New Store May Get Lost In The Shuffle

ROUTE 2 -- A weekly journey through Anne Arundel County

April 08, 1992|By Deidre Nerreau McCabe Roch Eric Kubatko

Oh, no. Not another "members-only" store coming our way.

A news report in Monday's Anne Arundel County Sun says BJ's Wholesale Club, awarehouse shopping club based in Natick, Mass., is negotiating to move into the Festival at Pasadena shopping center on Ritchie Highway.

This is not good news -- not because the area is already flooded with discount and warehouse stores, and not because a members-only store will cost money to join, but because it will require another identification card.

That's right, another identification card. I simply can't accommodate another identification card.

My wallet, whichhas seen better days, is already stuffed like an Italian sausage with identification cards.

There's the grocery store check-cashing cards -- Giant Food, Safeway, Valu Food. There's the membership cards for three or four video stores. Add to that cards for MCI, Pace Membership Warehouse, LaTela's liquor store, My House, an athletic club andvarious bank cards.

Then there's the HMO membership card and the separate, but equal, prescription and dental plan cards. Of course, you've got to have a Sears KidVantage card. I don't know what it's for, but it could be valuable, so I don't dare throw it out.

We're talking dozens of cards here, and we haven't even touched the credit cards, library cards and employee identification cards.

What happened to the good ol' days when people carried around a driver's license and Social Security card?

No, I guess I won't be joining BJ's Wholesale Club if it comes to Pasadena.

My wallet just can't handle it.

A FLAW IN THE GEM

OK, someone cut the "Field of Dreams" music. Not everything was perfect about Monday's opening gala at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Just ask the people who tried unsuccessfully to buy a program -- something that's certain to become a collector's item, and therefore was in hot demand. Some customers were toting them away by the bundle, which made it that much harder for the select few who were hoping to land just one.

Among those caught in a long linewas Arundel athletic director and baseball coach Bernie Walter, who had made his way up to the Club Level. And to a higher level of disenchantment.

"This is so poorly organized," he said. "I waited in one line for over an hour and I was told they were all sold out, which obviously isn't true because they're being sold here. So, not only didn't they do what they were supposed to do, but they're not telling the truth."

Apparently, neither did a newspaper account yesterday that said only people who arrived late for the 3 p.m. game didn't get programs.

"I stepped in line for the second time at 12:47 p.m.," he said. "I was behind a guy who bought a whole package of them and I was told someone would be back in five to 20 minutes with more. At 1:44, ARA (Services) sent someone over to investigate. He came back andtold us they were all sold out."

"They should have limited it to two per person. They did at the end, but by then it was too late. It was just poor planning. They should have known better. The same kind of thing happened at the last game (at Memorial Stadium)."

Walter's day began on a more positive note. After driving to Fell's Point, he paid $3.25 to ride a water taxi to the Inner Harbor and walked the five or six blocks to the stadium.

"It was kind of fun," he said. "It's got to be cool in the summertime."

And a lot less hassle than trying to buy a program on Opening Day, though he did wind up with one. It seems Walter's wife came up with the best "save" of the game.

"She was able to get one upstairs," he said. "We just got lucky. She doesn't usually buy one."

And what did Walter, a scout for theOrioles, think of the new park as a whole?

"The stadium is exciting," he said. "I just wish I had more of a chance to see it."

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