Monday, November 10, 2014

Shopping for Toys For Tots

Scott and I hit Walmart to buy lots of toys for the Toys For Tots campaign. I felt out of touch with what kids play with these days, so I lumbered through each section trying to figure it out.

At first we landed in the clearance section and the shelves and toys were similar to what you'd expect after a blue light special on Halloween candy, on October 31st.

Since I've survived many blue light specials, it was exciting to root through things and try to find a bargain that wasn't taped together or lacking an arm. As I found something interesting, Scott would try to find the prices. In futility, he called an associate for help.

Billy, a gentleman much older than Scott was asked about prices. He just shook his head and indicated this was a part of the store he avoided, and perhaps everyone else should too. We took the hint and headed to the pricing machine attached to a pole in the electronics area. So far, we hadn't spent too much.

We found Lego's for girls and I almost wept. Boy, I would have loved to build cool stuff when I was a kid, even if it was an ugly pink house with unreal unicorns and fairy princesses.

I kept gravitating towards the boy stuff. I suppose it was because I have only a son that needed Lego's and Power Rangers when he was little. Even though he's almost 24, he still gets excited over a good Lego set.

Standing on the shelf was a Spiderman with gigantic, padded fists. It urged me to "try me" and I couldn't figure out what it did. Scott played with it for awhile, and as he got the body to twist and legs to kick, the fists swung also. Scott eventually put him back, and walked away. Then Spiderman yelled, "Hey buddy, where are you going?"

I thought I would die laughing. Both of us were surprised with the comment and perfect timing.

We went to another isle.  I came up from behind Scott and said, "Hey buddy, where are you going?" We laughed again, and it became our catch phrase for the afternoon.

We found a Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, or should it be Heads? They were on sale, so I grabbed 2 of each. Scott said, "These kids today have it so much better than I did growing up. When I played with Mr. Potato Head, I had to use a real potato."
"You did not," I said.
"I sure did. and I'm sure you did too."
Fortunately, I can't think that far back.

By the time we made it to the front cashier, the shopping cart was nearly filled with toys. We managed to get some toddler things, with some older boys' and girls' toys. Five dollars here, ten dollars there, really added up. Although there were some chips, salsa, drinks, some vitamins and hair products, the price tag for it all came to over $300. It was more than I would have paid if I had done the shopping by myself, but considering the cause and the enjoyment we had, Scott said, "Is that all?"

After we packed up the car, Scott grabbed the cart to put it back. I yelled, "Hey buddy, where are you going?" We laughed again.

Toys For Tots is a great charity sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, helping to grant lots of smiles on Christmas morning. If you're interested in donating an unwrapped toy, watch for dedicated cardboard boxes in local donations or check it out on the web, at

May your days be filled with laughter, as you play with Mr. Potato Head. I'd love to hear from you, write me at

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