The Complicated Act of Buying Spike Tape

I am a theatre nerd.  Thought I’d just get that out there before moving on (really, it’s best you know, if you haven’t figured it out all ready).  On this trip I decided that one of the things I wanted most to do was purchase theatrical spike tape (or gaffer tape), since there aren’t any stores in Halifax that sell the stuff.

I searched online and found a place called B&H Photo/Video/Pro Audio that sold spike tape for a reasonable price.  Courtney and I decided to visit the store on Friday (aka the Rain Day).

Upon entering the store I realized that the place was huge and I would need help if I wanted to locate the item sometime before the next millenia.  I asked a person standing at a help desk where the spike tape was and she put me in the direction of Camera/Video Equipment.

Going in said direction I saw a lot of things that did not resemble what I needed, so I decided to ask for help again.  There was a counter with 2 men close by, so I asked one of them.  He pointed me to a wall where the tape was located!  I picked out my purchase and headed to the check-out area.  There were 2 lines, 1 for cash and 1 for credit, so I stood in the cash line.  I handed over my items and took out my wallet, but the person informed me that I needed a receipt and pointed to his right. 

Confused, I took my items, stepped in that direction and promptly realized that I had no idea what he was talking about (Courtney was also very confused).  A receipt?  Wasn’t I supposed to get that after I paid?

It was then that I realized I needed more.  Vague hand-waving and general directions just weren’t going to cut it.

So Courtney and I asked the information lady where exactly we should go (specifying that we needed step-by-step instructions).  She sent us to a line of cashiers (#1-8) for a receipt.  Over there an employee scanned my items, put them in a bin, sent the bin away and handed me a receipt.

Yup, my items were taken from me and sent away on a strange conveyor-belt ride.  To where?  Narnia Middle EarthHogwarts?  Beats me.  I simply watched them go away and hoped that someday I would see them again (I’m nothing if not overly dramatic).

Then I (proudly) took my receipt to the cash area and paid.  The person took my money, stapled something else to my receipt and told me to go to the pick-up area.

Yes, another area

At this point Courtney began laughing uncontrollably at the ridiculousness of the whole thing.  It wasn’t like I was purchasing an expensive camera or anything – it was only tape!

Thankfully the pick-up area isn’t far, so I go there and hand over my receipt.  The man then informs me that my items haven’t arrived yet, so I’ll have to wait.

[Does “faster than a speeding bin full of spike tape” sound like a good superhero quality?  No?  I’ll work on it.]

Finally the bin with my items rolled through the elaborate conveyor-belt system of the store, arrived at the pick-up area, and the items were processed, bagged and hung on a hook.  The employee handed over my items and Courtney and I left the store. 

I felt as though I had just visited the future, and yet I was so glad to get back to the present.  It was a very interesting experience (an experience that I will tell everyone about), but if I had to go through that every time I wanted to buy a 1/2 litre of milk I’d go nuts.

Spike tape *and* a crazy story?  Sounds like a victory to me.
Spike tape *and* a crazy story? Sounds like a victory to me.

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