Like always, I entered the main outdoors shops in Christchurch like a kid in a candy store. As I discovered the tent given to me with the car was crap, and I couldn’t put it up myself, there was only one thing to do….buy a new one, yes my third tent in total if you count the two at home.
Richard bought a backpack and got a hefty ‘end of financial year’ discount without asking at R&R. The sales guy turned to me and said ‘So what can I do for you?’
‘I need you to convince me to buy this cheap tent for $69 rather than this sexy looking Marmot number you have with 60% off at three times the price’
‘Have you got kids?’
‘Are you married?’
‘So what the f*** are you doing looking at that piece of crap when you can have this quality tent for 60% off? Are you crazy? The floor even detaches. It’s great! Easy to pitch, and that tent would just be embarrassing – I mean I’d have to buy the rest of the shop staff a beer if I sold you one of them!’
‘Yeh, but if I spent $69 I can leave it in the car when I punt it, this one I’d have to keep. I already have two tents in Scotland ‘
‘Exactly! You mean you are Scottish and you were STILL thinking of buying that piece of junk? Jeez man, get a grip of yourself. You don’t need the money if you don’t have a family, you know it makes sense’
‘Just imagine ski touring in Norway with this – pitch it, dig out a wee platform, seats up, having a brew, then just pick it up and move it and you can fall asleep’
‘Yeh but I don’t know if I’d ever…’
‘That’s no the point, you know it makes sense – you can have a ski touring tent too!’
‘Jesus, have you never washed that goretex jacket of yours? Do you not know how to look after your kit? Oh my….’
(then another shop assistant walked up the stairs)
‘Hey – this guy is talking about buying this piece of sh!t – help me out!’
(then a girl walked up the stairs)
‘Hey this Scottish guy is thinking of buying that tent – stop him now’
(Her : ) ‘But it’s a nice colour’
(Him : ) ‘Oh my god, this one is like a mango colour – that one is pissy coloured yellow like a kids just peed on it. Thats the kind of tent you buy for your kids, and you don’t have any!’
And so it went on.
I left the store with a new (but old ex demo) Marmot AT tent, heavily reduced, a pair of merino leggings (which I wanted anyway), a free gas canister, and a solo cooking pot incase I actually ever took the tent away from the car. I’ve never been so entertained by a shop assistant in my life.
Richard and I just thought we did well as we managed to avoid buying the $200 Jetboil he was avidly selling, AND a real coffee maker to insert into my pot.