discount price war

warnings: brief adult language, bra reference. rated k+ because that's equal to tv-y7. don't like, don't read.

story is mine. products and arthur characters are not.

Francine surprised her. She wanted to shop. But there was a catch. There always was with Francine. So Muffy heard her out. Muffy could accompany her. Muffy could help her decide what to buy. But Muffy could not pay. And Francine needed a whole outfit. For $10.

How was that possible? A dressy outfit. Quality clothes that would last until her next growth spurt. A dress or a nice blouse and pants, plus shoes, for $10. Muffy told her the truth, "You're out of your mind!" But Francine knew she wasn't. She already had a plan, "We're going to JC Penny." Muffy didn't understand. How was that the plan? Their clothes were cheaper than Khol's and Belk. But not "$10 for a whole outfit" cheap.

Then Francine grinned. She had good news, "The store is closing. Everything must go. Catherine got All Stars for $15. She said I could do it too. And I need an outfit. Remember the essay contest for the local General Mills plant? Fern and I got picked. We have to go business casual. And I outgrew everything I have, even shoes."

"And Catherine swears you can actually get everything for $10?" Muffy inquired. Francine nodded. Muffy disagreed, "No, that has to be a mistake. I doubt their discounts would be that cheap. Isn't that why they're closing the store, to make money? To save money? How do you make and save money by selling everything for dirt cheap?!" Muffy exclaimed.

Francine snorted, "I don't know, but when the last shoe sells, Principal Haney gets all of their shelves for $30. He said he was going to Ikea to get shelves for his Pops collection, but when he heard about their closing, he made a deal with the manager. Catherine heard everything. And some guy paid $50 for all the carpet squares in the store, stains and all. Home Depot and Lowes can't beat that."

"You're kidding! Wow, JC Penny the next Ikea, and home discount store? What is the world coming to?" Muffy asked. Her iPhone chimed. Muffy checked and squealed, "E! News just posted new pics of celebrities in their best dresses from the last ten Oscars. You better leave. This is going to take a while to enjoy."

Francine left. But the appointment was made. Muffy was in charge of that. She had Bailey drive their Ford. It was her daddy's "typical family car" for the week. He drove around town to advertise. Francine liked it. She memorized the name, Ford Focus. She wanted one whenever she turned 16. It drove well to the mall.

Bailey let them out at JC Penny and drove off. He needed to go to Publix. Millicent needed dinner supplies. He knew the girls would be fine. They were 9 and could think for themselves. Besides the guard was good at keeping out pedos. That made JC Penny the only variable.

The store was in chaos mode. Almost everything in Shoes was gone. Most of the kids' clothes were too. Housewares had no appliances, just plate sets and towels. Some plates were broken. Some towels were ripped. It looked like war. The whole store did. They moved to women's wear. Two old women fought over a bra. One held one strap, the other woman the opposite cup. It snapped suddenly and flew off. It landed on a sale's associate. She started to cry and ran to the back.

"Francine this isn't worth it. Let me help you. We'll go to TJ Maxx or Marshall's. You buy what you can and I'll cover the rest. Please, before they decide we're mannequins and try to carry us off," Muffy said. Her eyes followed a weird man. He was wearing a Chicago Cubs hat and a Boy Scouts uniform shirt. He had a naked mannequin under his arm. His hand was locked in its crotch. He seemed to like it there.

Francine gagged, "We have no choice. This place is dangerous. I'll oay you back though," she said. They rushed out. They went up an escalator. Things were quieter here. But not by much. Teens and loud talkers were everywhere. A group of guys had a loud grunting contest outside Dick's Sporting Goods. Muffy scoffed as a teen girl passed, laughing "Ha! Little dick squad!" Her friends laughed and skipped off.

TJ Maxx looked crowded. Marshall's seemed better. Francine went in and found some simple black flats for $5. She went with them. Muffy approved them too. The dress Francine picked wasn't flattering. Muffy left it on a return rack, "You can do better. Stop looking at the price tags and find the outfit that speaks to you."

Francine wasn't sure. The green dress she liked was $40. That was discounted $100 compared to American Eagle. It was a good deal. But $40 was too much. That was more than 3 allowances. She knew Muffy would pay. She could pay her back at her own pace. But how long would it take?

"Francine, more decisions, less looking at the price tags. I've got this," Muffy smiled. She patted her Coach purse. It was a gift from her father. Inside was her $50 wallet. She got it herself at Belk. Inside that would be her Visa. It had a $5000 limit, Muffy's monthly allowance. Francine knew that'd be plenty. If not, she had her mom's Mastercard.

Muffy approved the fit. Then they left for a snack. They got baked pretzels and frozen Cokes. They ate on a bench near Books-A-Million. They crowd watched. A paramedic rushed to JC Penny. Muffy laughed. She remembered the flying bra, the upset sale's attendant. She shook her head, "No more discount shopping like that, okay?" Francine nodded. She just had to admit it. Muffy was and always would be the shopping queen.


a.n. for my new series, c-e-c, capitalism in elwood city. the kids go around enjoying the fruits of capitalism. i'm open for ideas. and please review if you can.