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Testing the Valdez Search Theory
by sandy feet (www.sandyfeet.com)

Stay in one place long enough and everything you need will come to you.
- The Valdez Search Theory (as defined by Amazin' Walter)

I need three good reasons to drive to the mainland. If the Island had a Wal-mart I would NEVER need to cross that bridge.
- sandy feet, circa 1995

When I wrote those words, I could not even imagine the day when "that bridge" flat out wouldn't be crossable. I still need three good reasons to go to Texas, but "good" is a relative term and what used to be three good reasons for a 10-minute drive may only qualify as 1.5 now that a lengthy - if lovely - ferry trip is the only option.bathroom thingy

I can make do without McDonalds, trips to the border, the zoo or the racetrack. The grocery store and restaurants here meet my basic nutritional requirements, as do the bars my social ones. My car needs servicing -- but it can wait. The newspaper and internet keep a steady stream of stimulation flowing into my home office. On good days, there is a check or two in my P.O. Box. My needs are being met right here on SPI, and what I can't buy locally, I can order on-line for front door delivery. (Like almost everything else, UPS and Fed-Ex appear to be working just fine.)

Valdez - whoever s/he was, may have been right on target. Of course, "need" is one thing, desire is another animal altogether. I don't need those yummy egg bagels available only at HEB, but I do desire them. The dogs don't need Ol' Roy Premium Formula with Chicken Protein and Rice - but the disappointment in their eyes when they realize they are getting Purina again is something I can understand.

And then, there's the bathtub thingy. This handy gadget features four trays on a tension rod that resides comfortably and unobtrusively in the corner of my bathtub, faithfully stashing and serving up all the shampoos and conditioners and soaps and stuff that accumulate in the typical bath area. It was purchased at Walmart some time ago and has done its job well for many years. Sure, the rod's a little rusty, but I would have happily let it stay right there for another few years -- until it developed The Sag. The corroded rod will hold no more tension and the temporary duct tape fix I applied did not correct The Sag and did nothing to improve the thing's appearance, either.

The bathtub thingy still works, but it is ugly and every time I take a shower I am reminded that there is now a gulf between me and Walmart that will not be bridged until late Dec. at the earliest. A visit to the Walmart web site did not turn up anything remotely resembling my bathtub thingy: ditto for Target's and K-mart's. A broader search using the keyword phrase "bathroom accessories" finally turned up something close: I could have a "Delux 4-Tier Chrome shower organizer featuring Euro design with heavy duty tension bar and four deep baskets" delivered to my front door for about thirty bucks. I like the sounds of "heavy duty tension bar" but still my finger hesitated as it hovered over the "add to cart" button...

Egg bagels. Sad puppy dog eyes. Bathtub organizer. Sounded like three good reasons to me. A lunch invite and offer of taxi service from a gentleman friend of mine who resides in Laguna Vista clinched the deal, and I climbed aboard a ferry for the first time last Friday.

g9rl draggin dogIt was fascinating! I saw a crane being transported to the mainland, the small car ferries bringing over their first loads of regular cars and trucks, the bridge repair guys at work, dolphins at play and a cute little girl dragging a couple of resigned looking puppy dogs around the ferry's deck. Enjoyed a wonderful lunch on the waterfront, acquired lots of goodies desired by both me and my dogs and got everything back to the casa before the cheese had time to get soft. It was a bit of a hassle getting all my stuff from the ferry into my car (it is a BIG ol bag of Ol' Roy!) but the only real disappointment of the day was this--

Walmart is clean out of bathtub thingies.

Guess it is time to locate that bookmark and import some Euro design into my Island-style bathroom...

There are five (5) ways to submit your questions/comments for future Ask Sandy columns: In person; by phone (761-6222) or fax (761-8930); the US Postal System (box 2694,spi,78597) and E-mail: (sandyfeet@unlitter.com). Visit my web-site (http://spionline.com/) for tips on sandcastling, contest info, recent Ask Sandy columns, and my reviews of local businesses.

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