Hell Hath No Fury Like a Pissed Off BloggerJune 23, 2008
Or…my trip to The Refinery.
This past weekend I was in Frankenmuth, MI. It’s a really cute, quaint German town halfway between Saginaw and Flint. The entire town is focused around German food, German history and little shops selling every sort of chotchke available. It’s a total tourist area, but the townsfolk acknowledge it and move on. As part of our weekend, the mom unit and I decided to drive down to East Lansing and visit The Refinery, which as we all know is the clothing store owned by our very own Ryan Miller.
(I would have posted this earlier, but I was without internet access this weekend, as my cheap little self didn’t want to pay $9.95 per 24 hours of access at the hotel. Hotels should have complementary internet, damn it. It was very disconcerting being without access to the Buffalo News, especially during NHL draft weekend. I wanted to find out who the Sabres drafted and whether Darcy traded Max for a 10-pound catfish and a bag of pucks. ESPN was completely useless in this regard, for what it’s worth (shocking, right?). I can however, tell you the complete saga of Evgeni Malkin’s contract offer from the Russians, and Marian Hossa rejecting the Pens 7/$49 deal.
Now that I’m back amongst the civilized, I can’t wait to see how our new 6’7″ draft pick drastically adjusts the height alignment of the team. I’ll bet that Derek Roy magically grows to 5’10” by the start of training camp.)
But I digress. Onto the real reason you’re reading this post…
On Saturday afternoon, the mom unit calls The Refinery to confirm their Sunday hours. The clerk told her that they were open 12-5 on Sunday. Keep that in mind.
Driving up, I did get a good chuckle from the directions, which had us leaving I-69 and getting onto E. Lansing’s inner business loop, which was neither business-y or a loop. When I hear “business loop,” I think of something like Rochester’s Inner Loop, a terrifying city highway drive. Instead, this “business loop” was more like a scenic drive along Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda.
Road naming aside, I will give Miller credit for finding such a nice location. There was plenty of parking in a city owned lot (and it was free parking, since it was the weekend), and it was in an appropriately cool environment, as Urban Outfitters and American Apparel were located across the street. There were plenty of other little stores, eateries and liquor stores around as well. You could really tell that it was in a college area, too. We in Buffalo don’t have that kind of setting, as much as we’re a college town. But I digress.
As you can see from this picture, The Refinery shares an entrance with a sub shop.
At least that’s what I’m assuming a “dub” is. And I have no idea what the “Lick” below The Refinery sign refers to. You’re guess is as good as mine, but please keep it clean!
So we walk through the dub shop / Refinery entrance and are met with quite the roadblock. The door to The Refinery was locked, and there were no lights on. I double check my watch, and note that it’s 12:30 at this point.
I do what any good Buffalonian does when faced with an obstacle: walk away and start muttering profanities. That, and have a discussion with the mom unit about whether or not we changed time zones in the 70 minute drive from Frankenmuth to E. Lansing. To settle our debate, we walked to Urban Outfitters, and I pretended my watch died so I could ask the UO clerk what time it was without looking like a dork. He confirmed what we already knew: that we didn’t change time zones. This meant only one thing. The Refinery was closed.
Of course, my mother forgot at the hotel the sheet of paper that had the store’s telephone number on it, so we couldn’t call and ask why they fuck they weren’t open yet. And I was in enough of a mood that I probably would have phrased it that way on the phone, too.
Since we were without options at this point, we headed dejectedly back to the car to go back to Frankenmuth. As we drove by The Refinery, the lights were still not on and no one was home.
Damn them, again.
I’m usually willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Zippy the Chippy that answered the phone when my mother called on Saturday really didn’t know the store’s hours. Maybe she was overcome by dub fumes and got her days mixed up. Or hell, maybe management just didn’t want to open that day. But by doing so, they deprived themselves of two customers. And made a slight PR goof. We all know that Miller (and by some extension, the Sabres) have promoted the snot out of The Refinery in the Buffalo area. It’s not good that when two Buffalonians go and visit the store, they find a locked door.
Now I know that Miller is gallivanting around Europe with Goose right now, and he’s not responsible for what his people do, but private to Miller: “dude, what the hell?” I’m half debating whether I should send a politely pissy email to the store’s management about this entire debacle.
And since I hate to end my post sounding like a pissy little bitch, here’s two of my favorite photos from the weekend.
The “God Loves Me” sign is probably one of my favorite things to look for on the QEW as you’re heading towards Toronto. Its so completely random that it always makes me smile.
We also passed through Strathroy, Ontario, which is the hometown of Buffalo’s favorite red-headed $8 million man. Sadly, there was no plaque commemorating this accomplishment.