Monday, November 12, 2012
Walgreens isn't as lame as I thought
I hold grudges against drugstores.
I grew up during a time when it was pretty much a given that if you ran a drugstore, you were going to offer trading cards in your store for the kiddies. I can't remember walking into a drugstore that did not sell cards for the first 25 years of my life.
That isn't the case anymore. And it pisses me off.
It annoys me so much that when I'm in a drugstore and I notice that it doesn't sell cards, it goes on the mental list, and I make it a priority to never frequent that drugstore again. Emergencies excluded, of course.
There is one drugstore that is prominent where I live that does not offer cards for which I make an exception. It happens to be very close to me and I can't afford to not shop there periodically. But I won't tell you its name because I'm not giving it free publicity because IT DOESN'T SELL CARDS!!!
But for all the rest of you drugstores, either you better hope I'm stranded miles from home with a 104 temperature or you sell cards, or you ain't getting no money from me.
Walgreens has been on the boycott list for some time. I don't buy things there because it's lame. It comes in with your typical chain-store attitude, forces all the mom-and-pop drugstores to struggle or go out of business, and it doesn't even sell CARDS? Lame.
I'm not above giving drugstores second chances. But I've been in several Walgreens and it's been the same everywhere. (Every Walgreens is a clone anyway). Lameness in every aisle. It's just so disappointing. You're ignoring your heritage, Walgreens! And Topps Heritage, too!
So I stopped going there.
But Saturday night I just had to get out of the office. There was a lull at work and nobody was posting anything on the blogs for me to read. Twitter was dead, too (yes, I read blogs and Twitter at work). I thought I'd stop by Rite-Aid and grab a few cards.
The only problem was it was 10 at night. Rite-Aid had wimped out and was closed. "Crap," I thought. "I've got to drive all the way to Walmart?"
I didn't have time to drive to Walmart. But I wanted a snack, and Walgreens was right there. So I gave in. It's all your fault, Rite-Aid.
I felt all my principles disappear as I walked into yet another bright, antiseptic Lamegreens. "At least it's still open," I rationalized.
I got my snack, and on the way to the register, I walked by the toy aisle. My Night Owl senses started tingling. Something made me turn to the right and look to my left. And there they were.
Two lonely Fairfield repacks.
Yeah, I know, Fairfield.
But you gotta start somewhere. And it was so unexpected that I think a tear almost came to my eye. Walgreens! Finally! You're HUMAN. (Well ...)
I waited until I got home for the night to open the package -- yeah, I left the other one on the shelf, it's Fairfield, you know.
I got the usual.
Fairfield likes to do the "bait and switch," feature two nice-looking cards on the top and then stuff a bunch of junk wax in between.
But junk wax doesn't bother me, given my sudden appreciation for '88 and '89 Donruss (don't send any to me!). And as a veteran of these repacks, I know there will always be something in there that I can use -- and I can't say that when I open a 2012 pack.
Besides, if a Bowman Jake Peavy is the best thing available, my expectations aren't all that high anyway.
The point is: WALGREENS HAS CARDS!
So I got fun little stuff like this. My most forgotten set -- 1986 Fleer. Cliff Johnson is about ready to club someone who is 8 feet tall.
Just about every 1996 Topps reminds me of all the fantasy baseball team flops I drafted. Yes, Jon Nunnally was one of them.
I know I am the only person on the planet who can still see a 1987 Topps card for the first time. But I just love where the ball is here.
Two of the baddest sluggers at the time. Kevin Mitchell had 40-plus homers the previous year, and Dawson 40-plus homers just two years prior.
There were three of the very weird Emotion cards in the package. This was the best one.
I love 1985 Donruss and there were four of them in the package, plus a checklist. This is definitely a "Future Set To Collect."
Finally, the ultimate reason I buy repacks. For the chance to get a card from 1977 or 1979 or 1982, the three Topps sets from my initial period of collecting that I have yet to complete. Any card from these three sets that I don't have is like the card collector's version of discovering cadmium.
Mr. Cappuzzello was one of the cards I unlocked on one of those Topps Giveaway sites. I never got it shipped, I don't remember why. Probably shipping costs.
And there were a few other cards in there that I need, too.
Overall, a fun time, something I never expected to say after a trip to Walgreens.
It's still not my favorite place to be. I practically want to lay down every time I'm in one. But at least the next time I find myself there, I won't abandon all hope. I'll do what I do for any other drugstore. Conduct a hard-target search for cards.
Now it's up to you, Certain Unnamed Drugstore Closest To Where I Live. Are you gonna start living up to your heritage?
Don't be lame.
I mean Walgreens has them now for crying out loud!