Sunday, April 26, 2015

Road Trip To The Hamburg Reptile Show & Cabelas

I took a short road trip to Hamburg, PA yesterday to attend the Hamburg Reptile Show. Normally the trip takes about 2.5 hours, it took me about 3.5 due to traffic in NYC. Once there, I spent a few hours inside the Hamburg Field-House debating whether or not I should buy any of the wide variety of herps that the many vendors had on display there. I badly wanted to pick up four or five Blue Tailed Newts and a couple or few of Iranian Newts, that a certain dealer was offering but declined; more on this later. There were a lot of other dealers offering anything from venomous species, like Puff Adders, Pygmy Rattlers and Gila Monsters to those offering the more mundane (and safer) herps like Sulcatta Tortoises, Pixie Frogs, Colorado River Toads, Corn Snakes and Ball Pythons. There were also folks selling non-herp species like several types of tarantulas, scorpions, and rodents.

I debated not only on those newts but also considered picking up some guinea pigs, ducklings and rats (the last two as snake food and the first as potential breeders for a colony of cavies for possible people food); I declined despite badly wanting those newts. In fact, I declined getting all but one herp - a normal appearing ball python, obviously a 2015 hatchling but of large enough size to know it has been eating well. I got that not for myself but as a donation to the Long Island Herpetological Society's annual auction set for June 7th.

All in all, I had a great time there with only one bump in the road so to speak. As a quick suggestion to dealers (of anything), let me say that you really ought to be careful about what you talk about in front of your potential customers. I was about to purchase at least 5 of the Blue Tailed Newts (from a dealer with whom I have done business before) and two or three of the Iranian Newts. That would have amounted to about a $200-$250 purchase depending on how many I bought and depending on if I would get the 5 to 10% discount for which I was going to ask for buying multiple animals. Suddenly, without even acknowledging I was standing there for a few minutes already, his apparent partner (the other guy working his table anyway and someone I have never met or dealt with before) started talking about people who ask for a discounted price when buying a few to several animals from them. His partner called those folks several derogatory names including: " fucking assholes..." for trying to get a better price when they were offering a good price already. The other dealer, the guy I have dealt with before, heartily agreed.

Then the first guy ranted on and on for at least five minutes about such customers, all in a very negative manner, as I stood at their table looking at their offerings and listening to every word that this loud mouthed slob (who had food falling from his mouth while talking because he was stuffing sandwich into his mouth at the same time) spewed from his blowhole. The guy with whom I have done business agreed with him every time he blasted those 'fucking cheap assholes' and he threw in a couple of choice descriptions of his own. They both totally ignored me, the customer waiting to be attended to by them. In the past, I have asked for and received such discounts from that same particular dealer on some newts that I purchased from him.

It is standard operating procedure among most reptile & amphibian dealers to discount the price somewhat when a good number of animals are purchased at the same time. Yesterday though, I did not even inquire about such a discount since they were so busy slamming customers who asked for a discount. I was about to say something like 'Hey you peckerwood dickhead, I was about to ask for a discount on five or more of these Blue Tailed Newts and on two or three of the Iranian Newts here, does that make me a cheap fucking asshole?' . I decided that instead of getting myself all worked up, I would keep my blood pressure at a decent level and not fuck up my remaining time at the show. So, I just walked away and ignored them. 

That means I also left without spending a dime on their stuff; maybe thy can afford to lost a $200-$250 sale but I figure that is bad business. I would have to have been a true asshole to have spent one penny there, so as it turns out - the real assholes were the two guys behind the table bad mouthing customers. I am going to post the above note about the dealers on a reptile forum that I know the guy with whom I have dealt before will have a good chance of seeing it. Fuck him and his big mouthed asshole business associate.

Anyway, I had a good time at the show, probably at least in part because I maintained my cool (for once). Besides the one snake that I bought, I also picked up some supplies that I needed for my critters at home. Then I went to Cabela's.

Ah yes, that is what makes the trip to this particular reptile show more alluring than most to which I have traveled - Cabela's is only a 5 minute drive from the field-house. While at Cabela's, I truly enjoyed the museum quality display of stuffed animals taken by hunters.

I also enjoyed watching the decent variety of live fish they have on display in their spectacular aquariums. Of course, I also perused their merchandise. I spent $185 at Cabelas. Truth is, I had not anticipated spending almost anything there and at fist purchased only$27.00 worth of firearms related stuff that I needed, like some  Breakfree CLP and a box of ammo. That ammo was a single box of 100 rounds of CCI Mini-Mag 36 grain CPHP ammo. It was a lone box only because there was a one box per purchase restriction on them.

When I got to my car, I decided I would go back inside and buy another box of the ammo. Well, I did that but also wound up purchasing some needed items and some gifts for my family. As for the needed items, I picked up two LifeStraws (one each for me and my son) for our hunting trips. I also got some candied nuts for my daughter, a jar of Cabela's dry rub mix for my son-in-law, a couple jars of spicy mustards (for my brothers-in-law), a sweater for my wife, a two pound bag of sausage ends & pieces (for me, my son and whomever), a couple of shake & bake style boxes of buffalo sauce flavored chicken coating, a toy for my dogs, and a bag of Andy Capp's Hot Fries - all that along with another box of the mini-mags. After all, I still had that $200-$250 that I had not spent, as I had planned to spend, on those newts at the reptile show.

All the best,
Glenn B

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