October Christmas

There’s something unsettling about walking into my local Lowe’s Home Improvement store to buy a chainsaw in mid-October.  You quickly discover that the only path to that chainsaw is to pass by a display of massive inflatable snowmen, Santa Clauses, sleighs, and a holiday-dressed Mickey Mouse, as well as enough Christmas decorations to outnumber all the drills, hammers, screwdrivers, clamps, batteries, and bags of concrete in the store.

There are a few mannequin-style vampires, zombies, and skeletons dressed in tattered clothing. In addition to some plastic pumpkins, spooky-themed door mats and boxed inflatable Despicable Me yard decorations, that’s about it for Halloween.

And Thanksgiving? Well, good luck, Thanksgiving. Of course, ceramic turkeys will be on the way, but for now, not much of anything is there. It is Christmas which has come to town, infiltrating store after store like a plague of unwelcome eye sores.

It’s interesting how we’ve evolved to become consumers of gargantuan yard decorations. Yet, I don’t recall anybody asking for them.  But, perhaps we did…

Dear Christmas Decorations Manufacturer:

 Is there any way you can push the envelope a little, and knock out some inflatable yard abominations large enough to hide our homes? You know…BIG inflatables that’ll make it look as if we’re putting on a grounded hot air balloon festival.  And slap a price tag on them for a couple hundred dollars, because you know us…we’ll buy whatever you put out there!

 Happy Holidays,

We The People 

Perhaps there were protesters outside Lowe’s whom I never saw, pumping their “OCTOBER CHRISTMAS!!  OCTOBER CHRISTMAS!!” picket signs into the air, while shouting, “WE WANT REINDEER!! EIGHT-FOOT INFLATABLE REINDEER!!”

Did a protester stand on top of one of Lowe’s riding lawn mowers, and speak into a megaphone to a gathering crowd of head-nodding followers?… “UNTIL LOWE’S SELLS US INFLATABLE GINGER BREAD HOUSES, ELVES, IGLOOS, AND COCA-COLA-DRINKING POLAR BEARS, WE SHALL REFUSE TO BUY THEIR CHAINSAWS, BIRD SEED, AND FIRE ANT KILLER!!!”

However these massive yard decorations came to be, one thing is certain:  a need to display them two-and-a-half months prior to Christmas has become the new norm.  And that goes for every Christmas tree ornament, string of lights, package of tinsel, artificial poinsettia, and mistletoe decoration as well.

There was a time when Christmas decorations weren’t sold until Thanksgiving.  There was something that just felt right about it—as if the month of December was meant to be festive.  Had massive, inflatable yard decorations been a part of that past, it’s quite possible they wouldn’t be so over-the-top as they are in mid-October.

Mid-October…really?

Until there’s enough public outcry to persuade retailers to at least keep Christmas out of October, then chances are that—and you guessed it—the greedy hands of September won’t be too far away.

But it is what it is.  Christmas, with its mass consumer grandeur, has been a multi-billion dollar generator for many, many years.  And it has no plan of stopping.  Without Christmas, the success of our national economy would never reach its celebrated numbers. And to that, as Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and Lowe’s watch the increasing sales of gargantuan yard ornaments, they have really only one thing to say…

“Thank you, Jesus!”

 

Copyright Ros Hill 2017

Lowes Lawn, Garden, Bank and Trust

One day it became perfectly clear. I had just pulled the starter cord of a brand new Black & Decker weed eater, and began slaughtering a patch of dandelions, when it dawned on me that I’d been conducting all of my financial transactions at the wrong place. Get this: my money was in a bank. That’s right…a bank! For reasons you’ll soon understand, I kissed the handle of that wondrous weed eater, and returned to my slaughter.

I’ll admit, I was a slow learner. It took years until I finally understood I could get more bang for my buck by depositing my money into a more rewarding and innovative financial institution. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be banking at my local Lowes Home Improvement store. Or, as I like to call it: Lowes Lawn, Garden, Bank and Trust

Understand that while I do have a checking account with my regular bank, I keep as little in it as possible, but just enough to pay the bills. My reasoning is because banks don’t give me light bulbs, ceiling fans, power tools, lawn and garden equipment, or lumber when I give them money. Traditional banks are stingy. I once went to my bank and deposited $500.00, and they gave me a sour apple Dum Dum lollipop about the size of a small marble. Lasted maybe three minutes. The day before at Lowes, I deposited $129.00 and they let me walk out with a 16′ aluminum extension ladder which will last for years. Pretty obvious which financial institution I prefer.

If you’re feeling a bit confused here, then let me explain how the Lowes banking system works…

It was a Saturday morning, and already I was off to a bad start. I had gotten up early to water the garden, but couldn’t because there was a leak in the hose. Upon closer inspection, I noticed it was more than just an simple puncture. It looked as though something had tried to eat the hose. Perhaps a vermin of some kind. Like a raccoon or opossum, or even a wayward sewer rat whose sight might have been impaired with cataracts or rodent glaucoma. Whatever the case, I had a damaged hose that needed to be replaced. Off to Lowes I went.

Since I’m very familiar with Lowes, I headed straight to aisle 21 and grabbed a 25′ hose. I took it to one of the cashiers (or as I call them, tellers). The conversation went like this…

“Hello!” said the upbeat female teller. “Looks like you got some watering to do, eh?”

“Sure do,” I said. “I think a vision-impaired sewer rat tried to eat the one at home. Musta thought it was sausage or a defenseless garden snake.”

“A rat would eat green sausage? Does green sausage even exist?”

“A blind rat would, yes. Perhaps a special green sausage for St. Patrick’s Day,” I said, putting the packaged hose on the countertop.

She picked up the hose and scanned it. “$25.00.”

“Great!” I said energetically. “If I deposit $25.00, then I get the hose?”

“Deposit?”

“Yes, deposit. If I give you $25.00, then I’m rewarded with the hose, correct?”

“Rewarded?”

Smiling I said, “You guys aren’t just innovative, but you’re fun too! Rewarded for my deposit—I get the hose, correct?”

“Uh…yeah…in a manner of speaking, that’s correct.”

And in a manner of speaking, this is what I love about Lowes. It’s your money. People return their deposit rewards all the time to get cash back in their pockets. That’s what separates Lowes from conventional banks. At Lowes if you don’t like the hammer they gave you for depositing money, then just say, “Hey, I don’t like the hammer.” And they’ll not only take back the hammer, but give you money for not liking it. I mean, think about it…try to return a Dum Dum lollipop that a bank gives you after a deposit. Good luck with that! I once heard of a man who deposited over $10,000 and the bank gave him four lollipops as a way of saying thank you. Four lollipops!! I bet there’s not a single bank that has a chainsaw in their back closet! Outrageous!!

This appalling reality sent me on an immediate visit to my bank. It was time they heard the facts! I told them how Lowes was a far more inventive financial institution. I explained to them, in detail, the Lowes deposit/rewards system. They said I was crazy. They said I should be institutionalized and locked away for good. They said banks save your money, and Lowes doesn’t. I told them they were crazier, as all I have to do is return a reward item and I’ll get back the same money I had deposited. I also told them in a fiery voice (putting the security guard on alert), “THAT LOWES DOESN’T MAKE ME FILL OUT DEPOSIT SLIPS EITHER!!!” At this point there was no need hearing what these imbeciles had further to say. So I concluded., “AND UNLIKE THIS GOD-FORSAKEN HELL BANK, AT LOWES I DON’T FEEL LIKE I HAVE TO WHISPER AS IF I’M TALKING IN A DAMN PUBLIC LIBRARY!!!”

And off I marched; head high and chest out like some kind of morphed half-human half-puffer fish. If only the Board of Directors at Lowes had seen my performance. If only they had witnessed how I defended their great banking institution. Oh, the shovels, flashlights, and gallons of wood stain they would reward me with!

The cameras! Of course! The bank video cameras had captured my entire debate. As a long-time customer, all I needed to do was request a copy of the video, or, if it came time after their numerous refusals, I would alert the media of the harassment I had suffered. That, perhaps, might be the best plan as the Board of Directors could then watch my defending arguments on all the major news network channels. I can only assume without any reservation that my status as a member of the Bank of Lowes will be upgraded from “Basic” to “Distinguished Platinum”.

Ladies and gentlemen, eternal rewards are headed my—

“Mr. Sewol…Mr. Sewol! Back away from the computer, please…Oh, just great…you’ve hacked into the blog site again…Look, I need you to take your medication, then let’s get you back to your room. Come along now, Mr. Sewol.”

                            Copyright Ros Hill 2016