January 19th, 2011
You’ve heard of it, right? The extensive, secret, unpublicized communications organization responsible for clearing out the on-sale Zoobles at Wal-Mart and the buy-two-get-one-free pound of bacon at the corner grocery store?
Well, who do you think stands in line at Target on Black Friday, buying 85 Razor scooters for the friends who put in orders? Who’s crowding the drug store the day free flu shots are offered? Who stampeded Hallmark after it put its holiday stuff on sale?
Got it now?
It’s the Underground Suburban Shopping Network.
A fearsome group of 30- and 40-somethings who troll your city’s stores and then provide sale data to their provincial posse via acronym-laden texts, emails, and phone calls. A force so formidable, so talky, so informed, they can tell you — to THE MICROMILLISECOND (adjusted for solar flare variances in the world’s global positioning satellite) — when Michael’s will put its foam craft kits in the sidewalk bargain bin or when it’s free cookie day at Panera. Trust me when I say, that even though they are cunning (but usually less scaly) sale-Predators, it behooves you to know these people.
Don’t believe me?
Don’t you want to know when Diet Squirt is on sale at the 99-cent store?
When Seven jeans are at Costco?
When BevMo has its 5-cent special?
And while you literally can’t afford to NOT be acquainted with these women, do be prepared for the following:
1. They will know everything about you. Expect phone calls like:
“Weren’t you re-doing your house in orange with mauve fur accents? I know a guy.”
“I found a shirt for your husband at Kohl’s. We think he should start wearing more stripes.”
2. You may be punished for not sharing information.
Think you’re gonna be invited to the neighborhood BUNCO party? Oh that’s sweet, but no. You bought a pair of boots at Nordstrom.com and didn’t tell the ladies it was free shipping day. What are you trying to do? Keep all the cute boots for yourself?
3. There will be back-stabbing.
Look. Not everyone can get in on the Entenmann’s cheese danish blow-out. You may be sent across state lines for a “sale” just so the network can get to your local grocery first.
4. You’ll need to know the language.
To really be one of the gals, you’ll have to decode texts like:
Squee! Krispies nom nom. 4-6-8-12. Glze. SW corn. Bck dr.
Clf Brs 2 x 1. GNC.
5. You’ll probably have to do some hard time.
Susie shopped the 3AM after-Thanksgiving sale for all your butts last year. Your turn! Fire up that Keurig Special Edition Coffee Maker you and your buddies tracked down for $75.99 at the Mervyn’s going-out-of-business sale and caffeinate!
6. You may put on some weight.
Not many people emerge unscathed from regular visits to Costco’s sample day, but maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones.
Truly, I hope this helps. I’m doing what I can to prepare you. Because with this group? Resistance is futile. So strap on your big girl Hane’s 2-for-1 panties. And remember, you don’t screw with the Underground Suburban Shopping Network.
May the deals be with you.