Monday, May 18, 2009

Outdoor Utility Room

I have hinged my entire forthcoming Memorial Day weekend in Pensacola around having an outdoor shower tent at our beach (not really). Mostly because, let's face it, a superhero NEEDS a place to transform. And, well, because sand dunes and the open water are not really public loos.

In February, I thought I had it all worked out with And so I let it lay for a few months thinking, "They got me." But when I began the process of finalizing the order, lo and behold, no inventory, no product, no nothing. EEK!

Not to worry, I found another option online and put the e-commerce on them so fast it made my head spin. Got their order confirmation email. Ahhh, sweet relief! But after a week or so with no shipping expectation, I started digging and discovered this site, which specializes in safety equipment and apparently is run by Ethelstine from her garage (I called the "customer service" number and it's totally her answering machine), is overwhelmed with swine flu protective mask requests and will get to you when they get to you.

That meant only one thing. Bass Pro Shops. First off, they had two options, one of which was $119 (eek again, I think maybe I CAN pee in a sand dune) and one was on sale for $49.99. It was the sort that is similar to a folding dog crate, you know the sort, it's a small packaged disc and you flick your wrist and TA-DA! a tent! No express shipping was available, so I rang up the store in Spanish Fort, Alabama, as I was taking Maddie to my parents for the week as well as attending my niece's piano recital. I will tell you the customer service I received at Bass Pro Shops was STELLAR and I am a big customer service judge, mostly because I worked retail when I was a kid and it was "in the day" of excellent customer service training. As it turned out, the store - nor any in Alabama because they checked for me - didn't have the item, but I am endeared as a result of their actions.

I was a bit despondent, but met up with my heart, Laura Catherine, at Target on Saturday night for a "date." Since she's returned to The Port City I have been sad, but at least we're from the same town which means we have opportunities to hangout. She was, again, my rock solid Celebrity Assistant and helped me get my Pcola planning executed. Because nothing is more awesome than a retail date we ran across the street to Wallace (Wal-Mart) I half-heartedly looked in the tent section for a changing tent. Nothing. I gave up the idea then, and while we were perusing the camping equipment aisle making fun of some items and marveling at the coolness of others, I saw, on the shelf, not one but two Shower Utility Tents. Rejoice!

I was so excited I nearly bought them both because they were affordably $34.99! I restrained, since I stepped it up with a case of Heineken - no more redneck beer for me - but am so stoked that all fell into place. And of course, because I'm so prepared, it's looking like it's going to rain all weekend. But that's OK. The process of preparation has affirmed much for me and it's helping me achieve one of my 2009 goals to minimize stress.


Michael said...

Oh, Robby!

I so want to be in Florida for Memorial Day Weekend! The gods are against me, I am afraid. There's this little thing called graduation and my nephew. For some unknown reason, the graduation is scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend.

(If I were a violent person, the scene may be similar to this: Get me Bossier Parish School District on the phone. Tell them how appreciative I am that they chose Memorial Day Weekend to hold the graduation ceremonies. Tell them I would love to meet them and thank them for great planning. Then locate baseball bat. Find said person at the Cent-Tel Center. Force them to attend every Bossier Parish High School graduation scheduled for Saturday or be beaten with a baseball bat!)

Thankfully I am not a violent person or who knows what could have happened.

Let's do plan on next year...starting, say, June 2?

That outdoor pee/shower thingy will still work next year!

Laura-Catherine said...

I'm so thrilled that we could have a retail date, and even more so that you found your tent, and even MORE SO that work has not blocked your blog today so that I could relish in the memory of our lovely Saturday night. I am headed to Wallace to get that bikini ASAP, but only between the hours of 7-7, since Wallace DOES NOT believe in trying on clothes at 11PM on Saturday night. And don't listen to the weather, ever since John Edd Thompson announced his retirement, no one can accurately predict the weather in the area anymore. You'll be fine. I love you.

Pennisi's said...

I hope your new purchase serves you well while you consume all the good stuff! ( I too am over all the redneck stuff.) Enjoy and be safe!