On our way to school every morning, there is a lawnmower repair shop that has a big sign stating "Thomas 20% off." I've often been curious about his selection - honestly, what kind of train selection could a lawnmower repair shop have? - but I've never stopped in. Until today.
Roman saw that grinning, cheery Thomas face on a window sign and began pleading to stop there this morning. I decided to go in on our way home. As we approached the door of the one-room shop I could see the telltale blue box that shouted "Thomas!" As Roman and I crossed the threshold we entered it... Thomas Nirvana.
This man, this lawnmower repair guy, has the largest selection of Thomas items I have ever seen. More than Toys R Us! He had every engine I could think of, including cars & coaches. He has "destinations" I've never seen in stores - Down by the Docks, the Chocolate Factory, even the Ice Cream Factory! The hospital! The fire station! The new Timber Yard! He had every bridge! Every tunnel & mountain combination! Even the new Rheneas and the Roller Coaster set! WOW!
And his sign didn't lie. Everything 20% off. Everyday. He even had a train table set up that Roman could play with. Turns out, the man also sells Lionel trains and has gotten into the Thomas business for the last 4 years or so. I told him he definitely had my business for Christmas. We stayed about a half hour, half-gaping, half-playing. When we prepared to leave and I thanked the man for his conversation and information, the surprises continued. He gave Roman a little lunch sack. Inside was a Thomas "Yearbook" (magazine that has all available Thomas merchandise), a picture of a train to color, a cardboard Thomas engineer's hat, a Thomas wooden train whistle, 2 suckers, and 2 Tootsie Rolls. What a guy! If he hadn't already had my business, he sealed it with that gesture.