fold-up mesh basket, and even a built-in child’s seat.
“You’re not thinking about buying one of those, are you?” she asked.
“Oh, no, no, no,” I said. “What in the world would we do with a shopping cart?”
PLENTY, I was thinking to myself.
But at $50 bucks…ah, too rich for my blood.
I thought often about those carts and how I could use one of them around the house.
Never did I expect to find one for sale right here at home-and at a fantastic price.
Joel said his wife had “come across a deal” on a few of the Goody’s carts.
So, when opportunity came knocking, the door was flung open and I embraced it like a long, lost friend…the female kind.
I successfully hid my new acquisition for a couple of days until my wife noticed something “sticking up behind the back seat” of our SUV.
“What is that?” she said. “It looks like something with wheels. What did you buy this time?”
“Oh, I dunno’,” I said.
“You don’t know what you bought, or you don’t know what it is?” she asked.
“Yeah,” I replied.
That evening, we went to the grocery and when we arrived home, I made everyone stand outside in the cold while I unloaded my new friend and prepared to dazzle.
“LOOK!” I screamed, like one of those hawkers on late-night infomericals, “you can get almost all of the groceries in this front basket. It’s expandable. AND…there’s another mesh basket under the child’s seat!”
“Yeah, that’s handy,” my wife brrrrd. “The kids are frozen, can we go in?”
“Why WALK in when they can RIDE in on the new cart!” I said.
The kids really seemed to like that, so at least I had them on my side.
Not only was this cart going to save us time and money, but it would also bring our family closer.
Household chores would be a breeze.
HA! No problem. The Rehrig International (Rehrig is an innovator/leader in the shopping/commercial-use cart industry) has not one, but TWO “hanger-friendly” accessories.
I can now push the cart through the house (“Bring out yer dead!”), collect all the dirty clothes in the spacious, front basket, do the laundry, and return through the house with the clean clothes on hangers, or neatly-folded and placed in the basket. AND…I can take one or two kids along to “help.”
Need to move a heavy item?
I can simply fold up the large, mesh basket to expose the sturdy, non-slip base onto which I can stack people, places and things.
Uh…maybe. But I don’t want to get the Rehrig International dirty.
I have even scanned the Internet to find replacement part in case something (Oh, please no!) should ever break or malfunction.
Now that I own what I consider the “Cadillac of Carts” (probably more like a “BMW of Carts” because of its sleek, euro-design.), I cannot take the responsibility lightly.
I have carefully cleaned and polished (with car polish) the cart, and even used some of that STP “Son of a Gun” stuff on the tires.
I watch what is placed in the baskets for fear of the mesh being ripped or torn.
The other night, I caught the kids (~gasp!~) playing with the Rehrig.
“That’s NOT a toy!” I screamed. “But…look, you kids can make cleaning up easier by putting all your toys carefully in the basket and pushing it back to your room.”
To which four-year-old Drake responded, “Dad…you’re weird.”
I considered “trickin’out” the Rehrig with fancy wheels or maybe some graphics (yes, I AM serious), but I prefer its simple, functional beauty.
With its “Microban AntiMicrobial Product Protection,” I expect it to last years.
Maybe I’ll even be buried in it.
They can roll me off to Heaven.
When I get there, I bet you Jesus will meet me at the gate.
And he’ll be pushing a Rehrig International.