When a spouse voluntarily says that she’d like to visit the local Bass Pro Shops stores, and after the initial shock wears off, any sportsman will conjure up many fond thoughts as to why he married his gal. She gets me. Coolest wife ever. She loves me that much.
But fate can dealt ironic twists.
The wife was suitably impressed with the Manteca store. It took about ten minutes to soak in the sweeping atrium that greets all who enter. A quick trip to the aquarium, then upstairs for a wide-open vista of both levels. She began to grasp the attraction of this sportsman’s delight.
She’s put up with my stops at the local and not-so-local fly ships, and the fact that she’ll knit while I drool allays some of my guilt.
But it’s clear that Bass Pro Shops transcends age, sex, geography, one’s choice of outdoor sport and just about any other classification. The theory is that appealing to a wide-ranging audience gives the whole family reason enough to enjoy an hour or two or seven shopping and spending money. But I was to get schooled in how far and well Bass Pro Shops crosses these lines.
Truth be known, under the guise of acting as guide for the wife’s first experience, my goal was research. I was on the hunt for a reel or two at the fly fishing club’s coming auction, and a bit of hands-on time would help firm up my decision.
Without a map I forged ahead towards camping gear and big-a** barbecue grills, forgetting that the trail would led us through the shoe department. I’ll give credit where credit is due: Bass Pro Shops does stock the shelves with plenty o’ boots and, apparently, some pretty tasty looking women’s sandals.
And when all was said and done and paid for, we walked out of Bass Pro Shops with two pairs of women’s sandals. Good thing none of my fly fishing buddies were there to see it.
Otherwise I might’ve had to quickly figure out how to stuff those sandals into a fly rod tube.