Eli: Hi. I would like to buy this table and six of these chairs.
Lady: Great! Let me make sure we have enough in stock.
Eli: No problem.
Lady: Let's see . . . hmmmm . . . well we only have four of those chairs.
Eli: Ok. Do you know when you'll have more?
Eli: Can we order some? Is that a possibility.
Eli: Oh shoot. So, you're saying there's no way we can find two more of these chairs?
Lady: Well, we could see if any of our other locations have them.
. . .
Eli: So . . . how do we go about doing that?
Lady: Well I just need to call around.
Eli: Ok. . . So could you do that?
Lady: Ok. [Picks up the phone. Starts calling someone.] Hi Mary! How are things? You guys staying busy? Oh? Hahahahaha! You are so bad! I know! Ok. Yeah. I'll talk to you later. Bye!
Eli: . . . so?
Lady: What can I help you with? [Takes a bite out of a cupcake. Smiles at me.]
Eli: Seriously? Weren't you going to ask them if they had any of these chairs?
Lady: Oh. Right. Let me call her back. [Calls again.] Hey Mary. One more thing. Do you have any such-and-such chairs in stock? Ok great! Thanks!
Eli: [Smiling and nodding during the phone conversation until Lady hangs up.] So? They had them?!
Eli: Oh. Well, can you try someone else?
Lady: Ok! [Calls a few others. Same interaction as above. Nobody has chairs, until finally--] Wonderful news! Thanks!
Lady: They have two of these chairs!
Eli: Great! So can they deliver them to this store?
Lady: No. I'm sorry. They can't. You'll have to go pick them up at that store. I can have them hold the chairs for you.
Eli: Ok. Which location is this?
Lady: Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Eli: [Looking around] Am I being punked?
Lady: But they can only hold them for 24 hours.
Eli: I think I'm going to have to pass.
Lady: Ok. Do you want to just buy the four chairs we have?
Eli: No. The table is kind of big. I need six chairs.
Lady: Well you could just buy these four and then find two matching chairs later.
Eli: I really doubt that. These chairs are very unique.
Lady: So you want the four chairs then?
Eli: What? No. I definitely don't want to just buy these four chairs. You know what, I like those chairs over there, too, and it looks like you have six of them. If you are out of stock of the others, I'll just get those six chairs.
Lady: SUCH a good choice. GREAT second choice.
Eli: Thanks. Ok, so let's do this table and these chairs here.
Lady: Great! I'll ring you up! [Starts ringing me up on the register] So one table and four chairs.
Eli: Four? No. I want six of those.
Lady: Of the second choice chairs? I thought you just wanted four?
Eli: Why would I only want four? The whole reason I'm getting those chairs is because you only had four of my first choice. And I want six.
Lady: Hmm . . . well I don't really know how to go back on this computer and I already put in "four" so . . .
Eli: I . . . I just can't believe that this is a hurdle that can't be overcome.
Lady: Oh wait! I think I just figured it out. Ok, so you want six of the first choice chairs, right?
Eli: . . . well . . . yes. But I thought you didn't have enough for that. So I decided to go with six of the second choice chairs.
Lady: Oh right. So silly of me. Ok. Go ahead and swipe your card.
Eli: Great. I'll be back in a few hours with a truck to pick them up.
Lady: Perfect! And do you want the table disassembled. It's a NIGHTMARE to put back together.
Eli: Well then definitely not. It will fit in the back of the truck just as it is.
[A few hours later, Eli's phone rings]
Lady: Hi! Just calling to let you know that the table has been disassembled and is ready for you to pick up!
Eli: Uh . . . I actually didn't want it disassembled.
Lady: Oh that's too bad. Because it's a nightmare to put back together.
Eli: So I've heard. So . . . could you put it back together please?
Lady: Well . . . we usually don't assemble furniture for customers.
Eli: Am I in Palau again?
Lady: But I guess we can make an exception this time.
[An hour later, Eli and Burke walk into the store, Burke's truck out front.]
Lady: Hi! Your table and four chairs are right over there!
Eli: WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MY LIFE!?
Somehow, probably through acts of God, Eli, Burke, an assembled table, and six plan B chairs made it to Eli's new house later that night.
Therapy appointment TBD.
~It Just Gets Stranger