So the Chattanooga Times Free Press last week announced their 2015 Best of the Best awards. And once again, for the up-teenth year in a row, there was no category for Best Place to Buy a Toy.
Best Place to Buy Liquor? Yes.
Best Self Storage Company? Yes.
Best Mattress Store? Yes.
Best Locksmith? Yes. (Presumably to get you into your storage unit which stores your extra mattress after you lose your one set of keys somewhere inside the best place to buy liquor.)
But a category for businesses that sell toys? Not a chance. We can only assume this is because between all the toy stores in town, our combined newspaper ad dollars just don't register on TFP's radar like, say, Best Place to Throw Darts. (Not to be confused with Best Place to Play Pool, another bona fide category.)
Which means, once again, we are pleased, honored and forced to declare ourselves tied for first for Best Place to Buy a Toy in the Chattanooga area!
With whom are we tied? Congrats go out to: Learning Express, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Green Door Toys, Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Hobby Lobby, Ace Hardware, K-Mart, Barnes & Noble, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Creative Discovery Museum, the Tennessee Zoo, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Cracker Barrel, Michael's, Sears, Lowe's Home Improvement, Kohl's, Dillard's, Marshall's, T.J. Maxx, JCPenney, Stein Mart, Big Lots, Publix, Ollie's Bargain Outlet, Burkes Outlet, Whole Foods, Costco, and all those random mall kiosks that pop up around the holidays (and then disappear just days before you want to return your defective R/C helicopter).
All of whom, for some reason or another, sell toys and therefore are dead-locked in a tie for first until such time as the good people of Chattanooga are allowed to vote. Until then - someone call a locksmith! (The Best of the Best Locksmith, please.)
Patrick Holland, born in a Cabbage Patch and raised inside the Honeycomb Hideout, is a former Oompa Loompa. He is now co-owner of Mountain Top Toys (with his not-so-silent partner and wife, Joanna), and parent to two daughters, both of whom are beginning to realize their father is just plain nuts. .