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"Murphy was an optimist!"

The Halloween Costume from Hell Lives at Target October 30, 2008 8:56 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Halloween, Holiday
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So last night (Tuesday night) was interesting. Cathy and Amy drove to the high school around 4pm to pickup Sarah and shoot across the street to Party City for Amy and Evan’s costumes, only they were out of Evan’s size. They returned home for a quick freshening up before having to rush Sarah to a 5:30pm color guard practice at Hardin Valley Academy. Since I was supposed to be running the Knoxville Asperger Support Group at 6pm, and we only have one functioning vehicle, I felt it prudent that I drive (plus the girls were tight on time and I have this way of bending space and time…more through backroads and minding the traffic patterns than speeding mind you). We got Sarah to Hardin Valley on time and waited 15 minutes for her to give us the thumbs up that she was situated. We drove off with me hoping to get to the support group meeting just a couple of minutes late and Cathy hoping we’d skip the support group meeting and go to Party City in Turkey Creek instead.

Naturally we ended up at Party City where I bumped into a familiar face (but that’s for another post) and the signs indicated they had not sold out of the toddler sized pirate costume! Yea! But the employee came back to say they had none. Boo. BUT! The computer indicated that the Broadway store had a single one left. For those that don’t know the area. From our house to Hardin Valley is pretty extreme. From Turkey Creek to Fountain City are exact opposite corners of Knoxville. After several hangups and infinite holds, the Turkey Creek employee finally convinced the Broadway employee to put the costume on hold. As I leave the store, an employee is telling another employee who is on the phone with a customer, "No way! We don’t put any costumes on hold two days before Halloween."

Cathy puts an SOS out on Twitter. As we drive toward Fountain City, someone alerts us that there is a temporary Halloween store in West Town Mall. We are just reaching that exit so we pull off the Interstate and into the mall parking lot. I slow to 5 mph and push Cathy out the door. I circle the parking lot to keep the antsy children calm while Cathy discovers the costumes are far superior in quality to Party City, but alas, no toddler sizes.

We return to the Interstate and rush to the junction of Old Broadway, Tazwell Pike, and Broadway. After a painfully long wait, we screech across the 4 lanes of Broadway and into the Party City parking lot. Upon entering and saying I have one on hold, the costume people look at me like I’m crazy. A helpful employee comes to my aide and tracks down the costume held in my name. It is indeed the last toddler size pirate costume in the store. I quickly purchase it and go to the car. Cathy points out that it is a 2T! Ugh. We needed a 4T. I go back inside and they are quick to point out the no returns policy but I get a full refund anyway. A giant billboard over Party City says there is a costume store at North Peters (for you outta townies, that’s pretty darn close to Turkey Creek).

The children are getting surly. We grab McDonald’s and allow the necessary potty breaks.

We drive from BFE East to BFE West and find the North Peters store. It blows all the other stores away! Great displays and wonderful stuff but no toddler pirate outfits. They confirm that I have been to every possible costume store in town. Dejected, we decide to return home.

As we come off the Interstate at West Town Mall, we decide to check Target, a mere 3½ miles from our house. We find the best Captain Jack Sparrow costume in Evan’s size and it was on sale at 30% off! It only cost a quarter tank of gas and 4 hours of driving. We even remembered to bring Noah home!

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1. WillFull - October 30, 2008

Hahaha, I think your narratives are getting better and better. I felt like I was riding in the back of the car, helping you guys try to hunt down the elusive Halloween costume in Evan’s size (PS appreciate you stopping at McDonald’s, I was starving). Thanks for sharing that one!

Question, though: did you just completely skip the support meeting you were supposed to be *running*?

2. Doug McCaughan - October 30, 2008

Thanks! Haha, glad you enjoyed the McD’s. And yes, we missed the meeting but so far no one has noticed. This morning I spoke to the person who is supposed to unlock the building for us so we can have the meeting and she told me she forgot about it so we couldn’t have had the meeting anyway, at least not without freezing.

3. WillFull - October 30, 2008

Sounds like one of those serendipitous moments where you made the best of your time! Target++