I love Heroscape. If I had Heroscape as a kid, I think I would've played it every day. There are so many cool little guys that you can play with: robots, ninjas, cowboys, aliens.
Well, a couple of days before Christmas, I was preparing to make my Christmas candy. I started taking out all of the ingredients when I realized that I didn't have enough corn syrup (the marshmallows take a full cup of it). So I headed off to Fred Meyer's to get some more (if you've never heard of Fred Meyer's, it's not some guy name Fred's house. It's a big store that sells everything: food, clothes, furniture, gardening stuff...and Heroscape!). I found the corn syrup pretty easy and picked up a nice big bottle of it. Then I decided to take a look at the Heroscape aisle...just in case.
Now Fred Meyer's is not the best place to buy Heroscape. Heroscape is normally pretty expensive. But it's very expensive at Fred Meyer's. But I always go take a look, like I said, just in case. A couple of days earlier, I had went to pick up $30 of stuff for Christmas dinner and came home with $65 of Heroscape. They had a 20% off sale, plus they had all of the wave 3 expansion sets, which I had never seen before. I decided to pick them up...just in case. That way I could take my time and decide if I really wanted them (they're still unopened in their boxes). I came home with an armload of secret agents, highlanders, gorillas, shaolin monks, and other cool guys.
So I didn't expect very much when I went back to do my Heroscape check, since I had just been there a couple of days before. But it was a good thing I did! They not only had the 20% off sale still going on, but they also had a buy one get one half off sale going on as well. They didn't have any more small expansion set since I had been there a couple of days before. But they did have some castle sets that were 50% off! But it wasn't clear if they were on buy one get one half off. So I grabbed a couple, just in case.
When I got to the check out aisle, I told the lady that I just wanted to check to see if the Heroscape sets were on the buy 1 get 1 half off sale. She scanned them and said that they were. I told her that I would be back. I wanted to see if there was anything else good that I could snag. She told me that I could leave my corn syrup and castle sets there and she'd ring them up when I came back. This was my first mistake...
I went back to the Heroscape aisle and found a couple of forest sets that I've been wanting. The forest sets are very popular so they're sometimes pretty hard to find on a good deal. I was glad to get them. I went back to the checkout aisle and, to my dismay, there were a couple of people there with lots of groceries. The people in front had a full cart of stuff and it was taking a while for them to get checked out. The lady behind them was in one of those motorized carts and also had a basket full of stuff. All of the checkout aisles had customers in them, so I figured that I might as well just wait where I was, my second mistake. After a little while, the lady in the motorized cart told me that she also had another full cart worth of stuff that she was buying and I might want to switch lines. I told her that the rest of my stuff was at the front of the line, so I needed to stay there. I waited a while and the people in front finally got done paying for their stuff. That's when the fun began...
The lady in the cart told the checker that there was another motorized cart full of stuff a couple of aisles down. It had run out of power so she had to get a second one. The checker got on the phone and had to call around to find someone that could find the cart for her. This took a while. Then the person came and she had to explain to him what was going on and where to look for the other cart. This took a while as well. The checker started doing pretty well ringing up all of the lady's items. But there were a ton of groceries, and she started running out of places to put them. This slowed things down a bit. It got even slower because the lady in the cart kept having to make sure that all of her coupons were getting scanned. And she had to verify that, when the checker put bags of stuff on top of other bags, that the bags on top contained items that would not crush the stuff underneath.
The guy drove up in the second motorized cart. The lady in the cart then informed me that I was going to have to remove my items from the belt so that she could fit her items on. My things were kind of big and I didn't want to hold them. So I told the guy that I would unload the groceries from the cart. That way, I could keep my items on the belt and just keep moving them back as room was needed. When the checker saw the guy go away, she became very confused. She said something to the effect of 'Where's he going? He needs to unload the cart!' I told her that I was going to do the unloading. She asked if I was sure I wanted to do that. I replied 'Well, I've got nothing else to do.'
At this point, I'm really trying to figure out if I should just go back and get a new bottle of corn syrup and new Heroscape sets. Or just stick it out. Since I now had cart unloading responsibilities, I didn't have much of a choice. Besides, I had made it this far, it seemed like it would've been a shame to quit.
The checker was really running out of space, so she had to get on the phone again. She needed someone to come bring another cart to her. Again, it took a while to find someone. Then the lady in the cart let the checker know that she couldn't find any large packs of 'Ferrero Rocher' candies. So the checker had to call to find someone who could go look in the candy aisle for a box of these candies. This took a looooong while (they didn't have any).
Finally, the checker finished ringing up all of the lady's stuff. I was disappointed to find that the total was only $322. I was hoping that all that stuff was going to be at least $1000. Oh well.
I quickly paid for my stuff and headed for my car. I had been in that line for over 20 minutes. I could've went back, picked up new Heroscape and corn syrup, went into another line, and still saved myself 15 minutes. But I didn't. My quick 20 minute errand had turned into an hour long adventure. The store was closed at this point and people were told that they could only exit through the doors in front of the grocery part of the store. I was just about headed out the door when I realized that there was no corn syrup in my bag! I checked my receipt and saw that the checker hadn't even rung it up! It was the only reason that I went to the store in the first place.
I went back to the checkout aisle to go get my corn syrup. When I got there, there was already a nice line of people with full carts waiting to pay for their stuff. I went up to the checker and said 'I need my corn syrup.' She handed it to me...and I left.
That's right. I left the store. With the corn syrup. That I didn't pay for. I STOLE corn syrup! I just really did not want to wait in line anymore. I know, I know, I'm a horrible impatient shoplifter. But it was 11:30pm and I just wanted to get home and make my candies. (My plan is actually to give them the money for the corn syrup the next time I'm at Fred Meyer's. At least that makes it so I'm only kind of stealing.)
I got in my truck and called Mrs. BigKat to tell her I was coming home. She had actually started to get worried about me because I was taking so long. I told her what happened and we had a good laugh about it.
The thing I realized was that even though I wasted 20+ minutes standing in line, I now had a story that I could look back on and laugh about for the rest of my life: How I went out to buy $4 in corn syrup and came back with $40 in Heroscape. And how a crazy lady in a motorized cart turned me into a common criminal.
Coming soon, Christmas Part 5: The Christmas projects