Miller: In line at the Wisconsin sports return department
The stores were busy Thursday as people crowded around the customer service centers to return gifts received Wednesday that either didn’t fit or didn’t meet their taste.
I took a walk to the sports department where a long line of familiar faces waited—some impatiently—for their turn at the counter.
Look, that’s former Wisconsin senator and Bucks owner Herb Kohl at the counter now. Wonder what’s going on…
Counter person: So let me get this straight. You want to return your basketball arena?
Herb Kohl: That’s correct. The Bradley Center.
CP: I’m sorry, sir. The tag has been removed. This arena looks very used.
HK: Hey, it might have been used a few times, but it’s still in great shape.
CP: It says here it opened in 1988. Sir, we can’t take back something that is 25 years old.
HK: Look, I need a new arena. I’m not the Packers who can issue worthless stock and raise millions. The Brewers got a new stadium. Why can’t I get one?
CP: Sir, I can’t help you. Plus you don’t have a receipt. Please move along. Next!
Well, look at this. It’s Mark Attanasio, owner of the Brewers. What’s that in his cart?
CP: Hello, sir. What can I do for you?
Mark Attanasio: I want to return this. Can’t use it.
CP: It looks like a base. What seems to be the problem?
MA: Well, it’s first base. I can’t find anybody to play around this. Every time I sign somebody and put him there, they get hurt. And we don’t have anybody on the roster that can play there.
CP: Well sir, I don’t believe you can just remove that from your baseball field. I think Bud Selig would have something to say about not having a first base at Miller Park.
MA: I’ve got this figured out. I plan to have two second bases. Scooter Gennett and Rickie Weeks will play them. We have two second basemen and no first basemen. Man. The season starts in a few months.
CP: Well, good luck but you can’t return that. Next!
MA: Hey, can’t I get a couple of million for it? I need a starting pitcher. They don’t come cheap.
CP: Try aisle 2. Next!
There’s Gary Andersen. The University of Wisconsin football coach must have flown back from Florida.
CP: What can I do for you sir?
Gary Andersen: I want to return this case of Brylcreem or Vitalis or whatever this hair stuff is. It arrived in my office, and I don’t use the stuff.
CP: It seemed to be sent to a Bret…
GA: Oh, he was the guy that used my office before I arrived here.
CP: You could try to forward this to him.
(Someone in back of the line): He might not be there long enough to get it. (Many chuckles)
GA: Anyway, could I exchange it?
CP: Sure. What do you want?
GA: Have a bowl victory back there?
CP: Sure do. Haven’t had any of these leave the store for three years. Will that be cash or charge?
GA: Put it on my Capital One card. Thanks.
Well, look who’s here. It’s Mike McCarthy.
CP: Well, you sure look cheerful, sir. Have a nice Christmas?
Mike McCarthy: Sure did. Got the No. 1 item on my list. Been without it for nearly two months.
CP: That’s great. So what do want to return today?
MM (turning around): These guys. They’re my backup quarterbacks. Don’t need them any more.
CP: Did you get them all at this store?
MM: Ah, well, not really. Pick these guys up from here and there. Some are old, some are young and even got one that I used before. They worked OK, but not like good old No. 12.
CP: Sir, I don’t believe we can accept them as returns. Are you sure you aren’t going to need them?
MM: Better not have to. OK, I’ll take them back. C’mon guys … hey, as long as I’m here, do you take back defenses?
CP: Not unless there’s a defect.
MM: Ohhhh, if you only knew. I might be back.
CP: Happy New Year, sir.
MM: Got a feeling it’s going to be.
-- Tom Miller is a page designer/sports writer for The Gazette.