Full disclosure: We originally walked into the Tractor Supply Co. two weeks ago looking for a welcome mat.
Instead we found a slew of 6-foot-tall metal roosters, their 6-inch-shorter girlfriends and child-size Batman gardening gloves and watering cans.
So here we are.
We’ve been to Tractor Supply before, when it first opened on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. But that was years ago, and our forays into the agriculture/tool/home-and-garden store have since been pretty limited.
Clearly too limited since we never before considered Tractor Supply for our giant metal chicken needs. Or knew that we even had giant metal chicken needs.
So as this waterlogged spring tuns into a (hopefully) sun-drenched summer, we salute you, Shop Born of Tractors. And we’ll be doing that saluting in Batman gardening gloves.
• Giant metal chickens, $179.99 (hen) or $199.99 (rooster)
You’ve heard of Iron Man, now meet Iron Hen! Coming soon to save your lawn from squirrels, crows and the neighbor’s collie.
That’s really the only reason we can imagine someone needing a 6-foot tall metal lawn rooster or a slightly less tall hen — as scarecrow in chicken form — but we’re willing to entertain lots of reasons why someone might want one. Companionship. Chicken envy. Irony. (Ha! Irony. Iron Hen. Get it? Our sense of humor is nothing if not sophisticated.)
Kidney-shaped doggy pool, $19.99
Five-foot long blue plastic pool with steps on either end for easy getting in and getting out. It could be mistaken for a high-end kiddie pool if not for the dog bones imprinted on the bottom. Just add water and Fido and you have instant summer fun. Also instant jealously from the kids, so maybe let them play too.
• Bat shelter, $29.99
Cedar, made in the USA, great for helping out the endangered bat population. This was right next to the hummingbird feeders at Tractor Supply Co. in Lewiston, so Shopping Siren fervently hopes someone doesn’t grab it thinking, hey, hummingbird house! Because that’s a surprise waiting to happen.
Unless of course . . .
• Royal Wing hummingbird feeders, $9.99-$19.99
… you’re actually shopping for a hummingbird feeder because, like Bag Lady, you just heard an incredible story about former “The Hills”‘ star Spencer Pratt’s mystical connection to a hummingbird named Allen. Maybe YOUR Allen is out there. Maybe OURS is. You won’t know until you try.
• Solar stake lights, $12.99
Solar lights to stake into the ground around bushes, along pathways or, really, anywhere you need a little light coming up from the ground. Sure, you can find plain ones at the dollar store, but these have tops that look like red pickup trucks or blue farm combines. Seriously cute. Our inner 5-year-olds approve.
• Twist It hanging mosquito repellent, $3.99
A citronella-laden dangling doohickey that, according to the package, lasts seven days. The mosquitoes are already out and each year, it seems, we’re willing to try about anything to keep them from biting, so why not?
• Beverage stakes, $4.99
Colorful, 36-inch tall stakes with spiral tops to hold the soda, beer, water or iced tea of your garden party pals while they mill around, chatting about last night’s sporting match or masquerade ball.
We may be confusing your Memorial Day barbecue with a show on PBS.
• Gibson Fly Fishing BBQ Lighter, $9.99
If your next outdoor soiree is a little less “Downton Abbey,” a little more “King of the Hill,” this lighter is calling. It looks like a tiny pole with a tiny fly wheel — let’s safely call it garden gnome-size — and, probably most importantly, it’s a numbered limited edition, one of 1,000,000. The tags in the Lewiston store were in the 380,000-range, practically the beginning of the run!
• Outdoor garden sink, $36.99
Portable sink you set up outside and connect to a garden hose, and, huzzah! Instant place to wash your hands, with soap even. Yes, OK, you could just walk the 15 steps it would take to go inside, but this way you don’t get dirt on the doorknobs. Which is, like, our third least favorite place to get dirt.
• Shoreline Marine waterproof cellphone/GPS pouch, $4.99
Toss your phone in the pouch and you’re good to go white-water rafting or running through the sprinklers or whatever else involves you getting wet. Bonus: You can still use your phone’s touch pad while it’s in the pouch. So if you need to text for help because you twisted your ankle playing Duck, Duck Splash, you can totally do that.
Best find: Adorable kid-size gardening everything, $4.49 to $9.99
Bat Girl gardening gloves, Paw Patrol spades, Batman watering cans — it’s all adorable to the max. It also looks like it’s going relatively fast. There was considerably more of each during our last quick trip two weeks ago, so get ’em while the getting is good. And if the Batman watering can is for you, we promise we won’t tell.
Think twice: About revisiting retailers you haven’t stopped in for a long time
You never know what the hen you’ll find.
Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who don’t let big metal birds scare them away from — run! ) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
A child-sized Batman watering can from Tractor Supply Co. From crime-fighting to irrigation, why not?