Monday, November 14, 2005

Too many stores

Well I have decided that there are just too many stores here in Asheville. I bought a starter set for my palm pilot about a week before it arrived at Staples in Hendersonville. Then after I got my palm pilot I downloaded 3 anesthesia references books to someone elses e-mail address. But that's another post entirely. So, this palm starter kit came with a gimicky pen/stylus combo, a case and 4 screen protectors. The screen protectors I couldn't get on without putting a big fingerprint on it, the case didn't have a snap or a removable belt clip and that stupid pen/stylus was just too geeky so I decided to return it all.

We set off to return it to the store in Asheville, but then Carol says we can return it to the store close to home, the Office Max. I said we didn't buy it there. So then Carol says maybe that's an Office Depot there, I'm not sure. So I say we have to go to Asheville to the mall with the Best Buy where we got it. Carol says there is a Best Buy in the new mall next to Office Depot. Then I think I don't remember getting it at Best Buy. By now we are driving around in circles so Carol says why don't we look at the BAG it came in. The bag says Staples. Yep, I bought it it at a different store in a different town then I remembered.

Now this would just be a usual day for us except for one thing. We spent an hour on Map-Quest that morning trying to coordinate this exchange with a trip to the Asheville Super Wal-Mart and a trip to Sam's Club. Now more planning went into this trip than the "Raid on Entebbe". Now we can go home and check for a Staples in Ashville on line and do the Map-Quest thing again. I decide to scrap the super gas saver plan that's going to pot and we are off in the other direction: 12 miles to Hendersonville, to the Staples we bought the dumb thing in and then go to that Super Wal-Mart ( which the locals refer to as the ALAMO) and then run back up to Asheville to return the shirt at Sam's Club. If we knew we were going to wind up in Hendersonville we would have skipped breakfast and went to the Denny's there.

Now the Sam's Club in Asheville is hidden behind a Holiday Inn. The only way we know to get to it is to go through their parking lot. They do have a sign. It's about the size of a cookie sheet and it's obscured by a tree. You can get a brief glimpse of what you think is the building through the trees from the highway. However, for some reason in Asheville The Super K-Mart is Sam's Club Blue and the Sam's Club is K-Mart brown. So we turn into Big K-Mart.

We are not easily discouraged by Asheville's lack of signs or Map-Quest's fantasy directions. That night we set out to a movie theatre in Asheville. The directions from Map Quest make it sound simple so we give ourselves 40 minutes to go 12 miles. Well the theatre isn't on the street they say. But after driving around the area where we think it should be I spot a sign; a marque the size of a crib sheet so I cut into that mall. However, the theatre isn't in that mall. It's about four malls back up on top of a mountain. You can bet there was not one more sign for the theatre besides the one on the street where the theatre wasn't supposed to be. The lack of signs in North Carolina must be part of some joke being played on all these Yankee transplants. I would get a GPS, except that the guys who put the satellite in orbit probably work for Map-Quest. There are just too many stores, too many malls and too few signs for us bumpkins from Garrett County.

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