Sunday, March 20, 2016

My First Trip to Gatlinburg Part 2: Knives and Airbrush

 After reading my last post, I know you are likely on the razor's edge anticipating what else I did in Gatlinburg. [Tangent: ..or maybe not. Likely it is the latter, but I try to harness the power of positive thinking. Oh and just a head up, like all classics (from Lord of the Rings to Sharknado) this will be a trilogy. I'm gonna suck this well dry.] Aside from hanging out at our incredible cabin, or course I wanted to soak in the "big city" fun that Gatliburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville had to offer. [Tangent: I could you not? I just kept telling everyone I wanted to go to Dixie Stampede to see the psychic pig as promised on the billboard. That or Lumberjack Feud. Luckily no one listened to me.] We spent day 2 of the trip checking out downtown, which was super fun and loaded with weird moments. 

Everyone had their own agenda and "must do" activity.  Because he is a collector, Travis just really wanted to go to Knife Works, which as boasted by all their signage is the largest in the country (or something). He even offered to buy anyone that went with him a $10 gift, so of course everyone ending up going. [Tangent: To say this was not my element was a huge understatement. Jamie even made up a game called "Spot the people voting for Bernie Sanders," but the assessment was it was only the group that we walked in with. Such good people watching on a Saturday afternoon. Plus I got some replacement parts for my teeny pink swiss army knife. I am such a weapon enthusiast, right?]  

It was actually kind of fun and I learned a great deal about bumper stickers with thinly veiled (or just outright) racism and that apparently there is a thing called "Turtle Man" who is I guess something to do with knives and reality TV. Maybe one of you can help me out with that. Thankfully the outer areas of the store had weird antiques and curiosities [Tangent: Like David Hasselhoff's high school yearbook...where he was likely voted "Most likely to dance atop the Berlin Wall in a piano scarf!]

For some reason they had trays and trays of pinback buttons for under $1 so we quickly all clustered around those (and I think Crystal's hubby, Marc, fell asleep on a bench.) It was like a pool of water is a desert beckoning us. [Tangent: Also quick thank you to Rae who I stole borrowed a chunk of these pictures from!]
 Then after a weird detour where we went down the steepest mountain ever pushing Jamie's new break pads to literally burn rubber, we were in the thick of downtown and had two objective's 1. Get Jamie a donut from Donut Friar and then 2. All of us gals wanted airbrushed shirts [Tangent: ...because when in Rome...]. Both seemed like simple enough tasks, but proved to be equal parts stressful and hilarious. 

Donut Friar didn't take plastic, and by the time we found the ATM, they had sold out of Jamie's favorite donut and then the old bittes at the airbrush store were awful. [Tangent: The next day we created a backstory where they had gone to the Smokies on a girls getaway in the 70s...met some men and decided to stay forever and invest in an airbrush store. Soon their hubby's ran off and left them alone running a business...which seems like fun in theory but in actuality is a touristy hellscape.] 

One would think that selling 4 shirts without any prodding in a highly competitive airbrush market would be a dream (there is one on nearly every corner), but these ladies were having none of it. All of our questions were met with heavy sighs and eye rolls. They were irritated that one of us wanted a child's size. They were pissed that I wanted mine to say something different. They really just didn't enjoy the fact that we were even breathing near their technicolor Tweety Bird samples on the wall. [Tangent: Clearly they are not graduates of the Chick-Fil-A school of "my pleasure" customer service!]
Me: I want the same design as the other gals, but I want mine to say "Baby's first trip to Gatlinburg" and then ...
Airbrush nazi: Umm... hold on, I'm writing! You want it to say what?! (in a tone inferring that my choice of words was dumb)
Me: Well maybe just "My First Trip to Gatlinburg" ..then 2016 since there's not much space
Airbursh nazi: [insert exaggerated sigh and overzealous erasing.] So what do you want it to say? Is that the final decision?
Seriously, I just lightened her load! This was the case with each of interactions with them (and you can tell my our body language below that it was aggravating). She acted like she couldn't be bothered. The shirts were also not clearly priced and everything was additional, which wasn't really communicated but we were so frightened of these women that we just did what they said and tried not to ask too many questions. [Tangent: If answering airbrush queries on Saturday night is not your ideal, maybe Old Smokey Moonshine is hiring, lady!]

When we found out they wouldn't be finished until the next morning, we dreaded having another course interaction...but at least we got overpriced airbrush out of the deal! 

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