Email This Post Email This Post

Target Turned Me Into a Redneck

Last weekend, the nieces came to visit. We didn’t want to make the grueling hour drive, so my in-laws, Gary and Heather, packed up the kids with 700 Zip-lock baggies of The Only Food They’ll Eat, towels, Ipods, 15 changes of clothing, the dog and purple drinks. The only way we could talk them into packing like they were preparing for a pre-dawn expedition to the top of Kilimanjaro was to promise the kids a Slip-and-Slide when they arrived, so off I went to Target.

After that things get fuzzy. I remember walking into the Target, calling it by it’s French pronunciation “Tar-shjay” in my head as I went. I remember wheeling my cheery red cart past the towels with Harley Davidson logos and cartoon dogs on them that said things like “Aye-Chihuahua! This is a BIG TOWEL!“  I know I made it past the bins filled with cheap colorful crap I’d previously only seen on roadside yard sale tables.

I think the trouble began when I got to the food aisles. With pre-teen nieces on the way, I had to stock up on junk food, which normally doesn’t make it into our house. Mostly because if we allowed ourselves to buy it, we’d wolf it all down in the car driving home from the food store. I started dumping Fritos, Reeses, potato chips, Capri Suns and the like into the basket. I think that’s when the flood gates opened. I should have recognized the warning signs when I tossed in the gallon jug of queso dip. Kids don’t eat queso dip. Clearly, the lines were becoming blurred.

While searching for the Slip-and-Slide I bumped into a big box. A VERY big box. The label said it had an 18-foot round POOL in it.

An 18 foot POOL? I thought. In a box? Would I be the Greatest Aunt in the World if I bought that?

Yes. Yes, I would.

I tried to get the 18 foot pool into my cart with the Fritos. Turns out an 18-foot pool weighs approximately 4000 pounds, so I asked a gentleman in an over-sized red vest thingy for some help. I say the vest was over-sized because this fellow was about 4 feet tall and weighed about 60lbs. By no means, when I asked him for help, did I mean HE should try and lift the pool into the cart, I just wondered if he had some larger friends he could invite over to my aisle. This man was very small. I could have easily lifted him into my cart, and at this point in my shopping frenzy, probably would have if my nieces had ever insinuated they had the vaguest desire for a 4ft man in a red vest.

For the next ten minutes, Tiny Tim tried to lift the box, but finally gave up and found  help from a guy in an under-sized red vest and a flat bed cart.

I realized at this point I still didn’t have the promised Slip-and-Slide, so I dove back into the toy aisles and found one. That’s when I noticed all the pool toys. I couldn’t get a POOL and not get POOL TOYS. Pool Polo? Sure! Pool Volleyball? No brainer! Pool Paddleball? Of course! 15ft floating alligator? Bam! Floaties, rings, inflatable chairs with drink holders – done!

I needed a third guy just push the cart that didn’t have a pool in it. I made it another few steps before spotting the fireworks. Not the box of sparklers – the 400 pack of various sizes and types with names like Blooming Lotus. Throw that in the cart. Hey, look at that – a hunter lighter with unsuspecting deer peering out from foliage. Brother-in-law Gary would like that. Throw it in.

Summer Party Here We Come!!

The next thing I remember, it is morning, I am hungover and inexplicably wrapped in a Nascar blanket. Did I buy that? My backyard looks like the yard you always see in the background when they’re interviewing a couple about their Big Foot sighting. There are inflatable toys everywhere. There are scorch marks on my patio stones from the fireworks and sad, burnt firework tubes scattered about. There are beer cans and package wrappers from Taiwan stuffed in half-assed attempts at trashcans.

There is an enormous above-ground pool in the middle of my yard.

I am speechless. For the love of all that is holy… I only wanted a Slip-and-Slide.

But on the other hand, that floating chair with the drink holder is looking awfully inviting…

 

Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author specializing in fun, funny fiction --- even the murder mysteries.
Amy Vansant

32 Responses

      • Nina Potts

        please tell me you got these guns. Where the hell are these guns? I don’t even have a pool and want them. Our roommate works at Target, she shares her discount. Must. Have. Guns.

           0 likes

  1. Dave

    So you’re bragging about how you have way too much disposable income?

       0 likes

    Reply
  2. LEo

    Yes.

    She’s also showing, unwittingly I assume, that her preconceived views were wrong and that anyone can enjoy simple pleasures in life and shouldn’t be labeled as red necks just because of that or because of the non-fancy place they buy they stuff.

    Who would’ve thunk huh.

    (sic)

       0 likes

    Reply
    • Amy Vansant

      That’s it. I just stepped out of my mansion long enough to figure out 50 million elvis fans can’t be wrong. Hallelujah!

         2 likes

      Reply
  3. Jessie

    Too funny! I think she’s just trying be funny – lighten up people!!!

       1 likes

    Reply
  4. Amdela

    Haha – awesome read, I’m highly amused. Great writing, keep it up!

       1 likes

    Reply
  5. robin leach

    yeeew rednayek. although it indeed does sound frightfully fun. must have been an utterly stupendous weekend.

       1 likes

    Reply
  6. Kelly

    Food for next time – Split a nathan’s hot dog, stuff with velvetta. Wrap in a corn tortilla, secure with a toothpic, then fry until GB&D. Dip that mother effer in ranch and have your MIND BLOWN.

       2 likes

    Reply
    • Amy Vansant

      Holy moses… I think I just gained 5lbs reading that… but I’m a little hungover today so it sounds particularly fantastic!

         1 likes

      Reply
  7. Jayme (Random Blogette)

    Target has this hypnotic pull on me. Once I walk in it is like I have no control of my body or my credit card anymore. I always walk in looking for one or two things and end up leaving with a cart full of crap. I can never go to Target without spending $100. It is insane. Nice pool though. It will come in handy. Naked pool parties?

       1 likes

    Reply
  8. Britt

    Redneck or not, I’d accept an invitation to that pool ANY day.

    Slip’n’slides are overrated. Those commercials make it look like you aren’t going to lose your left nipple and hip bone to a rogue pebble, but let me tell you, you will. And it will hurt. A lot.

    I bet the 4ft man would have floated like a boss.

       2 likes

    Reply
    • Amy Vansant

      I have a video of my 6’2″ 40+ year old husband trying to slip and slide. Saving it for a rainy day!

         0 likes

      Reply
  9. Tammy

    I love that you decided to throw in the fireworks too. A couple years ago I forgot to buy my husband a Father’s Day gift and ended up late Saturday night at Walmart. Obviously it had been a long day, because I bought him Snickers and fireworks. We still make fun of it, but I think he actually appreciated both.

       0 likes

    Reply
    • Amy Vansant

      I bet he thought it was the best birthday EVER. Though I’m a little disappointed you forgot the NASCAR beach towel.

         0 likes

      Reply
  10. Emily Guy Birken

    I’m wondering if the 4 foot guy in the red vest had a scan-able bar code on him, or if the cashier would have had to call a manager.

       1 likes

    Reply
  11. oddeofun

    Let me know if you get a primer gray El Camino up on blocks. Until then you are merely approaching redneck territory. Not that this is a badge of honor that you really want.

       0 likes

    Reply
    • Amy Vansant

      I know. I think that’s why all the reddit people at the beginning of these comments were so angry. Me throwing my massive wealth around like I just won the lottery and am bragging about having FOUR cars up on blocks now…

         0 likes

      Reply
      • oddeofun

        I’d keep it next to the “shootin’ car” personally. Wouldn’t want to sully the rest of the mansion and all.

        I intend to flaunt my own wealth by perhaps getting a new baseball cap and refusing to remove the stickers and price tag from it. Apparently that shows I can afford an authentic new hat. Or that I stole that one. I’m not sure.

        This was about an El Camino on blocks wasn’t it? I must have mixed up my meds this morning.

           0 likes

      • Amy Vansant

        The “tag on hat” look is very Minnie Pearl, though you might be too young to remember. Isn’t it awesome when you reinvent something that totally worked for someone else and you didn’t know about it. Can’t do anything with it, but you know you’re a genius.

           0 likes

  12. Steph

    oh rednecks like you have really burned my bum this year! I’ve 4 FOUR! of your pools in my block right now! ONE is 2 feet off my back yard property line (really it’s like they are bathing in my yard) ONE is across the street in the neighbors FRONT yard. ONE is -at least- behind my backyard neighbors privacy fence but it is discarded and the breeding ground for all things Nile Virus and ONE is at the end of our street and looks home to the swamp monster.
    ARGH! Oh, wait I see one more that just went up – wait! do you live near me?

       0 likes

    Reply
    • Amy Vansant

      ha! Hilarious. Believe me, I’ve ALWAYS hated above ground pools but we have a fenced yard (BACKyard)and it is FULL of chlorine and we were assured by a bug professional that nothing can lay eggs on it due to the chemicals.

      And still if my neighbors had one and I could see them in it I would be pissed. 🙂

         0 likes

      Reply
  13. Chooplah

    If this were a disney movie, a charmingly plump neighborhood boy would come over and his cannonball would pop a hole in the side, then a large saint bernard would arrive, bounding into the water splashing all over your yard as everyone laughed and hugged.

       0 likes

    Reply
  14. slapshot

    See? That’s the beauty of being a single uncle. You’re not ever expected to bring anything, and as long as you show up in the neighborhood of on time, and are still reasonably sober, when you get there, it’s all good.

       0 likes

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.