Sunday, December 24, 2006

The S.R.C. helpful guide to last-minute shopping

Many people visit this website for useful, up-to-date information on important topics such as freaks, animal attacks and tasty drink recipes. Tonight I'm adding a new service: a comprehensive guide to last minute shopping. And by last minute, I mean, last minute. Shortly before midnight on Christmas Eve. Heck, even laster-minute than that. Thanks to the corporate slavedrivers at Walgreens, you can do your last minute shopping on Christmas day even, on your way to whatever family function it is you're going to. This sign says it all: Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Yes, I know it's a little blurry. But that's just how it looks to your average Christmas Eve drunkard, roaming desperately through the northwest suburbs, chainsmoking and swearing to baby Jesus that next year he won't procrastinate like this.

I used to tell people I did all my Christmas shopping on December 23 and 24, at Walgreens. I don't know anyone whose heart isn't warmed by opening a hastily-wrapped gift to discover the newest Chia novelty or a tasty Whitman Sampler. But now Walgreens has so much more to offer. Here are a few ideas:

1) Check out the picture frame and photo album display Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Grab a reasonably-priced frame and then wander over to the magazine section. Pick out a magazine with lots of nice pictures inside. Cut out the prettiest page and fit it into the frame. Everyone loves a beautiful piece of artwork!

2) Head for the toy aisle. The Walgreens closest to me added a second half of an aisle dedicated to inexpensive Chinese imports. They've got everything from toy soldiers to Floam to discontinued models of Barbie. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

3) Buy an appliance! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
You can get a staggering array of kitchen gadgets. Trust me, that special girl in your life will LOVE getting a brand new omlette maker! And she'll likely be even more impressed when she finds out you only paid $9.99 for it; chicks dig guys who are both thoughtful and thrifty.

Here are two useful tips for fitting in when you make your late night or early morning shopping run:

1) Smoke a lot of cigarettes right before you go inside. It seems like most of the people shopping at Walgreens after 10 pm on Christmas eve smell heavily of cigarette smoke. And maybe booze, but that might be aftershave. Or something.

2) Talk on a cell phone. Hitting the Walgreens can be a team effort. For every brave Joe prowling the aisles, there's a resilient, maybe even long-suffering, Jane at home whispering guidance into his ear.

Just don't try and buy any Club Man hair tonic for your brother. They're sold out.

Merry Christmas!


Anonymous said...

My first-ever job was as a cashier/stock clerk at the Walgreen's in Western Springs, Illinois. I remember every year girding for Christmas Eve like a soldier getting ready for battle. I never experienced anything like it in retail (at least until a few years ago when Patti Smith played at Welles Park, about a half-block down the street from the restaurant I work at) It was insanity squared. Desperate people. I would put things on the shelves and the shelves would be stripped in minutes. Single cashiers would ring as much as the whole store did on a normal day. Our store bookkeeper spent her whole day making drops from cashiers.

It was bizarre, contrast to Christmas Day. The store was deserted. Pretty much people there to buy cigarettes or the Christmas cards they forgot to buy. It was great, because I was making time-and-a-half for working the holiday.

One of my main jobs that day was to begin ordering for next Christmas.

Bubs said...

I went in there last night with my youngest daughter, after we dropped my mom off at home. It was actually kinda cool--I ended up reminiscing with her about all the years I worked midnights or 3-11 on holidays. She was somewhere between concerned and amused by my picture taking. When the camera came out she was mortified by the thought I was going to take pictures of people shopping.

Kate said...

Neither one of our Walgreens was open yesterday. Now I'm jealous.

Coaster Punchman said...

Ah, those sweet Christmas reminiscences.

Anonymous said...

I was at walgreens on the 23rd after 11pm getting xmas presents for my hubby.

Bubs said...

Katy, the 23rd doesn't count. It's not really a true Walgreen's last minute Christmas shopping experience until the sun goes down on the 24th

Anonymous said...

You forgot cartons of cigarettes...the perfect gift for that teenager on your list!