A few days ago I was at the fairly local and newly remodeled Super Target, previously mentioned on this very blog. My oldest son and I swung by the card aisle on the way to pick up a few groceries. He wanted a pack of 2009 Topps to add to his collection so I told him to pick out two packs. He also picked out two packs of Goodwin for me. We dropped the packs on the kiddie seat and went off to pick up our groceries.
On our way to checkout, I noticed a 40-something guy and a 30-something guy looking at cards. When I say looking, I mean molesting the cards. I was disappointed packsearchers had discovered the place, but I suppose it was inevitable. As I watched the two it became clear that the older guy was getting a lesson in packsearching from the younger guy. I was witnessing Packsearching 101, a class not offered at the local community college! It was amazing to me how brazen they were about what they were doing. They were fairly loud and animated. I saw them set aside 7 or 8 packs of cards from the various boxes. My son wanted to know what they were doing and I told him what they were doing and why. He made the connection immediately and said "no wonder I never get a card with a little jersey in it".
Normally, I wouldn't have bothered to say a word, but the fact that my son realized how packsearchers affect other people really ticked me off. Being a manly man, I checked out and found the store manager. That's right...don't mess with me dude! The two "offenders" were still going at it and I told him what they were doing and that it wasn't fair to others and made his store look sorry. I also told him I was a writer and had many (28 is many right?) readers that shopped at Target who might not look favorably on this story. He didn't need to know that by "writer", I meant blogger and that there was virtually no way anyone that reads my blog would ever be near his store. He went over to the guys and talked to them for a couple of minutes. They left WITHOUT buying any cards at all! I know what you're thinking, but I did not go pick up the packs they didn't buy. The manager came back and said he told them they were welcome to shop in the store, but not to "damage" the products. Yay manager! You might think the story ends there, but you would be wrong.
Like any good father/collector I'm teaching my son the right way to collect. In this case, that means he ripped open our packs in the car before we started driving. Just like I would never let him see my drinking, I don't want him to see me ripping packs while I'm driving. He pulled a couple of Rangers in his packs and then the best part was he pulled a Howie Kendrick Jersey out of one of the Goodwin packs! He didn't know what it was at first, but was very excited when I told him he could keep it. He said, " I guess those cheater don't get them all"! Boy was he right.