I'm nothing if not persistent. To the point that it becomes less about the object I'm buying than it is about just finding it. I think it comes from my woebegone days as a baseball card collector looking for the random error card of a guy who was lucky to be in the big leagues to begin with. Months of searching to spend 25 cents just so I could say I found the damned thing.
Such is the case with the elusive snow shovel. To recap, check here.
Just as we are digging out of the 28 inches of snow that was dumped on us on Saturday, another foot or so is expected on Wednesday. Since I was lucky enough to find the leftover Mexican snow shovels in the shed the last time, I figure that luck can't continue, so I took out for The Home Depot with the misplaced optimism that three days would have made some difference in their snow shovel inventory.
As I entered, I was accosted by one of those orange-bibbed workers, asking, "How can I help you?"
"You can tell me that you have snow shovels," I said, with a searching hope in my eyes.
"I wish I could," she replied. "We can't keep them in stock."
"But you have lawnmowers," I said, having just walked past a fresh rack full of 90-horsepower Toro's, primed to cut grass - in five months when grass starts growing again. I think the irony was lost on her. I continued...
"You could order a hundred thousand of them. If you only sell ninety thousand, you can keep the rest of them for next year because the snow shovel technology is maxed-out." I could see now that my cogent argument was going straight over her head.
"I know you just work here, but it's confounding to me," I pleaded, expecting her to suddenly reveal a secret stash of snow shovels hidden away for customers who made a logical case for getting one.
"I would love to sell you a snow shovel, sir," as though her desire to make me happy would somehow salve my damaged hope.
"I would love to buy one," I replied, and turned to wander out into the night to ponder the existence of the snow shovel. I've heard that people can buy them and use them to shovel snow, but at this point I have a better chance of scoring a pound of Columbian marijuana than I do of buying a perfectly useful item two days before it could be put to use.
Judging by the inventory of garden equipment at the local The Home Depot, I'd say that the best time to buy a snow shovel would be mid-August.
I'll write myself a note.