Bargains are to me the universe’s way of saying, “Hey, I think you need a boost.”
“Really. Why?” I say.
“Why? Well, no particular reason, just Enjoy.”
When I’m in the mood to prod the universe, I hang out at bargain-friendly places. Among my favorites is a salvage and overstock retailer in Independence, Missouri with the unfortunate name of Cargo Largo. It is a sprawling warehouse of a building right off a thoroughfare with heavy traffic, car dealerships and fast food restaurants.
There’s a little bit of everything — furniture, rugs, tools, electronics, office supplies, cosmetics, food and so on and so on. Giant cardboard boxes crowd the center aisles with the latest Big Overstock Deal. The Boutique is in the middle fenced in by display cases like Conestogas on a prairie. Clerks stroll the inside edge bringing out designer clothes, high-end jewelry and stylish housewares when a customer wants a closer look.
A voice over the loudspeaker announces instant sales much like the blue light specials K-Marts were fond of doing before Wal-Mart steamrolled over them.
It is a great representative democracy except on weekends when pigskin trumps commerce for some. No matter how different the crowd, they act as one tribe — commenting on items in baskets, jostling good-naturedly through bottle-necks, and steering strangers toward a deal on paper plates.
Two years ago I bought a set of dishes for 7.00 a place setting. Come to find out they were hand painted porcelain, a line of dishes named after major cities in the world. Mine are called Sao Paulo. I found them on the internet for over 300 a place setting. Yeah, the universe was sure on its game that day.
One of these days I am going to use them.