My mother-in-law Sharon is one of the world's greatest shoppers. Drop her blindfolded into an alien department store, and she'll not only find a bargain, she'll get the salesperson to sweeten the deal. If there is a genetic disposition for this sort of thing, she's got it in spades.
So I was greatly amused to hear that she had gone along with my father-in-law Tim on a trip to Fry's Electronics. Fry's, if you're not familiar, is a superstore for geeks. Sharon is not technically inclined. A few years ago, when Tim got the computers in his law office hooked up to modems, I showed Sharon (who is also Tim's legal secretary) how she could find various state documents and forms online. I told her how wonderful this would be, since she could now get this kind of work done without having to spend hours on the phone with state bureaucrats. She looked at me earnestly and said "But I like to talk on the phone."
What would happen, I wondered, when the world's greatest shopper found herself in a giant discount retail outlet that specialized in things she knew nothing about? I imagined a conversation like this:
TIM: But we don't need a four-port wireless router.
SHARON: At these prices we do!
I should have had more faith. Sharon came home triumphantly with several Vornado fans, all slightly irregular and 75% off retail. One of them now sits in our computer room at home, quietly humming away. Tiffany reports that her mother was fascinated by Fry's. I may have to go along on the next trip. It's always enlightening to watch a master in action.Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 05, 2002 to See, I do have a life!