Living in the ‘snow belt’ temperate climate of Canada, there is a spring ritual I have to perform. While this ritual does not require the chanting and ritual sacrifice required during early historic turns of the equinox, it still takes a little magic and a few potions, with each potion balanced ‘just so….’
That is to say, each spring I have to reverse the work I did last fall, namely getting our swimming pool back into operation after its winter hibernation of thick coverings and the disembowelment of all parts which are then tucked safely away from the frigid winter elements.
(living in a heavily forested area just adds to the joi-de vivre of this ritual, yes the picture below sums it up with more eloquence than I can)
After a long winters hibernation, our northern swimming pools want to be pampered with just the right amount and the right balance of the ingredients that magically turn water stained green or black into that familiar swimming pool blue.
The thick winter coverings are removed? Check..
The previously disembowelled parts are restored to their rightful place? Check..
The first doses of the spring potions have been added? Check..
After the initial ritual of opening of the pool, the little test strips you buy usually do perfectly well in advising you of the pools state -
Ahhh, but the opening ceremony usually needs a little more tender loving care than those quick test strips can provide.
So for this part of the ritual I fill a small bottle with water from the pool and go to my local pool supply store. In this case, I showed up about 15 minutes before they opened, and like devotees queueing for the latest device from Apple (AAPL) , there was already a line up of others performing the same ritual that I was.
The reason we were lined up like iPhone fans waiting for the latest gadget? This pool supply store has a computer test system that performs for the pool opening ritual the same thing we see in all the crime shows on TV, a few squirts of water into various tubes and and the computer screen lights up with not only the required potion, but the amounts (down to two decimal places – which was 4.06 Kilograms of Alkalinity boosting potions in my case)
Which segues into my topic
With this line of people performing this spring ritual?
The price I paid for them to tell me which potions I needed?
Zero, nada, zilch, nothing…….
In my admittedly completely unscientific visual survey, I saw one or two people take away the information from the computer and just leave the store. But the rest of us?
Yes, buckets, cannisters, bottles or tubs of the potions needed to get our pools to a sparkling blue.
You can call it a ‘loss leader’ if you like. But the amount of product I saw going through the check-out line just says good business to me.