I’ve been a huge fan of Bass Pro Shops ever since the fourth grade, when my only interaction with this outdoorsman’s Mecca was limited to creating “if-I-won-the-lottery” lists off their phonebook-sized catalog and indulging in the occasional treat of chatting with the nice southern ladies at 1-800-BASS-PRO, dad’s credit card in hand. Disneyland? No way – my dream vacation was Outdoor World, the Bass Pro Shops headquarters in Springfield, Missouri. Unfortunately, seeing as I was the only one in my family with an affinity for angling, it remained unfulfilled. Bass Pro Shops began opening retail outlets some time ago, and I remember seeing one just outside of Vegas a few years ago, but like the boy in The Giving Tree, this young man had more exciting pursuits in Sin City than to stop in and admire his dream bass boat.
This past weekend, I had the good fortune of discovering the Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA on the way back from a family Labor Day trip. I couldn’t pass this up. I gave Lisa a quick primer on Bass Pro Shops and its place in my heart, parked the car, woke Marcus from his backseat nap, heaved him over my shoulder, and did my best to excite a groggy five-year old on this “mega fishing store.” He responded by bleeding all over my shirt.
Shuttling him into the lobby, we did our best to squeeze his nose with the last tissue in Lisa’s bag, quickly reaching its liquid retention capacity. As soon as she spotted this surely familiar scene, a helpful customer service associate offered us more tissues. As she noticed us futilely cramming a new fistful of fresh tissues on Marcus’ nose, she graciously stepped in and instructed us on the proper way to stop a nosebleed.
- Don’t look up. Look down.
- Pinch right above the nostrils.
- Tissue underneath the nose.
No doubt she noticed the initial skeptical look on both our faces. “I’m also a paramedic,” she added with a reassuring smile. That was enough for both of us, as we promptly relinquished control of this mini triage session to her. This nice lady (I wish I got her name), ended up tending to Marcus for the next 5 minutes. Apparently, if you hold your head up (as we have all been taught), you tend to swallow blood, which can upset your stomach, especially if your stomach is child-sized.
When the bleeding stopped, she gave us a wad of backup tissues for later and sent us on our way. We rode bass boats, tried out tents, shot laser rifles at stuffed raccoons, raced in a Dale Jr. NASCAR simulator game, spotted trout in the indoor river and made new wish lists.
A day 25 years in the making. And the best part? The nice ladies at Bass Pro Shops are for real.
Epilogue: Marcus’ nose started bleeding again the next night. He skillfully applied the technique and stopped his own nosebleed, no fuss, no mess, no mom and dad running around with bloody tissues.