There are a lot of great reasons to appreciate the internet. We stay in touch with our friends, communicate instantly via chat and email, find directions, virtually touch places in the world we may never physically see and shop. It’s that last one I most appreciate because, try as I might, I can’t find tiki torches anywhere in my local stores lately.

I discovered the absence while shopping for some cookout supplies last weekend in advance of a party. While already well supplied in the tiki torch department, I couldn’t help but notice that these backyard decorations, so prominently displayed just a couple weeks before, were now nowhere to be seen. If you knew me, you’d know that this resulted in an immediate distraction and a fruitless search for these products. I forgot about the mesquite for my grill at the hardware store and, subsequently at the grocery store, forgot about the spices I needed to make jerk chicken and started hunting through both stores to find anything tiki remaining. No luck.

Brick and mortar establishments have to rotate out their inventory in anticipation of the next big thing. This isn’t an easy or fast process and requires a bit of prognostication on the part of store managers. I have to assume they know better than me but I’m completely in disagreement with their timing. It’s 95 degrees in my neck of the woods today and we have another month or two of 80s and 90s ahead of us. Definitely what I consider premature tiki torch ejection.

It’s the same sense of being recklessly rushed through life I get when the summer clothes dwindle in the stores long before the season ends. When fall clothing begins to show up months in advance of the season and Christmas decorations pop up before we’ve even celebrated Thanksgiving. I want to yell at somebody, anybody, to slow down, damn it! Stop and smell the roses. Quit pushing! But I don’t bother because I know it wouldn’t make a difference anyway. These early adoptions and premature abandonment of seasons, holidays and products are all calculated to maximize earnings. You can’t thwart the rush of capitalism, I suppose.

And that’s why I love the internet. Because, despite everybody else’s rush to leap ahead to the next season while the planet is still comfortably engaged in enjoying the current one, the internet caters to all seasons, all holidays, all niches all the time. If I won’t Christmas decorations in July, I can find them online. If I want to buy a bathing suit in December, online I go. And, bless them, if a reckless step caused me to trip and snap the pole on one of my tiki torches with months of outdoor grilling and entertainment still ahead, online I go to pick from an astounding assortment of patio torches, garden torches, propane torches and every kind of tiki torch imaginable.

So go ahead, brick and mortar places. Swap out your inventory months before I’m ready for you to do so. No sweat. It’s just one more piece of business you’re giving away to the internet. Hence forth, I’ll be doing all my shopping for tiki torches online. I’ll find better selection, lower prices and greater variety there anyway. You just keep on listening to what your bean counters and inventory specialists may be telling you. I’m sure it’s working out just fine.

Can’t find what you’re looking for in the stores lately? You too can buy tiki torches online and find a great selection of garden torches, tiki torch supplies and even some surprises such as cooking recipes to compliment your tiki torch parties!

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