The perplexing search for purplicious luggage and the perils of windmills

April is Stress Awareness Month, but it is also National Humor Month, so I thought I’d go out on a limb and talk about something that stresses a travel bargain’s aficionado. I have Scandinavian blood, so just like the Vikings, I have a natural inclination to go out and explore the world. But I’m part Scottish, so I don’t want to pay for it.

I watch google flights like a hawk – I grab dirt-cheap first-class tickets when I see the price drop to the $500 range from Honolulu to anywhere in the Great Lakes region. First class comes with 2 bags per person, up to 70 pounds per suitcase. I have 400 Aloha-themed Christmas cards I bought for 75 to 90 percent off in January, plus all kinds of other Hawaiiana treasures to take back to the mainland.

My perplexing search for Parisian goods at Scottish prices yielded over 100 possibilities on Facebook Marketplace; however, every single seller I encountered was a scam artist. Everything I looked at was counterfeit Louis Vuitton brought over from Shanghai where the seller probably paid $20 for each piece. The Facebook ads read “Authentic Louis Vuitton,” but upon inspection, it only took 30 seconds to see these were illegal knockoffs. Realistically, what real person buys 10 Louis Vuitton suitcases for $2,700 each, then turns around and sells them for $1,000 each on Marketplace before even using them once? Nobody does that. But people do buy $20 counterfeit Louis Vuitton items in China, then illegally sell them to unsuspecting Facebook buyers in Hawaii – at an obscene mark up.

So I turned to a reputable store, one which is very popular in the American South, called Belk. They specialize in products that Baptist women with really big hair love to purchase. At least that’s what my Baptist aunts with 3-feet tall hair told me. You know, the taller the hair, the closer to God.

I found a great bargain: purple luggage set of 3, regularly $160, on clearance for $19.99. The description says the luggage “is featured in a vibrant purple hue so you never have to worry about your belongings or loosing [sic] your luggage on the baggage claim belt.” What exactly does that imply? Is it such a hideous shade of purple that nobody would caught dead with it? I don’t mind purple – the symbol of Scotland is the purple thistle, so with a few decals and gaudy embellishments they would make the perfect accessory for a red hat lady or a gay Scot.

I know a lot of women who love purple. The last time I bought a suitcase from the Aloha Swap Meet, it was purple, with hibiscus, and had the words “Aloha” and “Hawaii” printed on it. After using it to fly to Detroit, I placed an ad to sell it online – and it sold in under one minute.  So maybe purple suitcases would be something I should carefully reconsider, especially if they are prone to getting brodied by big-haired women.

When I read Belk’s small print for this item I noticed the warning: “This product may contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause Cancer and Reproductive Harm.” Are they referring to pregnant women, or are they referring to my little soldiers under the category of “reproductive harm”?  I have to keep my little soldiers unharmed just in case Dolly Parton asks me to marry her. I know she’s 73 and probably has no plan to reproduce with me, but she’s got big hair and she would really appreciate my Pride of Dixie Belk luggage. And she’s the only woman on the planet who could turn me straight. Well, maybe Jane Seymour could, but I’d need to consult my shrink first. The $64,000 question, or the $19.99 question: are the purple suitcases worth getting cancer?

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There has been much buzz about Mr. President’s announcement that windmills cause cancer. I guess that’s why all the people in Holland are dead. He said it had something to do with the spinning motion.  Now, these suitcases are “spinners” meaning you can spin them 360 degrees.

I’m Scottish by culture, but my DNA is Scandinavian. Scandinavians always place a high value on safety, which is why I bought a Volvo C70 convertible. Being both Scandinavian and Scottish led me to a great existential crisis – who am I – a cheap Scot or a safety-conscious Scandinavian? Is the bargain worth the stress of possibly getting cancer?

For a few minutes I pondered the issue. Maybe the cancer was caused by the spinning action. I thought, well, if I spin them backwards, would it cure cancer?

Having lost both grandmothers to cerebral tumors, I have a lot of emotional baggage when it comes to that topic. Except for basal cell carcinoma (a common problem for blue-eyed blond Scandinavians living in Hawaii) I have lived pretty much unscathed by cancer’s evil.

In the end, the Scandinavian “safety first” side of me won out. As much as I love bargains, I might have gotten more than I bargained for from this luggage set. There is always the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet to top off my 280 pound (4 suitcases) first-class checked-baggage allowance.  Any excuse to go to the Swap Meet is a Scot’s delight.

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