I didn't decorate much for the Fourth this year, on account of how I failed to locate the giant Rubbermaid tote o' flags and patriotic kitsch. (Note to personal file: Purchase red, white and blue Rubbermaid tote so it is impossible to misplace flags and patriotic kitsch. Note to Rubbermaid's file: If you don't manufacture a red, white and blue tote, you totally should. Also, if you don't have a file for customer suggestions - or if you don't actively search the Internet for customer suggestions posted, say, to a random blog - you totally should.) Since we're having a garage sale at some point in the very near future, I'm confident that I will locate the tote, and the corresponding flags and patriotic kitsch, soon, certainly in time for next year's July 4th celebration. (Can you call it a garage sale if you don't have an actual functioning garage? Second note to personal file: Have the kids paint a totally adorable "Carriage House Sale" banner as a means of luring in potential buyers. Then recruit them to sell refreshments underneath said banner. It's a one-two punch of retail - resale? - genius.)
I would like to add some bunting to the mix, and I figured that now is a good time to acquire it, this being the week after the Fourth of July and all. After striking out at a couple of brick-and-mortar outposts, I decided to search for bunting bargains on the Internet - and my search for "discount patriotic bunting" pulled up a link to the Terry's Village Web site.
I used to get the Terry's Village catalog. I think I even purchased some stuff. And then I realized that I don't particularly care for the "country cute" aesthetic. T.V. eventually got the hint and stopped sending me catalogs. So - out of sight, out of mind, until the other day.
T.V. did, in fact, have bunting at a deep, deep discount. Apparently, rather cruddy bunting, rating an average of two reviewer stars. I considered buying some, anyway, in order to satisfy my morbid curiosity: how, exactly, do you screw up bunting so badly that numerous reviewers feel compelled to diss your product on the Interwebs? (The biggest customer complaint: "Not really red." Yeah, I'd say that was a material issue. Ooh, that was an unintentional pun - MATERIAL issue? Hee, hee, hee. But I digress.)
When I opted out of purchasing the (really bad, sort-of-rust-colored) bunting, the T.V. site suggested some other products for my consideration. I will share some of them with you now.
Stars and stripes toilet paper. Really? Who's the target market - Al Qaeda operatives? (Who, of course, would only touch it with their left hands. Impressed that I knew that the left hand was the hygiene hand? Would you be less impressed if I told you that I Wikipedia-ed it, just to be sure? By the way, apropos of not much, reason number 12,597 that I would make a HORRIBLE Muslim: I'm left-handed. Ergo, my left hand is my go-to hand for pretty much everything except using scissors - you know, there was always a shortage of left-handed scissors in school, so I learned to cope. My left-handed brothers and sisters, you feel me, right? Anywho, curious about the degree of overlap on a Venn diagram of "left-handed Muslims" and "Muslim social pariahs." Betting it's a substantial overlap.)
Seriously, who wants to wipe their bohiney on patriotic toilet paper? Oh, wait - THIS GUY:
The Uncle Sam hippie. No doubt, he is constructed of the finest quality of resin available in Taiwan.
Scary. But not as scary as THESE GUYS:
"MOM! GIANT DISEMBODIED UNCLE SAM HEADS HAVE EATEN OUR DINING ROOM CHAIRS!" Sorry, but these actually, factually frighten me. Like, if I owned these, I would come around the corner, forgetting that they were there, and jump a little bit and skip a couple of heartbeats when I saw them. Except that will never happen, because I am NOT buying these.
I'm not buying these pillows, either, although - truth be told - I find them at least a little cute:
I did end up making one post-Fourth purchase (not online, but at my local Calloway's Nursery):
"Boom" and "Pow" plant stakes. Yes, I purchased two of the "Booms" and only one "Pow." To be displayed precisely in that order. It took the sales associate a couple of seconds to get the joke. But it only took a couple of seconds. Guess she is a Black-Eyed Peas fan.