No Plates at Williamsburg Pottery?

I was driving with Mrs. Alphageek to a beautiful few days of vacation. We drove by a sign that said Williamsburg Pottery. I began to relay to Mrs. Alphageek how I had taken one of the most painful "vacations" ever with the Senior Alphageeks. That's right, my parents took me to Williamsburg Pottery for a vacation, before I am the amazing geek that I am now.

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The senior Alphageeks needed plates. After all, the plates that we had were perfectly functional, but ugly. They were so ugly I think a friend of my Mom's gave her old plates to my Mom, so that she could purchase new plates. So my parents began looking around. They drove to every store in Christiansburg. Those were not acceptable. We then drove to Roanoke. Apparently, there were no acceptable plates there either. Do not ask me where the 100,000 people living in Roanoke get their plates because I do not know.

The senior Alphageeks heard about a place called the Williamsburg Pottery and decided we would take a "vacation" and go look for plates. I often wonder how many stores we passed that sold plates, but the Senior Alphageeks did not seem to care. We drove and drove until we arrived at the biggest warehouse complex I have ever seen, even to this day. Certainly, this would be the place to satisfy the Senior Alphageeks need for plates!

We began walking up and down the very long aisles. Did I mention that each building is bigger than a modern day Wal-Mart? Well, I should have. Did I also mention it was a hot August day? I should have said that too. Did I also mention that Williamsburg Potter apparently saves money by not having air conditioning? I really should have said that too. So we walked. Then we turned the corner and walked back. We continued this cycle until we had completed the first building. Then we hit the next building and continued this strategic assault upon what has to be Virginia's largest selection of plates. After all, people ride buses for hours to get here and buy plates. After walking around and looking at plates, we broke for lunch in the fine dining they offer at such tourist traps.

We then jumped back into the fray, with the hot afternoon sun beating down on the previously mentioned UNAIR-CONDITIONED building. The budding geek began to see a pattern emerging: we were simply going to visit every aisle of this establishment. There was no intention of purchasing anything!

The Alphageek then mentioned that this trip seemed to becoming a waste of time because the object of purchasing plates was not being met. The Alphageek seems to remember something about being called a smart-ass. Apparently, the punishment for being a smart-ass is to walk even more, in the hottest building, and then even walk down some aisles that we had already been down. The situation did not improve when the Alphageek tried to help by pointing out we had already been here.

At about four o'clock, the Senior Alphageeks seemed to have reached some sort of agreement and found a shopping cart. Finally, the plates they so diligently sought! I was quite surprised when they headed over to the coffee cups. Imagine my disbelief when they loaded a few coffee cups and headed to the check out. The lines were long at that point, other shoppers carts full of plates. Apparently, they were not the discriminating shoppers my parents were.

My sister and I decided to do something to entertain ourselves. We saw a big warehouse fan, just sitting there, blowing the hot air from one place in the warehouse to another. We decided it would be fun to tear off pieces of a Styrofoam cup, put the pieces in the back of the fan, and see how far they flew. We were having the only fun we had at the Pottery, when an employee walked over and turned off the fan while giving us a look that said we should not be there. Hey, don't yell at us, talk to the parents that are plate shopping. Your seven or eight warehouses of plates did not fool the Senior Alphageeks.

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On the way back, Mrs. Alphageek said we should stop and see the Holy Grail of child punishment, the Williamsburg Pottery. I said it would be too hot, but Mrs. Alphageek pointed out it was only May, and pouring rain.

We eventually found the home of many a shopping nightmare, and entered the large number of warehouses. Not a warehouse has moved since the last tortured trip. As we walked around, it became apparent there was another problem. This problem is a doozie: there were no plates in the Williamsburg Pottery! In a panic, I retraced those tortured steps, passing aisle after aisle of home furnishings that included everything but plates! We even passed an air conditioning vent! Outrageous!

Mrs. Alphageek settled me down by promising me a bourbon when we got home. She even generously posed with the one plate we were able to find. (You click the colored texts for these modern things called links that let you see the picture of the plate.) Mrs. Alphageek did make a purchase, I think it is something to hold a Christmas wreath.

We got back in the car, the Alphageek's spirit broken. Mrs. Alphageek did not understand how I could have spent childhood hours there, looking for plates. After all, there truly are no plates at the Williamsburg Pottery that she could see. The Alphageek must have made the whole thing up.

Where did Senior Alphageeks get their plates? They bought them at Hills, about two miles from the house. When that Hills did not have enough plates, I think we drove to a drug store in West Virginia to get the rest of the needed plates. Then again, maybe you don't believe that part of the story either.