Cheating on my local

With Father’s Day behind us for another year, there is a place where many Amateur Dads will be frequenting, either to change their gifts or spend their gift cards: Bunnings.

For international readers, Bunnings is an Aussie man’s utopia. It’s our version of Home Depot, carrying a massive range of hardware, outdoor furniture, and on weekends and public holidays, the holy trinity of sausage sizzle, sauce and cold soft drink cans – as a fundraiser for local not for profits, of course.

When we moved back from Singapore and ended up buying a house, I did internal cartwheels when I saw that it was less than 10 minutes from our nearest Bunnings. Since then, it has taken plenty of my hard-earned, and has become a good place to drop into and find all manner of things that I didn’t realise I needed until I was right in front of them.

But the honeymoon is now over, and I wonder if I can stay faithful to my local big barn of hardware nirvana?

You see, my ‘local’ is undergoing a refit. That has meant that things are a little all over the shop (pardon the pun), and more and more they don’t actually have what I need. It is frustrating sometimes, and has given me little choice but to ‘cheat’… albeit at another Bunnings that is not going through a refit.

The other Bunnings carries a wider range than my local, but has more restricted trading hours, so it’s a bit of a trade-off.

But lately I’ve found another avenue to get my hardware fix, and it’s one that I blame my own dad for.

Auctions.

You see, I grew up being dragged along to all manner of auctions by my dad who was a self-employed computer engineer. He was mostly seeking out cheap used computer parts, and often succeeded. He also succeeded in buying all number of weird and wonderful things too, a number of which would meet their fate at the tip some years later.

I’m not saying he’s a Daryl Kerrigan, but he does love a bargain – and so for him auctions have now been replaced by Aldi.

I, too, have succumbed to the weird and wonderful ‘Special Buys’ of the German supermarket chain, and often when they have tools on sale. I became one of “those people” on Saturday who queued up waiting for the doors to open to grab myself some roof racks for our car.

And before you scoff, they were only $79. What a bargain!

But back to the auctions, and this week I scored a Black & Decker drill set that has attachments for eight other tools, including a small circular saw, router and air compressor, for less than half the RRP, from Grays Online.

It is a thrill getting the email that you have ‘won’ the opportunity to pay for goods, like a gateway high onto hard drugs. For now though, like a deluded addict, I think I have it under control.

So, yes, I have strayed from my local Bunnings. No doubt I’ll be back once the refit is finished because it is ridiculously convenient, but it’s now on notice that I will be demanding an open relationship to explore bargains elsewhere, like Aldi and Auctions. Amazon’s looming arrival in Australia is also giving me the come hither look.

Somehow, I don’t the local think it will care, and she knows that while I will stray, I will always come back for the sausage sizzle.