It's true. It was my first time and, like the old people always say, you'll NEVER forget the first time. Not only was Friday my first time but I shared it with a girl (woman) I went to high school with!

I had NEVER been inside a Pier 1 Imports store before. I parked at Augusta Wal*Mart where I went inside to look for target ammo. Stiffed again. I decided to walk from there up to Dick's Sporting Goods where I actually had some luck, making the walk more than worth it. Little did I know the climax hadn't yet been realized.

On my way back, as I'm walking along enjoying the aromas of Red Robin, Ruby Tuesday and Longhorn, I pick up a scent similar to, but not exactly like, incense (which reminded me of Music Scene in Gardiner, a store long gone, but alive in my mind). I realized it was coming from Pier 1 and, with little hesitation, I strolled toward the entrance, determined to broaden my life's experiences so I'd never again have to say, "I've never been in there."

I immediately fell in love with the aromatic assault to my olfactory system and the myriad of bright colors. As I strode through, a nice lady said "hello," and I waved and said hi. I had my reading glasses on so I didn't realize until I nearly bumped into her on my way back through that I was face to face with Patty Plourde, a girl I graduated with back in the day (note how he cleverly avoids referencing the year)! Besides her last name now being Caradonna, she looks just the way I remember her. Amazing how, the minute I looked at her pretty face, I was right back in Gardiner High School. "Patty!" I exclaimed. I'm such a drama queen.

My friend Patty

She talked, I talked (too much) and she showed me around the place...even letting me try one of these nifty swings. I forget what they're called. They have some sophisticated sounding name but I just call it the "nifty swing at Pier 1."

Finally, it was time to leave but before I did, I bought a little monkey for Evan. He'll love the monkey. I'm gonna tell him to think of Peepee whenever he sees it. (Peepee is what he calls me....just in case you're wondering)

Evan and "Atom" (named after a robot in "Real Steel"

As I left the store and took one last picture of the sign and walked away, I realized I'd forgotten my bag-o-bullets from Dicks. Yikes! Luckily, one of the store employees had found them. She'll probably be watching the news this weekend to see if some guy with a stuffed monkey commits any violent crimes this weekend.

In summation, this is one of the most rewarding little walks I've had in some time. Look for a full account in my new book coming out this fall, "Of Bullets and Babes." Book signing at Barnes and Noble just in time for Christmas! :-)