Saturday, August 20, 2005

Unexpected show of troop support

After a tour of Louisville yesterday, during which we saw many of the historic districts of the city and some of the most beautiful housing subdivisions I've even seen, CJ and I stopped by the Mall of St. Matthews in the northern part of the city. I still hadn't gotten around to using the $50 Aeropostale gift card I'd gotten for Christmas from Gonzoma and Gonzopa, so I figured I'd pick up a new pair of pants and maybe some T-shirts.

We went into Champs Sports, and I saw that they had a 2-for-1 deal on basketball shorts, so we both got a couple pairs. At the register, CJ mentioned to the clerk that he'd been sold when he saw that they had Eastern Kentucky University shirts on sale up front, which had sealed the deal for him.

"Yeah, they went to the big dance this past year, and that's probably the one and only reason we've got them," the clerk said.

"I actually drove up to Indianapolis to see that game," said CJ, who got his degree from EKU.

We all talked a bit about NCAA basketball, and I mentioned that I'd seen Syracuse win the championship the night before I left for Korea.

"You're military? What branch?" the clerk asked.

"Army," I said.

"Thank you, man," the clerk said. "I mean it."

I never know what to say in situations like this. It doesn't happen a lot, but I've never worked out a response I like for expressions of gratitude.

"Well, hey, thank you too," I said, scratching the back of my head in a futile attempt to stimulate my brain.

"Just so you know," the clerk said, "anyone on active duty gets 20 percent off here. You just have to show your ID."

I don't know if it's a national promotion or just something they have at the Louisville branches, but if you're looking for new running shoes, check out Champs.