Lost in hardware heaven

If his wife can’t find him, there’s a good chance he’s admiring the vast display of shelving options

DEAR Bunnings,

OH YOU big green box of delights - my, how you do intrigue me.

You are the absorber of much time, for which I am both thankful and frustrated.

There is a special feeling about walking through your sliding red-framed doors, past the local swimming club’s barbecue and into the non-conditioned air that hangs thick with the smell of cut timber, potting mix and the body odour of hard-working renovation enthusiasts.

In some ways, there is no better feeling than being lost amid a maze of green aisles beneath those gigantic, helicopter-style fans so far above that do very little to control the heat in what is essentially a giant shed.

It would come as no surprise to find that red hammer in a circle logo tattooed on the shoulders of die-hard shoppers.

Us males have something of an unspoken language within there.

We know not to make too much eye contact and simply leave each other to pretend as if we know which bolt size we are after.

Occasionally, an actual tradesman breezes up one of the aisles, grabs 15 tubes of silicon in the brand he’s always used, and heads off again.

Many of us stand there in quiet amazement at his shopping efficiency and ability to navigate so precisely.

We dream of the discount he’s probably getting through the use of a “trade account”.

He’s been in and out before most of us realise we actually went in to look at soaker hoses.

I know an older gentleman who says his “default position” when in town is Bunnings.

In other words, if his wife can’t find him, there’s a good chance he’s admiring the vast displays of shelving options or testing the weight of an 18v cordless drill (with 23 torque settings, keyless chuck and bonus battery).

I won’t lie - you’re not always the cheapest. Exactly how many people have taken you up on your “find a product cheaper elsewhere and we’ll beat it by 10 per cent”?

Not too many I’m guessing. By the time the fine print is read, the product is probably discontinued anyway.

I do find the young age of some of your staff a little disconcerting. There is something strange about taking advice about the best brackets for constructing my carport from someone who isn’t old enough to drive a car.

Yes, I know there are some who despise you for your domination of the planet, and there are many regional garden centres who treat your name as a swear word, but I can’t help how I feel.

See you soon.


Ashley Walmsley

is the editor of Good Fruit and Vegetables.
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