Wednesday, March 5, 2003

The Tale of the Baby Monitor

Kristi and I went to Target to pick up a couple of maternity shirts one night with a gift certificate that Melissa gave us as a thank you for letting her pretend to sleep on our couch while being constantly barraged by Buddy and Big Kitty. On our way toward the front we decided to go ahead and make our normal cruise through the baby section to ooh and aaw at all the cute baby clothes. As we were about to leave, we happened to pass by a shelf of baby monitors. At the very beginning of her pregnancy, Kristi saw a monitor that could also be used as a pre-natal listening device but hadn’t seen it since. Lo and behold, sitting on the top shelf was the very monitor she had been looking for. We picked up the box and immediately noticed that it had been opened and most probably returned. So we decided to scan it using one of the little scanners on the aisles.
Naturally, it wasn’t in the computer. Then Kristi happened to notice the remnants of a Wal-Mart price tag on the side of the box. We knew immediately what had happened… someone had bought it cheap at Wal-Mart and returned it at Target to make a few bucks on the transaction. So we took the box to Customer Service to see if they could tell us how much it was.

I smelled blood in the water and when the customer service lady couldn’t find it in the computer, either. I knew it was time to haggle. 

Haggling is a lost art that runs deep in my family. Kristi and I once got a grill for $2. My entire living room in college was furnished for $5 (a $3 book case and $2 recliner). My dad even talked a guy out of a glass-top table for my college dining room for $10.

The customer service lady finally called her manager over to determine a price for the baby monitor. The manager wanted us to find a monitor on the shelf and use a price from one of those. Kristi and I were never a better team:
Kristi: “This one’s been opened. Besides, it was really cheap when you used to carry it.”
James: “Yeah… look how dirty this is. It’s obviously been used.”
Kristi: “And look. This is a Wal-Mart price tag.”
Manager: “Well, it’s not in the computer.”
James: “I’ll give you three bucks for it.”
Manager: “Uh…”
James: “I’ll even go as high as five dollars.” (I was joking, of course, but you never know…)
(long pause)
Manager: Okay, charge them $4.48 for it. But the problem comes if you try to return it since it’s not in the computer.”
Kristi: “Believe me. For four dollars, we’re not going to return it.”
James: “We’ll even promise not to return it.”
Kristi: “You can even write ‘Do Not Return’ on the box.”
Manager: “Okay.”

We paid cash and got the hell out of there before they changed their mind.

When we got home we hooked it up and put the baby monitor on Kristi’s belly. I moved it around a little and we heard various gurglings and thumps. After a minute or so I took the monitor away. As soon as I did, Kayci kicked. Not just any kick, but a HUGE kick. Kristi’s belly actually moved! I saw it. It looked like somebody trying to kick through the inside of a waterbed. I actually saw a place raise where she kicked.

We couldn’t get her to do it again like that, so we figured we probably pissed her off pretty well with all the poking and prodding. Kristi felt her move inside, but I never did feel her kick again that night. And I’ll bet she went and hid behind Kristi’s spleen or something because we never really could hear her heartbeat that night either.

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