1. Home Depot: More Savings, Less Paying!

    IT SEEMS that everyone’s favorite home improvement superstore/juggernaut, Home Depot, was in the news this past week.


    No no no, I’m not referring to the embarrassing spectacle of the guy proposing to his boyfriend in the lumber aisle of the Salt Lake City, Utah location…

    Hey!  Hold on there!  Let me finish!

    It’s embarrassing because – settle down! – it’s embarrassing because we now live in an age where a guy can propose to his boyfriend in public with an elaborate choreographed dance sequence


    …and that boyfriend’s first thought is not to cherish the moment, but rather – despite the obvious presence of cameras and boom mics capturing the entire affair from multiple angles –  to take out his cell phone to record it.

    No, I’m talking about this other Home Depot story.

    Here’s the gist: A guy and his pal (to whom he presumably didn’t propose) were getting lumber at Home Depot, put on some $3.99 work gloves to handle the wood, took them off before paying and placed them on top of the cart of wood. The cashier rang up the rest of the $1,445 worth of merchandise (but missed the gloves) and when the customer  pushed the cart outside, he was stopped by security and accused of shoplifting. Now, according to a lawsuit, the law firm that represents Home Depot is shaking down this guy and other alleged shoplifters for hundreds of dollars (thereby settling the claims rather than making them face litigation).

    What a headache! Believe me, pal, you don’t need that kind of trouble!

    Regardless of who did what in that situation, I’m here to offer a little primer illustrating just what you can and cannot take from Home Depot so as to not run afoul of their security guards and battery of attorneys!

    Let’s get started!


    Paver stone ‘inspiration book’ – FREE!


    Paver stones – NOT FREE! (Unless you’re wearing cargo pants with really big pockets.)


    Plastic bags – FREE!


    These neat PVC fittings that you can put in plastic bags – NOT FREE!


    Bird Repeller – NOT FREE!


    Bird – FREE! (But ya gotta catch ‘im first, and brother, if you can, you’re eatin’ well tonight!)


    128 ounces of Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover – NOT FREE!


    Little 4″ x 4″ carpet samples you can tape or glue over practically any stain – FREE!


    Salt – FREE! (Outside, by contractors’ exit at the food truck that sells gyros)


    Salt – NOT FREE! (Inside, along the back wall. I know, it makes no sense whatsoever. Make up your mind, Home Depot!)


    Free-standing shelves – Despite the name, surprisingly NOT FREE! (Exception: when they leave them outside by the nursery area after they take the plants in for the night, it’s three a.m., the store’s closed and it’s pouring rain, like coming down in sheets. I mean, seriously, who’s going to come after you?)


    For sale sign – FREE! (Offering a ‘for sale’ sign for sale is like a paradox that cancels itself out or something. I read it in an Asimov book once. Either that or the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that selling them was illegal. One or the other. Exception: When you explain all that and the cashier looks at you dubiously and says “I have to call a manager.”)


    Temporary use of this handsaw – FREE!


    Permanent use of this power saw – NOT FREE! (A shame too, because it’s a real beauty, isn’t it? Yep, a reeeal beaut. Wouldn’t that look great on my work bench? You know, Christmas is just a few months away…)


    Cell phone app – FREE!


    Donuts so you can get the premium characters and buildings – NOT FR—  Oh wait, wrong app.


    Overpriced snacks – NOT FREE! (Unless you manage to eat them before you get to the checkout. No easy feat, because they’re at the checkout. But who cares – you’re having squab for dinner, remember?)


    Reasonably priced carriage bolts – ALSO NOT FREE! (Unless you manage to eat them before you get to the checkout. You’ll have a little more time here – they’re in the middle of aisle 37, but chew quickly!)

    Well, I think you get the idea.

    The fact is, while the folks at Home Depot may seem like real hard-asses for making people pay for, oh, the majority of their merchandise…


    (including these yard sticks featuring their name which the local Mom & Pop hardware stores they ran out of business used to give away for free)

    …they still do offer a bunch of magnificent freebies – you just need to know where to look!


    Brochures galore! FREE!


    In-Home Installation! FREE! (Just make sure the installers don’t see that back patio you built with all those paver stones.)


    Paint chips! FREE!


    Estimate On Your Windows! FREE!


    Flooring samples! FREE!


    Shlate Shingle Shamples! FREE!

    And there’s stuff all over the store like this! I mean, just look at the haul from just my last visit!

    Look! Look!


    It’s like Halloween and I’m trick-or-treating in the good neighborhood!

    Anyway, now that you know what you are and are not expected to pay for at Home Depot, shop with confidence, friend! And now I can get back to work installing hardwood laminate in the kitchen!


    If my measurements are correct, just 1,697 more trips to their flooring department and this project is done!

    Posted by on September 13, 2013, 4:09 AM.

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