(At a diner)
Friend 1: And my kitchen table’s never been the same since. I think I have to face the facts and finally buy a new one.
Friend 2: It’s about time. I never wanted to tell you earlier that I was always afraid to eat on it, thinking it’d finally give up and take my legs with it.
Friend 1: It was never that bad; I put magazines under the feet, those at least kept it steady, right?
Friend 2: Sure. So where’re you going to get a new table?
Friend 1: Well, I need it to be cheap in price but not in quality, so I’m going to run to ---- after work one day and just pick one up there.
Friend 2: (Eyes bulging, and choking on tea) I’m sorry, did you say you’re going to run to ----, after work, and just pick one up?!
Friend 1: Yeeeeessss…?
Friend 2: AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (Takes a breath) AHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Friend 1: What is happening?
Friend 2: I’m sorry – I obviously can’t let you go to ---- unsupervised, no one will ever hear from you again.
Friend 1: (Disbelievingly) What?
Friend 2: (Checks phone) Plan to be free this Saturday: ---- opens at 9:00, so I’ll pick you up at 7:30.
Friend 1: You don’t have to do all that, it’s not that far away, and I can find my way around, it’s only a store.
Friend 2: AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
(At 7:30 Saturday morning, Friend 1 waits outside her house. A tank turns the street corner and stops in front of her; Friend 2 emerges from the top hatch)
Friend 2: (Reaches down to Friend 1) In you go! I only have this thing for 10 hours.
Friend 1: I don’t understand – (Is yanked through the hatch. They roll to ---- and leave the tank at the edge of the parking lot but really, who literally could move them if they hadn’t? Upon entering ----, Friend 1 immediately passes out from sensory overload)
Friend 2: (Revives Friend 1 with a gentle slap to the face) No time for that! Quick, take a kit before they’re all gone.
Friend 1: (Rummaging through the store-issued knapsack) Are night vision goggles actually necessary?
Friend 2: Surprisingly, yes. (Finishes paperwork to rent a pick-up truck for them to travel through the store. Friend 2 drives them through home decorating areas marked on their portable wall map and they occasionally reorient themselves using GPS)
Friend 1: I just want a kitchen table….
Friend 2: There is not “just” in this world. (They detour through The United States of Bedroom) Ooh, I need a quilt! Here, go pick out a desk set for yourself.
Friend 1: But why would I need a desk set?
Friend 2: Why wouldn’t you?
(Two hours later)
Fellow Shopper: (To Friend 2) Excuse me. (Points to a nook in Kitchen Land) Is that yours?
Friend 2: Thanks! (Goes to the nook and pulls out Friend 1, who was curled up in the corner)
Friend 1: The drawers have even more stuff in them!
Friend 2: I know; don’t forget to keep breathing.
(They drive to the rooftop restaurant and are seated for brunch)
Friend 2: (Reading from the menu) I’ll take the five course special, please, and put it on my tab.
Wait Staff: All right. (To Friend 1) And for you?
Friend 1: Can I have a piece of bread?
Wait Staff: Of course – there will be meat, vegetables, and/or sauce on top of and next to that bread, though.
Friend 1: I would like one ice cube, then.
Friend 2: Please order another five course special for us and add it to my tab. (Wait Staff nods and leaves) Don’t worry, this all counts towards our purchases, they’re practically paying us to shop here!
Friend 1: That’s not true and you know it. Besides, I can’t sit and eat while the truck full of our stuff is stuck all the way over there.
Friend 2: Don’t worry about that either: the valet service here is great.
(By mid-afternoon, they reach the District of Dinettes)
Friend 1: I like this one, but that one is more the size I want, and I’m not sure which color is better, I have to see more –
Friend 2: Here. (Accesses a screen on the wall that lists the infinite combinations of shapes, sizes, colors, and special features) Pick out which one you want and we’ll go get it.
Friend 1: (Takes an hour) OK, that one. I think it’s right over… here!
Friend 2: That’s the floor model; we have to go pick it up in The Warehouse.
Friend 1: Oh, right. Warehouse?
(A freight elevator takes them in their truck to The Warehouse; upon arriving, Friend 1 immediately becomes lost. Store employees assist Friend 2 in locating Friend 1)
Friend 2: (To Friend 1) I turn my back for two seconds!
Friend 1: (Seated on a clearance couch, looking befuddled) Where am I?
(They track down the kitchen table using the store-provided compass and night vision goggles)
Friend 2: There it is!
Friend 1: That can’t be it – the table upstairs was twice as wide as this box!
Friend 2: It’s broken down into pieces, hon.
Friend 1: Oh. Fancy that.
(They drive their purchases to the conveyor belts of checkout, are astounded by the amazing deals they obtained, and drive the truck through the final exit. Friend 1 waits with it and the setting sun while Friend 2 brings the tank around to the loading/unloading zone)
Friend 1: How are we supposed to get everything in there?
Friend 2: I always come prepared! (Uses a system of pulleys and levers to maneuver all the items into the tank. Leaving the truck for store pick-up, the tank roars out of the parking lot and returns to Friend 1’s house, where they reverse-lever the purchases out of the tank and into the house)
Friend 2: (As they stand in the living room, surrounded by newly bought home goods) There! Success! That actually was one of my faster trips in that place.
Friend 1: (Quietly) Yes, thank you very much for all your help.
Friend 2: Uh-oh, why so glum – not the table you really wanted after all? The letdown after the thrill of the chase?
Friend 1: No; it’s just that, now I have to assemble it!