As I drove down the Transit Street this weekend, I noticed a hot air balloon in the new Eckerd on the corner of Summit Street.

“Grand Opening!!!,” it proclaimed.

As I recall, the store opened more than two months ago.

Isn’t it a little late for a grand opening? Not to mention, who doesn’t know that it’s already open?

Now, I must point out that I didn’t go in, so maybe I’m not the best judge on this, but I’m guessing the cheese is warm and the crackers are stale — since (oh, by the way did I mention) they opened two months ago.

I don’t recall Eckerd having a “Grand Closing!!!” sale when it axed the downtown location and the one out in the town. Where were the balloons then?

You know what the worst is, though?

Stores that have grand opening after grand opening after grand opening.

How many times has Rosa’s opened since it moved into the mall two years ago?

It opened in November, 2000, but it seems like every time I drive by, there’s a banner hanging off that says “Grand Opening!!!” (Note that there’s always exclamation points and balloons).

I know some chains of stores have grand openings every time another store opens within the chain. It’s like celebrating the birth of a grandson or something.

It’s like they think we’re sitting around going, “Oh, there’s a new Widgetmart opening in Boise, let’s celebrate by stocking up on whatzits.”

Or something like that.

Just in case you didn’t smell the sarcasm, I’ll let you know — it’s there.

Then, of course, you’ve got stores claiming to be closing, moving or going out of business.

There’s a golf store in Williamsville that has been closing for three years.

It actually closed once — only to reopen for its closing sale.

And don’t forget good old Lerch & Daly.

Last I heard they were closing. Or was that moving?

Oh yeah, it was, “We’ve decided to move, downsize or even get bigger, we just don’t know yet.”

Thank you, Charlie Gray. Now, what does that mean?

Christine Pritchard of the state Attorney General’s office told me at the time, “There is a law that requires a company to register … for a going out of business sale.”

I wonder if the same is true for a grand opening.

I hereby invite you to my “Welcome to the Union-Sun & Journal” party that I’m throwing myself since I’ve now been with the paper for nearly three years.

Or would you prefer to come to my engagement party? (I’ve been married more than six years.)

Both will be held at the newly constructed Wal-Mart out on the Transit Road. It should be having its grand opening any day now.

Keep your eye here for updates or watch for the balloons.