Monday, January 17, 2011

The Schmucks & The Schmugaboo: SGW

Today we have a guest post from a Special Guest Writer named Mommy Shorts.  Mommy Shorts is hilarious and talented and has written for us before.  Lydia sort of has a crush on her because of her effortless funny and the graphics and charts she makes. 

You may remember Mommy Shorts from this experience, most of which was chronicled her in December:
  • Her mother-in-law gives her baby daughter a dress that belongs on Toddlers & Tiaras.
  • She wants to blog about it but can't on her own site (because her mother-in-law will read it and flip out) so she posts it here on MommyLand.
  • Twenty three seconds after it gets posted here, her mother-in-law finds if and reads it.
  • Panic.
  • Her mother-in-law turns out to be awesomesauce with a side a gravy and about fifty times cooler than Mommy Shorts or Kate or Lydia.
  • The baby makes her own statement about the dress that is both adorable and really, truly the perfect end to the story.
So Mommy Shorts asked if she could write another post for us about a time when she did something really stupid, and we thought "Oh HELLS yeah - it will make a nice change from hearing about the idiotic stuff Boobstain Lydia is always doing."  So here it is.  Enjoy!


I'm not supposed to tell this story. In fact, I haven't breathed a word of it till now. It didn't happen to us, anyway. That would be embarrassing. No, it happened to another couple we know. Their names are Schilana and Schmike.

Schilana and Schmike live in New York City. In New York City, if you have a baby, you most likely have a Bugaboo Stroller. As the Mercedes of baby strollers, it is priced at approximately $1000. I know, expensive. But Schilana wanted a Bugaboo very badly. Not only was she told they were the best strollers for handling rough city terrain, but they came in cool colors and all her friends had them. Schmike, on the other hand, thought paying $1000 for a stroller was obscene. But when Schilana sets her mind on attaining something she deems necessary, especially if it is for the good of their brand new baby, it is next to impossible to sway her.

Schilana was not entirely unreasonable though. When she found out from more than one friend that they had actually bought used Bugaboos on Craig's List, she decided to check it out. She ended up doing one better. Schilana found a woman who had three brand new Bugaboos, one even in the color she was coveting. The woman said that her boyfriend worked for a company where they sold overstock. All the Bugaboos were in their original box, packed with the instruction manual and the user DVD, and cost $600. Schilana, feeling bolder than usual, suggested $500. They settled on $550. Schmike would be so pleased!

When Schilana told Schmike about her arrangement, Schmike loved her just a little bit more that day. They arranged to meet the woman that weekend at her apartment uptown. Schilana asked for her apartment number. The woman said she would meet them with the stroller in the lobby. Which was understandable. Why give strangers your apartment number if it wasn't neccessary?

When Schilana and Schmike arrived at the building, there was no one in the lobby. They waited. The woman arrived by walking in the front door and lugging the box inside. Which was odd. But then she explained that since their apartment was small, they kept the strollers in their car. Okay, that made sense. New York City apartments ARE small.

Being a smart guy, Schmike wanted to check out the contents of the box before finalizing the deal. Inside, all the Bugaboo pieces appeared to be new and accounted for. Complete with the instruction manual and user DVD as advertised. Schmike handed the woman a check. She said she didn't take checks. After all, she didn't know them really. They were strangers. This was true. They WERE strangers. So Schilana waited with the woman while Schmike went to a bank to take out $550.

Then Schmike and Schilana went home, proud of their resourcefulness, their frugality, and most of all, their brand new Bugaboo!

Once home, Schmike went about the task of assembling the Bugaboo. He struggled. The fabric looked kind of funky. It was pulling in some areas and sagging in others. Schilana looked up pictures of the Bugaboo online and determined that their Bugaboo didn't look nearly as nice. Schmike said companies always make everything look perfect for their websites. Shilana agreed. Companies DO make everything look perfect for their websites.

Then the time came for Schmike and Schilana to take the baby out for a stroll. To proudly pull up their Bugaboo next to all the other Bugaboos at the playground. But as they rolled the stroller outside, the front wheel started to squeak. Huh, they thought, we should look into that. A block later, they noticed that the baby was rolling to one side of the bassinet. They rolled her back. She rolled again. The bassinet appeared to be tilted. This was obviously of great concern. They quickly retreated back to their apartment.

Schmike studied the Bugaboo but couldn't find anything that he had done wrong in putting it together so he called the Bugaboo customer service line for advice. (I'm improvising now because of course Schilana and Schmike are just friends of mine and there is no way for me to know everything word for word but...) the conversation went something like this:

"Can you please tell me the product code of the stroller?"

"Where would that be?"

"On the bottom of the frame".

"I don't see it".

"It's right in the middle on the bottom".

"I still don't see anything".

"What about the box? Is there a sticker on it?"


And then the agent said the most awful sentence in history:

"It appears you have purchased a fake Bugaboo".


Schmike and Schilana reflected. They thought about how the woman was offering three brand new strollers at half the price, how easily Schilana had bargained with her, the secretive nature of the apartment number, the trunk full of strollers parked outside the building, the rejection of the check and the subsequent trip to the bank... they thought of all this and looked at each other with eyes that said, "How did two intelligent people let a brand new baby make them do something so EARTHSHATTERINGLY STUPID???"

In the end, they salvaged the frame and bought all new Bugaboo parts. The fabric had the perfect amount of tautness, the bassinet lay flat, the wheels handled with squeakless precision, and it looked just as perfect as the Bugaboos on the company website.

Grand total for the fake bugaboo plus the real bugaboo parts? $1000.

To their friends and everyone they pass on the street, Schilana and Schmike own an $1000 Bugaboo.

But secretly, Schilana and Schmike know, they're the schmucks with an $1000 Schmugaboo.

(Don't tell them I told you).


(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. When I heard about a $1000 stroller my first thought was "for that much money if better come with Mary Friggin Poppins to push the damn thing." We have a Chicco stroller that is six years old and now on child #2. It just needs to last a few more months and I will send it to the Happy Strolling Grounds for a well deserved perpetual rest. Best $100 ever spent on a baby product.

  2. I'm so grateful for not caring about fitting in and trying to impress other parents. $1000 is TOO MUCH for a stroller.

  3. I admit to owning a Bugaboo, but then I'm an American expatriot living in the Netherlands where they originated. They are perfectly designed for Dutch city streets and sidewalks(bricks and cobblestones) with their shock absorbers, not for America's surburbia. Gracos and Chiccos would would fall apart over here.

  4. We have a MacLaren. I *swore* I would never, ever, ever buy one of them - too trendy, too spendy, and so not me. Until I realized that they hold a older-and-heavier-than-average-in-a-stroller kid (nice for instead of a medical stroller), AND the handles on this umbrella-style stroller are high enough for someone taller than a Lilliputian, AND it had a decent bottom basket (not huge, but fit the diaper bag), AND (clincher) it fit in the Mom-mobile. I did find one for almost half price, though. The reason for the deep discount? It was last year's fabric. Folks, last I checked, navy is navy is navy. It's now four years old and still going strong. It would have been worth full price, but even better that it wasn't!

  5. Oh, MommyShorts. You sure have a way of making me crack up. LOL

  6. How sad and frustrating but OH SO FUNNY. And that is a crap ton of money to spend on a stroller! WOWZA.

  7. I went through this when I was expecting triplets. Choices were limited for triple strollers and all were expensive. I ended up with a second hand but nice brand stroller. But I did have to assemble it! Schmidt! If you have the cash and it will make life easier with little ones, I'm all for it.
    And we've all been had by someone. Hope your friends bump into her again one day!

  8. I had NO idea that there were imposter strollers. We had a PegPerego and the only reason I even had that was that it was the only black/grey one available. I don't do color. Great story. I think I could be friends with them. Until they pulled up with their fake stroller. :)

  9. That is so hilarious! And sad. Don't feel bad, "Shilina"! I live in NYC and a lot of that sounds like standard operating procedure for craisglist purchases. I just sold all my baby stuff through craigslist and I never let people into my apartment (what if they're psychos?) or took anything but cash (didn't want to deal with bounced checks). Uh, the trunk full of strollers is a *little* sketchy. But whatever! This could have happened to anyone...

  10. Oh my... I am sorry that you had to go through this, but I appreciate the laughs! :)

  11. Best ever Craigslist purchase I made was a $15 sit and stand. It was faded and used, but fully functional. But I had to drive to a city an hour away and meet the mommy-seller in the parking garage at her work. It felt so much like a drug deal going down as she popped the back of her SUV to show me the "goods."

  12. Hilarious! The way it's written anyways. I would've been livid at the time.

    We have a $500 Babytrend double jogging stroller. But we got it used for $80 of off Kijiji. It was already assembled and everything when we picked it up ;)

  13. ButterflyLindaMarieJanuary 17, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    I don't 'get' the whole stroller thing...I wore (in a MayaWrap) both my littles until they were about 20lbs, then they walk. I have a 4.5 and 2.5 y.o. and found the whole stroller thing so disruptive. And we are VERY active (4.5 y.o. was on 60 flights before she was 2) people. I think we'll go on a mini-vacation with the $1000 we didn't spend on a stroller!

  14. I would pay $1000 for a Bugaboo stroller. My husband would not. Ergo, no Bugaboo.

    However, I have SIX strollers. A Graco travel system that I got for my first baby ($150). A cheap mock-Graco that I bought for my mom ($30). A side-by-side Chicco ($200). A Joovy sit-and-stand ($150). A good "umbrella" stroller ($75). And a jogger ($125).

    Basically, I'd just have to spend another $270 on strollers and I'd have the monetary equivalent of a Bugaboo…

  15. Going for a long family visit overseas, I left my beautiful, maneuverable Valco stroller at home out of fear the airline would break it. It was a gift, but even at $500 with 2 kids it's been like 2 X $250. ;') Instead I brought a little $20 workhorse of a stroller I had picked up at a megamart that worked great for my 1st child, but my second one really needs shoulder straps. So, some well-intentioned friends of my in-laws gave me a stroller that I suspected was used for their now-grown children. Turns out I was right--a woman stopped me when I was out shopping with this thing to tell me that it was just like her first stroller for her kids...16 years ago! And to top it off, we were waiting for a bus one night when an older couple in a car stopped, took one look at our stroller, and offered us cab fare! I'm guessing no one offers you cab fare with a Bugaboo, or even a Schmugaboo, so I'll chalk that up as a "feature" of my free stroller. :')

  16. Great article. I’m looking for double stroller and know that Uppababy will release a new one next month. Do you have any idea on it or general on uppababy, I’m so new with this branch.




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