“Are you coughing? Do you have a fever? Do you have diarrhea?”
The sign outside the store said if I did, I should not enter.
Inside a teenager wearing a medical mask greeted me.
I was wearing a Moroccan turban and sunglasses, as if my camel had just taken me out of a sandstorm.
These are strange times.
My solution is to escape to the river.
So Friday I bought a used kayak. And Saturday I drove another 45 minutes to the nearest sporting goods store to get the last ingredient — a paddle.
The teenager wearing the medical mask led me to the back of the store, past the exercise equipment, past the running shoes, past the XL and XXL tee shirts, to the back of the store.
Staring at a wall full of paddles, I asked him, “What’s the difference?”
The kid shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know. “I don’t kayak,” were his exact words.
“Is there someone in the store who does?” I asked.
“Yes, but he went home an hour ago,” was his reply
“Hmm,” thought I. “For this I could have stayed at home with my cough and diarrhea and shopped on Amazon.”
But there’s another store nearby that sells gear for my other hobby: archery.
This store isn’t a big chain store like the sporting goods store.
There’s only one location.
It’s owned by a guy named Gary.
And when I have a question about archery, I know Gary has the answer, because Gary also shoots.
He tells me which size bow is right for my height. He tells me which arrows are right for my bow. And when I want tips on how to be more accurate, he can look at my form and in a second tell me what to change.
Gary’s equipment and Gary’s time cost a little more than what the teenager sells.
But is it worth it?
As we say in English, you get what you pay for.