Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dave & DeNick's Treasure Hunting (Reunion I)

This is the first part of a few posts chronicling my weekend in Mobile, Alabama...

As reported before, I headed to Mobile this past weekend with The Lovely Steph Leann, and our friends DeNick and DeLisa. It seems that somehow, someway, we always end up spending the weekend with them out of town, be it a friends gathering a few years ago, a Disney World trip last fall, and now this, but it always works out.

The Lovely Steph Leann and DeLisa were graduates of Baker High School in 1994, and this was the 15th anniversary of that very same class. DeLisa had been heavily involved in planning this reunion, and The Lovely Steph Leann was along for the ride... which meant that spouses like myself and DeNick were also along for the ride.

We left Friday afternoon around 4pm, and had an uneventful ride down--I say "uneventful" because I slept for the first two hours of it. We did stop at Steak-n-Shake in Prattville, upon my suggestion because, really, I love some Steak-n-Shake. I wish there was one here in Birmingham, but part of me is glad, because some of the appeal might wear off--I've not been to Whataburger nearly as much as I thought I would now that they are in town.

But boy do I miss Denny's.

Anyway, we were staying at DeLisa's parents house to which we arrived around 9p or so, unloaded, and then had cake, chatted it up with DeMom and spent 45 minutes watching the sonogram video of DeNick & DeLisa's baby coming soon. She's due in January. I got to watch a little Dateline NBC, always a good time.

The reunion party wasn't until 6pm the next evening, so the subject of "What are we going to do tomorrow" came up, and DeLisa and The Lovely Steph Leann had their answer. They were going to go get chicked out with one of those mani-pedi type mornings at a place that does such things.

My version of a manicure is when I bite the fingernail of my index finger. Done. DeNick also had no desire for such things, so we chatted for a moment about what we could do for the morning. DeLisa said, "You should go to Hudson's." I looked at her, then to DeNick and asked, "What's Hudson's?"

A smile crept across DeNick's face. Essentially, he explained, its this big store that has tons and tons of random closeout things, of all types, sizes, prices and so on. Kind of like Big Lots, I say, and both DeNick and DeLisa shake their heads. No, better (worse?) that Big Lots.

"I'm in," I say immediately. You know you are a blogger when you look for opportunities to take pictures and discuss the strange places you go.

The next morning, The Lovely Steph Leann was already at breakfast, ready to get her chick on with DeLisa, before I was even fully awake. I figured I'd shower later (which I did), and was pleasantly surprised at what DeDad had cooked up... biscuits, eggs, bacon and cheese grits, which were delish to the core--I had two big helpings of such.

Finally, the girls were gone and the boys headed to Hudson's Treasure Hunt. And of course, I took some pictures...

Here's Hudson's, right off of... Schillengers? It was in a shopping center next to a Dollar General, which, let me tell ya, where EVA-REE-WHERE.

In case you want to look like Mary-Kate... or Ashley... whichever's which... you can buy their hair care products! Oh, and don't eat for three days and smoke like a chimney. That would do it.

I don't know that I can come up with a price that I wouldn't pay, or at least consider, to see The Lovely Steph Leann wear a pair of pants like these, even for a brief moment.

Don't be deceived by this aisle. Despite the fact there were a 1,000 DVDs here, there were many of the same ones, so you had about 15 titles to choose from. They were all $4.99 though, so it was tempting to purchase the entire first season of Gene Simmons Family Jewels.

Let me be clear... if this ever ends up on our shelves in The Cabana, call the police. Because if this is in our house, that means that The Lovely Steph Leann is dead, and if you didn't hear me talk about it, then I had something to do with her disappearance. Thats the only way this would ever make it in our home. And if you decide to give us this for a gift, even a gag gift, she WILL throw it away. Just sayin'.

So, if you are looking at your shopping list, and it says Advil, hair scrunchies, triple A batteries, Coca-cola flavored lip balm, gift wrap tape dispensers AND condoms, then not only can you get it all at Hudson's Treasure Hunt, you can get it all standing IN THE SAME SPOT! What convenience!!

We finished up our walking around at Hudson's, which also included tours of the hardware that featured $124 dollar hammers--why would you ever need a hammer that cost more than $20?--and axes that not only had the blade plastic cover missing, but were on the bottom shelf for your child's easy reaching and DeNick bought a few things and I bought a cheap flashlight for the car.

We were back in the truck we were riding in and were heading back to DeMom's house, when DeNick pipes up, "Hey! I just remembered... if you think that was bad, there's another place down the road called Hudson's Dirt Cheap."

First of all, any place with the words "Dirt" and "Cheap" in them--done. I'm all about it. I shared this sentiment with my riding buddy, and we turned the Trooper around and headed thataway.

I figured out that Hudson's Treasure Hunt was like Big Lots threw up. And if that place was Big Lots throwing up, then Hudson's Dirt Cheap was Big Lots squatting and take a huge crap. This place was reeeeeediculous... piles of junk everywhere. Anywhere. The shelves were dirty, the items were opened, broken, strewn about, the packages were sometimes empty, and there was the most random assortment of crap you could possibly imagine.


And the crazy thing was, the place was packed. There was a ton of people walking the aisles, picking stuff up, ready to purchase.

There was a lady near the front on the phone, sifting through a big cardboard bin of makeup supplies and such, and I heard her say, "Yeah, they've got dozens of shades here, like, 3 for a dollar! Would you like me to pick you up some?" And then she turned to the littler girl next to her, swatted the hand, and said, "Don't you dare put that anywhere near your mouth!"

They had plenty of toiletry items here, including a seat. And no, I didn't stage this picture by putting this on the shelf. DeNick saw me taking a picture of it, and said plainly, "Now THAT... I wouldn't touch." Touche.

This is one of my worst fears. I write a book that I'm very proud of, hopefully you will all buy and enjoy, and some years later, I find it on the shelves of Hudson's Dirt Cheap. I might have to walk into traffic.

A couple of things to notice about this picture... first, the yellow tag on the shelf. That would be a Wal Mart tag. And many of the shelves had Wal Mart yellow price stickers on them, as in, Hudson's Dirt Cheap hadn't even bothered to clean the shelves off. Secondly, notice the price tag actually on this box of crayons... it says $4.99. It was on a 50% off shelf, so for about $2.50, you are getting a rather attractive box of 120 Crayola Premium Crayons. Heck, it even says "Surprise Inside!" So open the box and...

...surprise! A bunch of used, broken and missing crayons! What a deal!

Be honest... if you are brave enough to buy the clothes, how many of you are brave enough to venture into the Changing Coops dressing rooms?

Finally, DeNick and I had about all the Hudson's Bargain hunting we could stand, and once again, was heading to DeLisa's parents home, when once again, DeNick piped up, "Hey, you know what else is around here? The flea market!"

So, off we went. It was nearing noon by this time, and we knew our respective chicks were probably close to being done with their chicked out morning, so we figured we would swing in and just take a look around.

Suffice to say, as far as hilarity ensuing, it was just eh. Actually, it was quite organized... while neither one of us found a whole lot we were interested in purchasing, we were quite impressed by the way it was laid out. It was clean, it had a wide variety of things for sale--movies, music, comics, clothes, knick knacks, paddywhacks, the dogs and the bones--and I even paid 50 cent for disc one of WWE Raw Is War 15th Anniversary Collection.

There were lots of animals here for sale including...

...chickens for $10. Seriously, it was almost worth ten dollars to see the look on The Lovely Steph Leann's face when I came back with a rooster in a cage. I didn't do it, however, because as priceless as that look might be, and as much enjoyment as DeNick would get out of it, I would then have a chicken I'd have to do something with, and I'd have a very annoyed wife to deal with later. Just not worth it. Almost, but not quite.

We finished up, and headed back to DeMom's house, and this time, DeNick had nothing else to toss in there. I took a shower when we arrived, DeNick headed out to the pier behind the house and we waiting for the chicks to come back, which they did.

We had lunch at Baudean's, a pretty decent if somewhat overpriced seafood joint down the road, and then just relaxed for the afternoon. The Lovely Steph Leann got in a nap, as did I, before we got up and prepared to face The Class of 1994.

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