Last Saturday, the first of September, I went to town, alone, to try to find Big Sister a birthday present. We had thought about a bicycle, and I had shied away from the idea, everything I found online being absurdly … absurd. Hubby feels even more strongly about it, and we are staying away from the silly Disney-Princess-Dora-Barbie fad crap. Which can make it hard to shop. There is an old bicycle shop in town with those nice retro-looking bicycles, but I’m barred from shopping there, because Old Man Bicycle screwed over my father-in-law about 35 years ago or so.

After much shopping and disappointment, I ended up at yet another big-box store and actually found a tolerable one. No “licensed characters,” and the frilly stickers looked … easy to remove? Service was non-existent, unless you used threats (which I did), and the “Team Member in Training” figured out that the bike was $70, after messing with his hand-held scanner thingy for 10 minutes. He’d told me that a boxed one would be brought up to purchase, if I decided for it. He then disappeared, so I took the little bar-code tag off the display rack and made my way to checkout. I held it up to the gal at the register and said, “I want to buy this, but I can’t lift it.” She laughed, and had me stand aside while she radioed someone to bring the merchandise and checked others out. The experienced worker who brought the bike did NOT bring it in a box, but brought the very bike from the display rack. I asked about it, and apparently they NEVER sell unassembled bikes, for liability purposes, etc.

I don’t know if the gal used the tag I brought or the barcode off the bike itself, but it did NOT ring up at $70, but at about $36. It didn’t click at first, but later I wondered if it was a season-end clearance, or the Training Boy just didn’t know what he was doing. I’m not sure either way, but I’m not complaining.

What does all of this have to do with Hubby? Well, I got the bike in the trunk (barely!) and brought it home, and asked him to hide it until next Saturday, possibly in the basement. He decided against the basement, and instead brought it upstairs after dark to our walk-in-closet. He stood it on end in the corner, and completely hid it with bridesmaid’s dresses I’ve worn, boxes, and a guitar case. After removing the flowery stickers, of course. Even so, he really doesn’t want her to find it. And doesn’t trust just some simple lock either..

No, if you look closely, she’d have to: 1) be cognizant that there is something she wants to see in the closet, and 2) find and master the use of a cordless drill!

Hubby gets highly offended when referred to with the word “Redneck,” but he’s making it very hard to define these things in some other way. Does every wife pick up handfuls of .22 shells when she cleans their bedroom? Mindless destruction of property is completely appropriate in his understanding, even for very short-term needs.

Consider the following: I can’t believe I haven’t blogged this story, but it helps illustrate my point here. One weekend in early summer I found this large gash in my master bedroom window screen.

I thought Hubby had been careless in removing it during one of his emergency “Oh! A rockchuck in the field! Where’s my gun?” dilemmas. Of course I was wrong. There WAS a rockchuck in the field, and his shotgun loaded with 7/0 (?) buckshot (like small marbles) was right at hand. Turns out he didn’t want to “waste time” removing the screen, for certainly the little varmint would be outside optimal range by then. That’s right; he just thrust the barrel of his gun through the screen. *sigh* At least he got ‘im.

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