On this Labor Day during this second year of my sort-of retirement I would like to announce I sometimes like to labor with my hands–making things like Jack Daniels on the rocks or a thick steak on the grill, but sometimes I’m compelled to perform actual handiwork, building something out of wood or something electrical, yardwork and repairs with tools.
There are others like me and many of them join me in the same club–the mailing list for the bestest, most awesome store for guys with guts, too-tight t-shirts, ballcaps and an active email account. Yup it’s the Harbor Freight mailing list. Every single week you receive two, three, four pages of coupons that offer discounts on all sorts of stuff you may never need in your life, but crap, those coupons are like catnip for men like me who just like to buy stuff that either plugs in, spins, cuts, bangs, screws or wipes. At the top of the sheet are generally three coupons offering a free item with any purchase. The free item could be a bag of rags, a little battery-powered worklight, even an electric bug swatter in the shape of a tennis racket! Some are items of no actual redeeming value but you are compelled to buy and item so you can redeem the coupon for the free thing. But here’s the best part, for Labor Day, a one-day coupon offering 25 percent off anything! So off I went with my magic tickets ready to score some great deals.
I needed some cheap gardening gloves, and sure as hell, there was a coupon for $1.99 a pair. Score! My wife requested the free bag of rags. Got ’em, even though I had to fight off two guys with large wrenches in their hands, accompanied, of course, by the appropriate coupons.
Now what would I use that awesome 25 percent coupon to buy? I don’t really need any more power tools, or an ax or even an extension ladder, lathe, plastic tie-downs, tarps, welding torch or drill bits. Ah! I just bought a new bike and there waiting for me was an industrial-strength cable and lock to secure that shiny new two-wheeler. Yes! What’s 25 percent of $10.99? Doesn’t matter. 25 percent is less than 100 percent! I also ended up buying some attachments for my rotary tool, but there was no coupon for that. Sad face.
Bottom line? The $1.99 gloves and free bag ‘o rags I came for ended up costing me a little over 18 bucks. Bet you can guess who the real tool in the store was. But Harbor Freight, I love ya. Can’t wait for next week’s coupons. I think I really need that bug-killing tennis racket.