B.Y.O.B.O.B.

bob

Dear Blue,

We bought you a B.O.B. yesterday. It’s half stroller/half tank/half transformer. We’ve been spying one for a while, but considering they’re priced like a luxury car, we figured we’d have to settle for a less awesome stroller. You know, the ones that you can’t take to the Death Zone on Mount Everest.

It has really big bike wheels, shocks, SHOCKS!!!! and it can fold down into a lunchbox with the click of two buttons. With so many cool mountain trails near us, we wanted to take you along. Over the rivers and through the woods, so to speak. The B.O.B. was our choice.

Your mother was in love with it at first sight two months ago at our local REI. We held off purchasing. It was just too expensive. So we explored other options, other avenues, and always came back to the B.O.B. Unfortunately, it was always in high demand and never on sale anywhere. It even commanded a nearly like new price on Craigslist for models that looked like they were attacked by wolves or two year olds. Maybe both.

Through a tip, we figured out that REI was having a garage sale this Saturday. All returned items would be on sale at a deep discount starting at 10am. We got there at 9:30am. Already, a crowd had gathered, eagerly pressing up against the orange netting separating us from the goods and strategizing their optimal path of consumption. At first, we thought we were out of luck. But deep in the corner, we saw 4 B.O.B. strollers in varying conditions and prices.

We eyed the strollers, trying to see which ones had defects and which ones didn’t. Then we eyed the crowd, our baby radars tingling. There were two other couples with infants, as well as another couple eying the same corner as us. Your mother sent silent death knives out of her eyes, warding them away from her quarry. You would have been proud of her, Blue. She’s fierce, and I’m entirely confident if it came down to a knife fight in a deep, lightless pit for that stroller, your mother would come crawling out of there, dragging the B.O.B. behind her.

Thankfully, your mother did not need to flash her knife skills. An REI crowd is the most orderly, patient and kind crowd anywhere. You’ll see, Blue. People get crazy for sales, especially big sales like the upcoming Black Friday extravaganzas across the country. The craziness is in direct proportion to the store. At Wal-Mart, for example, people shoot real guns at each other so they can buy video game consoles that allow them to shoot fake guns at each other. At Best Buy, people run across frozen tundra parking lots in order to buy 46 inch plasma televisions. No money needed, just donate some plasma.

At REI, everyone miraculously gets a number, then miraculously gets in line, and miraculously refrains from tramping over each other to get a good deal on a camp stove.

We were #121. We watched anxiously as the man posted at the entrance bellowed out, “Let the shopping begin!” like he was announcing the start of gladiator death bouts at the Coliseum.

And then people strolled in to buy shoes.

Nobody went for the strollers…

And they went in to buy backpacks.

No strollers…

And bikes.

Still, no strollers.

Then, finally, we were in. We made a beeline for the strollers, focusing in an orange one in like new condition. Standing next to it was a DEEPLY discounted model with a flat tire. We asked the guy standing there if that was all that was wrong. “Uh yeah,” he said.

“How much does it cost to repair the tire?”

“Seven dollars inside.”

“We should get the one with the flat tire, huh?”

“Yes, you should.”

And yes we did. At a discount so deep that if we decide to resell it in a few years on Craigslist, there’s an outside chance we could make a profit.

And you get to ride around in style, Blue. Remember guy.

Delayed gratification is the best kind there is.

-Dad

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